Massimo Pittau (1921-2019) was a renowned Italian philologist. Born in Sardinia he has written extensively about his native land. Unfortunately, his work is only available in Italian, however, Google Translate will help the linguistically challenged, such as myself.
One paper, with a link to the English translation below(a) , had valuable comments to offer about the content of Homer’s Odyssey as well as some interesting theories on the origins of the Sardinian Nuragic people. He traces them back to Lydia, now in northwest Turkey and its capital, Sardis.
The Shardana (or Sherden) is usually accepted as another name for one of the groups that comprised the maritime alliance of Sea Peoples. The earliest reference to the Shardana is in the Amarna Letters (1350 BC). However, they are also recorded as mercenaries in the Egyptian army. Since a number of writers have linked the Sea Peoples with the Atlanteans, the Shardana may be legitimately included in any comprehensive search for the truth of the Atlantis story.
The Shardana do appear to have a more complicated history than we are initially led to believe. They are first mentioned in the Amarna Letters (14th century BC.) where they are depicted as part of an Egyptian garrison, after that, some of them were part of the personal guard of Rameses II, later still they are listed as part of the Sea Peoples. A subsequent reference describes them occupying part of Phoenicia.
They are generally identified with the ancient Sardinians, who were the builders of the Nuraghi. Leonardo Melis, a Sardinian, has written extensively on the subject. Links have also been proposed between the Shardana and the lost tribe of Dan and even the Tuatha De Danaan who invaded Ireland.
Trude & Moshe Dothan in their People of the Sea identify the Shardana as part of the ‘Aegean Sea Peoples’, who settled on the coast of Caanan[p.214]. They also note that “There was as well linguistic and archaeological evidence connecting them with the island of Sardinia, where Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery was found. Sardinia may have been either their original homeland or, more probably, one of their final points of settlement.”
D’Amato & Salimbeti concluded that ” on the basis of the combined evidence from Corsica and Sardinia, it is difficult to conclude with any confidence if the Sherden originated from or later moved to this part of the Mediterranean.” They find the second theory “more reasonable.”[1152.17]
David Rohl has suggested that the Shardana had originated in Sardis in Anatolia, but “ended up settling in the western Mediterranean, first on the Italian coastal plain west of the Apennines and then in Sardinia – which is, of course, named after them – and Corsica. Their name was clearly pronounced ‘Shardana.'” [229.410]
DNA testing has shown links between Sardinia and Anatolia in Turkey. The late Philip Coppens also noted that the Sardinians are genetically different to their neighbours on Corsica and the mainland of Europe and suggested an Eastern Mediterranean origin for them.(a)
Giovanni Ugas an archaeologist at the University of Cagliari has written extensively on the subject of the Shardana, who he claims were the builders of the nuraghi. Ugas has also touched on the subject of Atlantis, which he locates in northwest Africa(b), across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Obviously further research is required to try to establish with greater certainty the exact origins of the Shardana and their links, if any, with Sardinia and/or Atlantis.
(a) (See: Archive 2131)
Lydia was a small but powerful kingdom in the west of modern Turkey. It flourished in the 6th and 7th centuries BC. The inhabitants were famous as merchants and credited with having invented gold and silver coinage and the concept of permanent retail shops.
>Tantalis is referred to by Pliny as the capital of ancient Lydia in Western Turkey. It was later known as Magnesium ad Sipylum. Tantalis was allegedly named after the legendary King Tantalus, who shared remarkable similarities with Atlas; they were both Titans, supported the heavens and had mountains named after them(a). This powerful city was flooded following an earthquake and is now reputed to be located beneath the now dried-up Lake Saloe. Also, note that Atlantis is an anagram of Tantalis – coincidence? British archaeologist Peter James has identified Tantalis as the original Atlantis and that it was located just north-east of Smyrna, now the modern port of Izmir .<
>Early in the 20th century the German archaeologist Adolf Schulten spent many years searching unsuccessfully, in the region of the Guadalquivir, for Tartessos. He believed that Tartessos had been founded by Lydians in 1150 BC, which became the centre of an ancient culture that was Atlantis or at least one of its colonies.<
It must be pointed out that apart from his famous visit to Egypt, Solon travelled extensively throughout the eastern Mediterranean including Lydia where he encountered Croesus the fabulously wealthy monarch. It is possible that during these trips further information regarding the history of the region was gathered and included in his notes that were to pass down through Plato’s family.
Herodotus claimed that the Etruscans migrated from Lydia to Tyrrhenia, a claim that is supported by recent studies of DNA carried out at Pavia University in Italy. Dr. Barry Fell, the renowned, and controversial expert in ancient scripts, translated Etruscan inscriptions using the language of the ancient Hittites who ruled Anatolia, including Lydia, in the 2nd millennium BC.
Angelo Paratico recently proposed a connection between the Lydian capital Sardis and Sardinia during a lecture delivered in Hong Kong in 2004(a). This idea was put forward earlier by archaeologist David Rohl .>Massimo Pittau also supports the idea of Lydian Sardis was the original home of nuragic Sardinians!(c)<
Wikipedia includes the following information “According to Timaeus, one of Plato’s dialogues, Sardinia and its people as well, the “Sardonioi” or “Sardianoi”, might have been named after “Sardò”, a legendary woman from Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in Anatolia.”(b)