Environment and Archeology

International Speleology Meeting Urzulei 2019


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Urzulei's territory is characterized by the presence of two different karstic areas: the Supramonte the karstic area of Codula ‘e Luna River.
The Supramonte is a karstic plateau of rare beauty that expands for over 130 km 2 a third of which are in Urzulei's territory. Rocks that compose it are of the Mesozoic Era and they are formed by the accumulation of the rests of sea organisms and of sediment on the
bottom of a not too much deep sea and they have an age included between 170 and 65 million years.
In this area speleologists have explored and classified more than 1000 caves, a quarter of which is located in the Supramonte of Urzulei. Some of these are the entrance to the wide karstic system which pervades this area and to which belong a network of underground rivers for the most part unexplored, that flows into the spring of Su Gologone.

The Supramonte, for the intense fracturation of rocks and for the presence of karstic voids, is very permeable and indeed does not show perpetual superficial water rivers.
Nevertheless, it is strongly characterized by two deep cracks digged by the action of torrential waters that flow there , from south towards north, only if fed by very intense rain.
The two incisions known as Codula of Flumineddu and Codula Orbisi unite themselves in one crack that goes through the Canyon Gorropu which, with its 400 metres of depth,
represents a unique and spectacular example of water and wind action on calcareous rock. Fauna and flora and the signs of human presence from the Paleolithic up to now makes this area a unicum of high level which will do nothing but fascinate you. The karstic area of Codula ‘e Lune River is part of that, more extended, which overlooks the centre-eastern coast of Sardinia, covers a surface of about 200 km 2 and it is characterized by its enormous variety and abundance of geoforms (rocks arches, crack fields, peaks, gorges and high side and caves). Here hides the more extended karstic system in Italy already known as “ Karstic system of Codula Ilune” that reaches a development of about 70 km. The system is accessible through four entrances which from north to south inserts in the cave Su Palu, in the cave Su Spiria – S’Utturu ‘e Or Liaggios, in that of Su Molente and finally in the Cave of Bue Marino. The four caves are connected through flooded siphoning tunnels.
The system stands out for the size of the tunnels and the high cave rooms and several tens of metres wide, linked by tunnels several hundreds metres long that develope on different levels and enclose ts of great beauty and extremely fragile and delicate. The beauty of his corner of Sardinia is exalted even by flora and fauna which dwell in an environment so rugged and wild that boasts several endemisms and rarities.
In the territory exhists a lot of traces of human presence starting from the neolithic. A lot are the proofs of nuragic age: nuraghi, villages and sepultures known as Giants Tombs.
Moreover, the presence of men is observed even inside the caves that were used either as houses or places for burial. Between the several archeological sites, particularly interesting are that of s’Arena and that of os Murales. The first one is in the southern part of of the
Supramonte and is made of a nuraghe of the village and of Giants Tomb. The site Os Murales is in the north-eastern area of the territory; it is made of a nuragic village with more than 30 huts in calcareous stone, some well kept and dating back to the medium bronze, namely about to 1600 years B.C. Between the archeologic caves, the most important is Sa Rutta ‘e S’Orcu which overlooks Urzulei.