Excavations that brought to light this monument have been done by Ercole Contu. Monte D’Accoddi is a big structure in the shape of truncated pyramid (m 36 X m 29), built on large blocks filled with material as earth, stone, albino. It is in Sardinia and it is the unique example of ziqqurat in all Europe.
The temple dates back to 4500 B.C., (Neolithic medium), when there were settlements of circular huts made in straw and wood.
The sacred area is embellished by the presence of a menhir, a sacrificial altar and an Omphalos (round stone). This stone is very curious if you think that literally it means navel and its function has not yet been discovered. It is thought that it was made to symbolize a sacral place, where the reality of the world (Stone) touched the reality of the divine (Sphere).
When firstly build there was only a ramp and on its top the temple, plastered in red ochre. Today is visible only the floor. Destroyed probably by fire, was then erected a pyramid with a second terrace on which was re-build the temple.
In the back of the Sanctuary is possible to find a granite stele on which is carved a female figure, probably the divinity venerated on the mount.
Inside the pyramid there is a room, whose content is unknown since it is forbidden the visit due to the great danger of landslide that could overthrow the temple. Perhaps, just like in the Mesopotamia ziqqurat, is still possible to find the bed on which a ministry would have slept with a virgin for the sacred ritual of earth fertility.
altar of sacrifice
Even if ziqqurat literally means the temple of the sun, this sanctuary was dedicated to two moon divinity, the God Narma and the goddess Ningal. It was abandoned in 1800 B.C. when in Sardinia was spread a new culture, the "Bonnanaro” dedicated to rituals linked to nuraghi. This place was used later on as a tomb and it has been found, dated by the beginning of Bronze Age, a child buried with all his funerary wealth. Unluckily in modern time it was used as a sighting place for military purpose and was excavated a trench that has damaged the pyramid in an irreparable way.
But the mystery remains. Who has built a Mesopotamia ziqqurat right here? Sardinia, even if it can seem to be an isolated and difficult place to reach, in the past was an important point of landing for many civilizations, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Phoenician, Mesopotamian.
A legend tells that the pyramid was requested by the Mesopotamian king Uruk, prince and priest of his country who left his land for unknown reasons and decided to live in Sardinia with all his tribe. After settling the huts he decided to erect also a temple for protection, a building that had some relation with his religion, a ziqqurat, but instead of dedicating it to the Sun (the word ziqqurat means temple of the sun) he decided to dedicate it to the Moon.
Stones brought from the sea side were mixed with the limestone found in place giving life to the new temple. The job was complex since inside the structure was excavated a room and the whole building had to hold the temple build on its top.
A stair up to the sky that was supposed to teach the spiritual way toward immortality. One night Uruk received the visit of a beautiful lady who asked him to show her the temple. King Uruk answered that this was not possible up to the time the temple was finished, but the girl kept visiting him every night repeating the same request. But one day she asked for something different, she told him he had to do something about it because a terrible storm was coming and it’d have destroyed everything. She said goodbye to him and it was almost a farewell since she told him that they were not going to meet any longer but if one day she would have come back it was forever.
At last the storm arrived but the king had all the time to protect his people. Meanwhile all was being destroyed by the nature force, one thing was quite in the sky, the Moon which was observing everything from the height. When all was quite again in front of Uruk an unforeseeable show was visible. Instead of the temple there was an hill, all was covered by earth. Maybe this was what the goddess wished. The goddess who renounced to her divinity for love and for to become a woman she had destroyed the temple dedicated to her. King Urik decided to go back to his country, in Mesopotamia, for sure with her so to spend the life together.
Actually Monte D'Accoddi was discovered in our days randomly, digging a hill of earth; it was decided to dig because the hill form was too abnormal since it seemed almost artificial being in a plain place. Up to today remains very strongly its old sense of peace and magic that invades those who go to this sacred place.