Elephant Rock, Castelsardo
On the road to Castelsardo, standing beside State Road 134, there’s the so called “Elephant Rock” (“Roccia dell’Elefante” in Italian language), a large volcanic mass made of trachyte and andesite, drifted down Mount Castellazzu and eroded by time in a natural sculpture that looks like a primordial pachyderm. The Elephant rock, which dominates the valley down to Valeldoria, in North West Sardinia, is one of the main symbols of the medieval city of Castelsardo, recognized for being one of the most beautiful hystorical villages in Italy.
Elephant Rock and Sa Pedra Pertunta:
It’s also interesting to know that the Elephant Roch is also known as “Sa Pedra Pertunta” in Sardinian language (“the perforated rock” translated in English), the reason is this rock hosts two domus de janas at different heights. Domus de Janas – the Sardinian for “House of the Fairies” – are a type of pre-Nuragic chamber tombs found in Sardinia and quarried out between 3400 and 2700 BC, in late Neolithic.
The upper domus is the more ancient and has only three compartments, while the covered pavilion collapsed together with the tomb’s prospect. Better preserved and easier to visit is the tomb below, preceded by a short corridor up to a quadrangular door, quite narrow, from where a sequence of four rooms opens. It’s in the wall of one of this domus’ cells that is still possible to observe the “Taurus symble”, a decorative motive consisting in a bovine protomy (“bull’s horns“), carved in relief.
This rock show us not only how much old is Sardinian land (enough to give wind the time of modelling this rock like it was an elephant), but also since how long long people is living on Sardina soil.
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Pictures by Gianni Careddu (CC BY-SA 3.0)