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traditional shopping | eat | nightlife | where to sleep | rent a house ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE CHIA AREA
Based on evidence from the shelter below Monte Maria Rock, the first human settlements in the territory of Domusdemaria date from the 3rd millennium B.C. It is believed, however, that the coastal area was inhabited even earlier.
The most important site from the Nuragic period is the Baccu Idda complex, consisting in 3 towers and almost completely hidden by very thick vegetation.
Along the coast there are the ruins of Bithia (moon, in the Semitic Language), the most important site dating from the Phoenician-Punic period. In 1930 a violent sea storm brought to light an ancient necropolis that the archaeologist Taramelli identified as part of ancient Bithia, mentioned by Ptolemy and Pliny the Old in "Roman Itineraries".
The excavations, which have not been completed, have allowed us to map the city: the town's centre was located on the side of a hill.
Today it is overlooked by a sixteenth-century coastal Spanish tower, whereas the necropolis extended along Colonia Beach (or the Tower Beach) and consisted, in its ancient phase (VII century B.C.), of cremation tombs.
The excavations have brought to light two buildings from the Punic Period (IV century B.C.), which were enlarged during the Roman Period (II century A.D.), a fenced sanctuary and a sacred niche. Beside the temple's altar a sandstone statue of the Egyptian God Bes and a neo-Punic votive inscription have been found.
The inscription is in honour of the Sufeti, the two magistrates who still ruled the city during the Roman domination and requested the execution of the work on the sanctuary. The statue of God Bes, which is 80 cm. high, is exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari. Ruins of a Sanctuary (VII century B.C.) are located on the small island of Su Cardolinu.
Among the archaeological treasures of this area there are some houses on Cogoni mountain, the ruins of military defences on the tower's hill and the sacred area of Punta Su Sensu, where several betili, sacred stones which were considered magic by the Nuragic population, have been found.
In Domusdemaria there is a museum (Casa Museo) where approximately 600 coins from Punic, Roman, Byzantine and Medieval times are exhibited.
The Spanish Towers
There are two coastal towers that were part of the south-western defences, built by the Spanish during the sixteenth century, to protect the island from pirates.
The above-mentioned Torre di Chia, which is built on the Punic acropolis of Bithia, is an imposing truncated-conic tower (diameter 10 m./13 m. high). On its top there are traces of two wooden watchtowers and three embrasures. The tower is closed, but the keys are available in the Domusdemaria Municipality (Comune).
The other tower is Pixini, which is located on the headland between Capo Spartivento and Teulada. It is shaped like an upside-down bucket with merlons and embrasures on the top. It is about 9 m. high and its diameter is 10 m.