Filitosa represents the still visible apogee of megalithism in Corsica
Symbols of this adventure, the construction of monumental complexes whose purpose has yet to be defined. Simple observation towers, rooms for storing wealth with obscure diverticulum, places of power or meeting places for a particular circumstance, shelters for an eminent figure of the community, or places of shamanism with ancestral beliefs, these monuments still call out to us today.
Some fragments of broken statue-menhirs were reused as building materials for these monuments around 1200 BC. After anthropomorphic statuary art, the followers of megalithism chose other cultural or religious practices that are manifested in the construction of the vast circular monuments, the ‘torre’. These turriform constructions are at the origin of the name “Turrichju” given to the site.
Monumental complexes that never cease to amaze…
Filitosa has two, in the centre and west, complemented in the east by a monitoring platform at the main entrance. A large enclosure, known as a cyclopean enclosure, surrounds the site. The grouped Bronze Age settlements are thus called “Castelli”. Although the enclosure is certainly defensive, the primary purpose of the “torre” is not military. The distribution of the rooms, corridors, and rooms in the buildings does not follow a military logic.
Isn’t this complexity in the interior layout deliberate, intended to hide the unfolding of certain funerary or initiation rites? The presence of an area of fired clay located in the centre of the single room of the central monument plays in favour of this hypothesis. Ritual fires were lit there, and the ashes collected bear witness to this. If the “torre” is a temple of fire, we do not know the purpose of these fires. Are they linked to initiation rites, to death, to a natural element, or to a deity?
The Corsican “torre”, the Sardinian “nuraghi”, the Balearic “talayots”, are part of a large Mediterranean architectural family, which uses the dome in the construction of circular monuments. The roof of the “torre” is no longer made of straw or wood, but of a false vault made of corbelled stone rings that taper upwards.
The Torrean monuments of Filitosa are not only a refuge or place of worship, they probably also serve as a storehouse for food supplies, a weapons depot, or a place of observation.