With 18 rooms, one of its underground burial sites is among the most extensive in the Mediterranean. The Pre-Nuragic necropolis of Sant'Andrea Priu is located on a plain less than ten kilometres from Bonorva and 500 metres from the rural church of Santa Lucia. In the vicinity, there is also the spring of Lumarzu and the Nuraghi Puttu de Inza and Monte Donna. The burial complex is made up of twenty Domus de Janas dating back to the Neo-Eneolithic age (4th-3rd millennium BC), dug out of the wall and on the plain of a trachyte outcrop 10 metres high and 180 metres long. Inside them, architectural residential details have been reproduced to recreate environments similar to the house of the deceased person.
Three domus in the necropolis will amaze you with their sizes and state of preservation. The 'Tomba del Capo' (tomb of the Head) has an extension of 250 square metres and contains 18 rooms arranged like a maze around two main spaces. An entrance leads to the semi-circular anteroom (seven metres in diameter). The two cells at the back are rectangular and arranged in longitudinal succession. On their walls, little rooms open up and lead to numerous secondary cells with niches and counters. The 'Tomba a Capanna' (Hut Tomb) is round (three metres in diameter) and can be entered via a rectangular space. The two rooms have votive cupules: three in the anteroom and 15 in the main cell. The ceiling is decorated by a sunburst of grooves carved in the rock: they allude to the roof trusses of the eneolithic huts. The 'Tomba a Camera' (Room Tomb) reproduces the architecture of a dwelling: an entrance pavilion leads to the main room, which is rectangular. The second space has two pillars and a ceiling that depicts a double pitched roof. Other burial places show symbolic elements: on the floor of a smaller tomb there is a hearth with a raised circular ring. Above the ridge where the tombs are located, you will see a majestic and unique rock known as 'the bell-tower'. It has also been named 'sacred bull' because of its shape: it was thought to be a monumental sculpture but, in reality, it is a trachyte monolith shaped by the weather.
The necropolis was reused for a long time. In the Roman age and then the Byzantine age, the 'Tomba del Capo' was turned into a rural church built into the rock, one of the first during the period of the persecutions. It has been plastered several times and frescoed with scenes from the New Testament, which you will notice inside it, and it was named after Sant'Adrea (Saint Andrew), which is where the name of the site comes from.