Pre-history and history

The first signs of a human presence in the territory are demonstrated by the discovery of ceramics and lithis instruments in the natural cave Sa Corona de Monte Majore and date back to the early Neolithic (6000-4000 B.C.). The late Neolithic is well represented by the presence of different necropoles: dug into the calcareous ridges at the borders of the inhabited centre, le domus de janas "houses of the fairies" di Binza ’e josso, Cua-Cua, Seunis and Corini; to be seen from Badde Serena, from the opposite side with respect to the village, le domus of Sa Pedraia e Birgusa. In the area of Mandra Antine there is an eneolithic; the tomb III is a rare example of polychromatic decoration: the main cell is completely painted in red, black and white with stylized elements of taurin protome, symbols of a male god, together with geometric elements that represent a female god and original ornamental themes which are difficult to interpret.

The nuragic age is represented by at least 23 nuraghi. The most important is the rectangular corridor nuraghe Fronte Mola, the most important monument of this type in Sardinia, from a time previous to the nuraghi at tholos. The central corridor from which two recesses open on the left and on the right is still well visible; from the right hand side a connecting stairway with a superior terrace began. We should also remember Su Eredu, this too has a corridor but it is smaller; Runaghe, now in ruins; Frenestas, a place on a rocky spur in an evocative position; Sa Caddina, in chalk; Matibusa; Baldedu; Sa Mura; Santu Jorzi; Su Montiju and s’ozastru; Toccoresi; S’Ilvaletzi, a platform of trilobate nuraghe near to the town; Santu Ainzu; Colte ’e Unari; Monte Pitzinnu; Santu Sistu; Larista. The site of Monte Mesu is very interesting, a cult locality which merits greater study. The territory was assiduously frequented during the Phoenician-Punic period. During a dig in Carrela ’e Puttu, the heart of the historical centre of the village, numerous ceramic fragments emerged from the Punic era together with findings from the Roman and medieval eras, which demonstrate a human presence in the centre and document the wealth of business exchanges in all periods. The ability of the Tiesini in business has been connected with the presence of a colony of Jews, but there is no evidence that confirms this.

The first we hear of Tigèsi is to be found in Condaghe di S.Pietro in Silki (1118 d.C.). During the judicial age Tiesi was under administrative control of the Caputabbas of the Giudicato di Torres and was successively handed over to the administrative control of the Mejulogu. The remains of 11 churches from this period remain, which operated as the headquarters of other villages to be found in the area abandoned in successive eras; we should remember Santu ’Eneittu and Santu ’Ainzu, which are still well preserved today. Dated 1204, it was also the antique parish of Santa Maria Hostàna, in which duties were performed up until 1800, it was finally demolished in 1924. At the end of the judicial age the curator fell under the dominion of the Doria and for more than a century it was the theatre of war with the Aragonesi. In 1436, with the taking of the castle of Monteleone, the Doria were expelled from their possession and the king Don Alfonso conceded the land to Giacomo Manca the villas of Tiesi, Cheremule and Bessude that make up the Marchesato di Monte Maggiore. A strict feudal regime was imposed that lasted almost four centuries.

The Manca, to demonstrate their religious faith and to honour the victory of the Spanish, built the new Parish dedicated to S.Vittoria. the church was half built in the XV century in a gothic-Aragonese form. The outside is decorated with an elegant rose window and the door is crowned with a main beam sculpted with nine images of saints, mounted on a floral arch. Beside the building there is a large bell on a square base that then becomes octagonal, built in the XVII century. Halfway through the 1600s it dates back to the construction of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Seunis, situated on high ground to the extreme west of the village. The other churches present in the centre of the village were built before the XVIII century: That is S. Giovanni, S. Sebastiano, S. Croce, S. Antonio, S. Filippo.

Despite the passing of Sardinia into the hands of the Savoia, the feudal regime remained and in the last decades of the 1700s the Tiesini were subject to the oppression of Don Antonio Manca, who asked his subjects to bow before him and act as a footstool when he wanted to rest or mount his horse. In 1789 there were the first signs of a rebellion against the landowner; in 1795 the ploughmen destroyed and set fire to the duke’s palace su palatu, and on 24 November a courageous anti-feudal pact between the communities of Tiesi, Cheremule and Bessude was stipulated, which served as an incitement to other villages. The revolts continued until 1800 when, following a pacific demonstration against the unfair requests of the duke, the governor of the Head of Sopra Conte di Moriana imposed special punitive measures. On 6 October 1800, 1500 armed forces and bandits arrived and found 800 armed men waiting for them, ready to strenuously defend their village. The battle was hard fought and even the commander of the expedition, Cav. Grondona, was wounded by a disabled blacksmith who was a fine shot; the popular phrase s’archibusada de mastr’Anghelu has its origin in this event. After several hours the villagers were obliged to surrender, twenty three were arrested and the regular armed forces withdrew, but the bandits recruited for the occasion plundered the village until dawn committing all types of violence and leaving it in a terrible state. On that sad day of s’annu ’e s’attaccu 14 people died, 32 were injured and 18 houses were burnt to the ground; those arrested were for the most part condemned to death.

The rebuilding was slow, but in the second half of the 1800s some cattle farmers initiated direct trade with France and economic activity developed rapidly, which continued up until the first decades of the 1900s. Public and private building increased notably, institutes, offices and services amongst which the nursery, the aqueduct, the hospital, were set up, not common for a village that in 1901 reached a demographic peak of 3769 inhabitants. Years of recession followed starting from the first world war; the recovery started in the 50s and development reached its peak in the 70s.

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