The mines of Fluminimaggiore
Fluminimaggiore is a little town of about 3.000 inhabitants, situated at the foot of the west side of the Mount Linas, in the valley of the Rio Mannu. This valley separates the abov massif and the low mountains between Fluminimaggiore and Buggerru.
The first human settlements in the Fluminese (the name of the area near Fluminimaggiore) go back to the ancient neolithic, and later on to the nuragic period. The ore deposits first attracted the Phoenicians who visited the area after the VI century b.c., then the Punics and the Romans. Important evidence of these presences is the temple of Antas, the largest sacred ancient building in Sardinia. The collapse of the Roman empire also led to the decline of the mining industry.
During the period of the Judges (IX-XIV century) the Fluminese was disputed and then divided between the Judges of Cagliari and of Arborea.
The following aragonese dominion imposes imposed the feudal system, like in all the Sardinia. In particular the Fluminese was entrusted the noble family of Gessa from Iglesias, and this situation continued for almost three hundred years. It was a period of decline and depopulation, because of the malaria, and the plague, and also the Arabic raids.
The foundation of the present Fluminimaggiore has a precise date, 26 April 1704, when the Viscount Ignazio Asquer and the wife Eleonora Gessa, granted Pietro Angelo Serpi, Francesco Pinna, and Pietro Maccioni, all of three from Terralba, with permission to rebuild the village Flumini Major depopulated by that time for more than a century.
From that date the village experienced a constant demographic development. The second half of the Vlll century was the period of the greatest demands on the forests of the zone, transformed INTO fuel to feed the French industries, and of the great mining development, that saw protagonists such as the French of the Malfidano and the English of the Pertusola. Several mining villages were born (Buggerru, Pranu Saltu, Gennamari, Baueddu, Arenas). The inhabitants of the little town had reached more than 10.000 by 1901.
Later, the slow but irreversible crisis of the mining marked the destiny of the mines and of this little town, still in search of a new identity.
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