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The Sulcis territory is located in the south-western part of Sardinia; its name comes from the old city of Sulcis in the S.Antioco island. It is formed by alluvial soils and covered by seasonal rivers.

The populating of this area was due mainly to metal seams in the Iglesiente and to coal in the Sulcis. Archaeological and mining settlements give evidence of unchanged activities during the course of centuries.
There are evidences of both pre-nuragic (rocky shelter of Su Carropu-Carbonia, domu de janas both of Montessu-Villaperuccio and Monte Crobu-Carbonia) and nuragic (the village of Serucci-Gonnesa, nuraghes both of Sirai-Carbonia and S. Anna Arresi, finds of the Benatzu-Santadi cave) archaeological ruins.
From the half of the VII century B.C. the Phoenicians established the Sulcis, Porto Pino, Bithia and Nora urban settlements. Later the fortified settlements of Monte Sirai and Pani Loriga-Santadi were established, while the punic control of the high Sulcis area is proved by the Antas temple, dedicated to Sardus Pater Babai and also attended by Romans.

Thanks to interest in extractive industry in the Sulcis Iglesiente area, during the last 150 years a huge human, historical and cultural heritage was created. The construction of roads, dams and railways were launched for the development of the region; many villages for miners arose in the area together with facilities to welcome the increasing population working in the mining sector. Then, most of the cultural heritage - we can see in the Sulcis area, nowadays - come from the birth of the Sabaudo Kingdom of Sardinia up to the closing of the mines occurred at the beginning of the 90's.

The Sulcis and Iglesiente areas represent two out of eight areas included in the geo-mining historical and environmental park of Sardinia.
This park aim at rehabilitation and protecting all the valuable elements of the dismissed mining areas of Sardinia: cultural, environmental and archaeo-industrial.
The General Conference of UNESCO decided to consider the Sardinian park the first example of the newly established network of geo-parks.
In July 1998, the UNESCO subscribed in Paris the official act of the acknowledgement of the geo-mining historical and environmental park of Sardinia, for the preservation and the recover of the technical-scientific, historical, cultural and environmental heritage linked to the human events that involved the mining and geological resources of the park.

In the Iglesiente area (from Capo Pecora at north to Gonnessa Bay at southwest) there is the most important Italian mining compound. From a geological point of view, it is an extremely important area due to the fact that, other than coal, we can also find the main metal seams of Sardinia, already exploited by Nuragic, Punic and Roman civilizations.
In this land made of metal stones (Cambrico, Silurico) and by tertiary drifts, worth of note the oak forests together with huge karstic pits, as San Giovanni cave in Gonnessa, San Giovanni cave in Domusnovas and Su Mannu cave in Fluminimaggiore, close to the Antas temple.


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