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Montevecchio hamlet

 Address: località Montevecchio - 09031 Arbus (VS)
 Sito: http://www.minieramontevecchio.it

Montevecchio is a village surrounded by holm-oaks woods and oaks, in the middle of the mountains that slope down towards the coast, a few kilometers from the sea. In this natural paradise live the deers  (Cervus elaphus corsicanus): in fact, at the sunset and at the dawn it is possible to see them also in the centre of the village. Inhabited by about 100 people, Montevecchio is an important example of industrial archaeology.

Its territory had been populated since ancient times: starting from the pre-nuragic age there are tracks of men’s settlement. The mining activity is registered from 1628 when an Edict gave the Sardinian mines to Giacomo Esquirro.  Soon, Montevecchio became a landmark for all European mines, employing 2000 miners in 1890. The flourishing activity of the mine brought to the introduction of industrial innovations like new drilling systems and the use of electricity inside and outside the mine. Furthermore, many constructions were realized causing important changes in the environment and people. For example, the railway was built to make the transport of minerals easier. Many houses, health centres, schools were built improving inhabitants’ life conditions.

Today, Montevecchio is a real testimony of the mining work because of the presence of hangars, shafts, miners and managers’ houses and the Palace of  Direction. The Mine of Montevecchio is one of the eight mining sites that are included in the Geological Mining Park of Sardinia recognized by Unesco in 1997. The three mining areas were included in Arbus and Guspini municipality and divided into two parts: the Western and the Eastern stopes. The most important building were: the Direction and Saint Barbara’ Church, the Guest Quarters, the Office of Geology, the Hospital and the school.