Castellu d’Araghju, a Bronze Age monument on Corsica


Castellu d’Arraggiu (or d’Arraghiu; or in Corsican, Casteddu d’Araghju) stands near Porto-Vecchio and forms, together with Castellu di Cucuruzzu, the most important and best-preserved Torrean monument on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. The Torrean civilisation was a megalithic Bronze Age culture which developed during the second half of the second millennium BC in the south of Corsica, mainly to the south of Ajaccio.

The cult structure lies at a height of 245 metres above La Trinité on the Ospédale Massif in the commune of San-Gavino-di-Carbini and has been excavated since 1967 by Roger Grosjean. The site offers a view over the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio and the Torre di Ceccia, ten kilometres away.

The surrounding wall of Arraggiu is 3 to 5 metres high and has a circumference of 120 metres. It comprises of rocky outcrops, large blocks of stone and dry masonry. The entrance is 2.6 metres high and 1.5 metres wide, covered with flat stones, with niches or small chambers on the eastern side which lead inside. On the right are more niches in the extended masonry. The actual monument lies to the south and consists of a incompletely preserved round building containing a cell with two side niches. The excavations have shown that the Torreans originally only built monuments with a cult purpose. Later other chambers were added to the external wall.

Entrance to the site

Reaching the site involves a walk of about 30 minutes along a path from the carpark by the entrance to the village of Araggio. After crossing a stream, the path leads upwards almost in a straight line between the rocks and vegetation. Entry to the site is free.

Text                 Harrie Wolters

Translation     Alun Harvey


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