The archaeological heritage of the Arzachena area can be considered among the most interesting in Sardinia, for the density of monuments in relation to the size of the municipal territory; for their variety (funerary and cultic circles, rock shelters, funerary tafoni, dolmens, nuraghi megalithic defensive walls and fortified villas, nuragic temples); and for the abundance of scientific data that the excavations carried out since 1939 have provided archaeologists, offering new insights into Sardinian prehistory in general and Gallura in particular.
It is around the middle of the second millennium B.C., during the Middle Bronze Age, that the beginning of the great age of megalithism is commonly fixed. This period saw the proliferation throughout Sardinia of those constructions that, by ancient name, are known as nuraghi. Even when the nuraghi were erected in flat areas, the choice of site favoured short rocky heights only slightly elevated above the surrounding countryside, both because such a position greatly diminished the inconveniences caused by the marshy soils that occupied the depressions, and because the presence of natural rock offered the raw material for the construction of the buildings. The elevated position also allowed a wide view of the surrounding countryside. Often, around the nuraghi there is a village of huts, of various sizes and in varying states of preservation.
There are basically two types of nuraghi in Gallura: the ‘tholos’ nuraghe and the ‘corridor’ nuraghe. The first is characterised, in its simplest form, by buildings with a circular plan and a truncated cone elevation that ends in a terrace. When this type of nuraghe was enlarged out of necessity, there was an aggregation of two, three, four or more towers joined together by rectilinear curtains or by bastions with a concave-convex course. These are buildings that featured vertically distributed covered spaces with false vaults (tholos), thus reaching considerable heights. On the other hand, the second type of nuraghe is the so-called ‘corridor’ type due to the prevalent presence of numerous corridors
of varying lengths and with varying degrees of turn. Covered by slabs, they sometimes acquire the value of real living quarters.