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To the ancient roots of an ancient devotion

The excavations and researches that involved, at different times and in different ways, the site of the Basilica of the three Martyrs of Porto Torres, have brought to light an important and vast archaeological area through which you can get back to the first centuries of Christianity in Sardinia. The Monumental Complex of Monte Agellu (from the Latin agellus: small field, cemetery) occupies the site of an ancient necropolis on the edge of the Roman colony of Turris Libisonis.

The necropolis of Monte Agellu, in its most attractive part located below Atrio Metropoli, is an extraordinary source of information about the history of the city in Roman times: the different types of burial (sarcophagus; simple pit; tile-built tomb), the variety of the decorations (plaster decoration, mosaic etc.) and wealth of inscriptions, mostly dating to the fourth century AD, draw a striking portrait of the society and of the Turris inhabitants in the early centuries of Christianity. All those kinds of findings speak to us, along with the monumental remains brought to light in the adjacent Atrio Comita, about the ancient roots of a devotion that has its center in the monumental complex of the three Martyrs.

Visiting the cemetery we can also have a vivid impression of bonds and affection among the people of the Christian community: most of the surviving funerary inscriptions are dedicated to women of different age and social groups, as the young Adeodata, who died at the age of 16; the young Musa and Febraria and older matrons like Turritana and Matera. The long and passionate Matera’s eulogy, in particular, describes her as a benefactor and a reference point for the Christian community of the city.

Next to the cemetery you can also see a large underground cistern, reused in medieval and modern times, which was originally connected to the water supply system of the Roman city.


Basilica di San Gavino e Atrio Metropoli

GPS 40°49’55.79” N 8°24’3.33” E

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