Blue Mines Cycle Trekking

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Atlantis Rising: James Cameron in Sardinia

On Sunday the 29th there will be the preview in the U. S. of the two hours-long documentary ‘Atlantis Rising’, edited by National Geographic. The interest is strong, due to the fact that the executive producer is the Oscar-winning James Cameron, while the director of the series is the Emmy-winning Simcha Jacobovici. Supported by archaeologists, scholars and historians, the director tried to find traces of the famous lost city of Atlantis.

Atlantis Rising, a survey in the Mediterranean Sea

The exploration started last year throughout the Mediterranean Sea, where spectacular underwater filming of ‘Atlantis Rising’ were shot. Obviously Sardinia was included in the research. In fact, after the intuition of the journalist Sergio Frau, positioning the Pillars of Hercules in the Strait of Sicily, Sardinia has become one of the most plausible hypothesis. The crew of Cameron and Jacobovici has been captivated by the majestic Nuragic civilization, still mysterious for many aspects. In Sardinia still survive 8000 nuraghes, nearly 1,000 giants’ graves and nearly 100 holy wells, that characterize the Sardinian landscape.

Atlantis Rising
Sardinian landscape, view from a nuraghe

But what are Nuraghes?

The nuraghe is a truncated-conical shape tower, located with different density on the whole territory of Sardinia. They are unique in their kind and representative of the Nuragic civilization. About their function, scientists still have not expressed an unanimous opinion: the hypotheses are inclined to think them as military, religious, astronomical, or perhaps multi-purpose structures. Most of them believe that they were built since about 3800 years ago, and until 1100 BC. Some are more complex and articulated, as real Nuragic castles, with the keep that in some cases reached a height of 25 or 30 meters; most are minor towers, once high from 10 to 20 meters .

Atlantis Rising
Nuraghe, hypothetical reconstruction, By Kenny Arne Lang Antonsen

Our cycling holidays will lead us to visit one of the largest nuraghe complex in Sardinia: the Nuraghe of Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It rises in an area known as the Marmilla, located in south-central Sardinia. The Nuragic Village of Barumini indicated that this territory was inhabited by a society that lasted for over a thousand years. According to UNESCO, this extremely valuable and important archaeological site is exemplary for being the most complete and best-preserved of the remains left by the Nuragic Civilization. At the same time, it also demonstrates the intelligent use of innovative materials and techniques by a prehistoric community. So it is not surprising the hypothesis that the mysterious city of Atlantis was indeed Sardinia and its nuraghes: will ‘Atlantis Rising’ be able to shed light on this enigma? We cannot be certain, what is sure is that the Nuragic Civilization will intrigue us even more thanks to James Cameron and his documentary.

 

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