|Once again this is a sign posted site with a car park and a small booth from where you can buy tickets for the monument. On my visit, I had the good fortune to find a guide here who spoke very good English and had recently spent 3 months in Newbury.
If the service is available, pay the extra Euro for the guide, they are usually very knowledgeable and generally keen to speak English, they also carry folders containing illustrations, details of finds and general information about the sites.
Li Longhi is a fascinating site situated on a prominent hill. Like Pasceradda, the tumulus remains intact and the monument has undergone some restoration. The path to the monument is only short and you approach it from the front. The first thing you notice is the stelae, it's huge and it's broken. The repair job on the stelae reminds me of my own attempts to repair things at home. They've just taken the huge lump that fell off and clagged it back on, it's pretty unsympathetic but it works and restores the stelae to it's original height. The stone to the right of the stelae is also a replacement.
The passage is a little confusing until you realise that this monument developed in 3 stages. The first stage of the monument was the construction of a dolmen, the remains of which form the rear of the passage. The dolmen was constructed, during the period of the Bonannaro Culture using rough stone slabs placed on the original ground surface. The second stage of the monument was the construction of an allee couverte or passage; this was dug into the bedrock. The walls of the passage were constructed using a mixture of large slabs and dry stone walling, a mound/tumulus/cairn of stones was also constructed at this point. The final phase of the monument was the addition of the horned façade.
Within the passage, the dolmen was separated from the rest of the monument by a
blocking slab and a bench, as at Pascaredda.
There is only one capstone in situ on the passage, my guide informed me that the archaeologists have speculated as to whether the passage was actually capped with removable wooden planking to allow access. What intrigued me was what happened to the capstone of the dolmen. I wonder if it was reused in the construction of the passage or perhaps in the horned façade of the monument.
My guide also informed me that Roman and Greek writers had witnessed and recorded how the Tombi were still being used when they had visited Sardinia. There are written accounts describing people sitting on a bench-like structure attached to the horned façade of the monument whilst rituals took place within the area defined by the facade.
Li Longhi is well worth a visit, when combined with a visit to Cuddu Vecchiu and the Necropili di li Muri. It provides insight into the development of the wonderful Tombi dei Giganti in this part of the island.
Posted by fitzcoraldo
3rd October 2007ce