By Joann Deutch, Travel Writer

It gave me the willies. Touching a home built in 3,500 B.C.

Where? Well not through ½ inch protective glass, guarded by a sophisticated alarm system. I was in Arzachena, Sardinia roaming the villages of the Nuraghic People (Sea Peoples), out in the heat of the day, in the middle of fields. I got to walk through the fortresses and homes of this civilization dating back to the Bronze Age. My previous exposure to this culture has been by reading the tags on trinkets and artifacts in museums. Visiting these structures, I was hit by the reality of how insignificant our lifespan really is.

Yes, sure, I’ve seen the timelines with dinosaurs and the Pliocene Era, where man is just a pinprick on the chart, but to touch someone’s home, something so old, which you know others have touched in a lifetime and lifestyle you can only wonder at. Weeks later I can barely get my mind around it.

In hindsight I think what contributed to my awe, was that these villages are in the middle working fields, with no pretentious tourism claptrap to diminish the impact. The villages were built near water. While there may no longer be a river nearby you can see the dried riverbed, the rounded granite stones formed eons ago by rushing water. The topography was an important element in choosing a defensible location.. Standing on top of the walls, my imagination could fly.

As if my mind had not been adequately boggled by what I was seeing, we met an Israeli tourist who told us that the Nuraghi People were known to travel throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and that there is currently a collaboration between Sardinian and Israeli archeologist to find the connection between el-Ahwat, a recent archeological find and now part of “the Biblical Archeology of Israel.”

File:Nuraghe la Prisciona.jpg

The excavations at el-Ahwat (the walls) are located in central Israel and date to the early Iron Age (ca. late 1200 B.C). The exposed architecture appears to some experts to have been influenced by the western Mediterranean Nuraghic style. The fortified structures in both countries have corridors and ‘tholoi’ (beehive shaped tombs) typified in the Nuraghic culture of Bronze and Iron Ages in Sardinia. The similarities connect Israel with Sardinia. The Shardanas, one of the well-known ‘Sea Peoples’ tribes, were famous warriors and mercenaries. Originating from this area in Sardinia, they are said to have been settled in Canaan together with the Philistines by pharaoh Ramesses 3rd (yes it is spelled with 3 “s”s) following his victory over the Sea-Peoples (ca. 1180 BCE).

I know that history this old is often the topic of debate among experts. That’s part of what makes it so fascinating to me. Did the decedents of the original Nuraghic People’s builders of those forts, villages and homes which I touched, actually travel as far as Canaan?

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