At Barumini, in Marmilla, the air you breathe is very special: this was the centre of power of an extremely rich territory dating back to Prehistoric times. Bearing witness to this is Su Nuraxi, not only the most impressive (and most well-preserved) of the thirty nearby sites, but above all the most important inheritance left by the Nuragic civilization. The archaeological area was unearthed in the 1950s by excavations conducted by Giovanni Lilliu. The cultural centre, located a short distance from the Nuraghe, was named after 'the father' of Sardinian archaeologists, where events, exhibitions and concerts take place in an unparalleled setting.
Su Nuraxi, made from basalt, reveals two thousand years of stratification, from the 16th century BC to the 7th century AD, and consists of a complex Nuraghe - a bastion with a central tower and four corner towers - and, all around it, a labyrinth of 50 huts, wells and cisterns. The central tower (originally 18 metres high) is the most ancient: the diameter of its walls decreases gradually as you go up towards the top. It was later surrounded by walls with four smaller towers. The boundary wall, however, dates back to a period of war. It is still visible and made the Nuraghe unassailable. These circular huts with conical roofs date back to the Late Bronze Age (14th - 12th century BC) and this type of dwelling is a unique example based on its complexity. The most significant one is the meeting hut, where pots, ornaments, tools, arms and votive images were found. An urban concentration emerged on the ruins of the ancient village at the end of the Nuragic civilization, in which the techniques and decor were those of a modern society, thanks also to external contacts. Punic and Roman occupation followed. The site was inhabited until the 3rd century AD and was frequented in the Early Middle Ages.
Barumini was enriched in the 1990s with another Nuragic complex, Su Nuraxi `e Cresia, which was discovered during restoration work carried out on Casa Zapata, residence of the Aragonite barons built in the middle of the sixteenth century on top of the Nuragic building. Today, the noble palace, garden and courtyard are home to a splendid museum complex.