Biddas Museum of Sorso

The memory of the marooned villages

A museum dedicated to the depopulation and the abandonment of settlements. A Sip, town of fourteen thousand inhabitants a few kilometers from Sassari, on the top floor of the remarkable Baronial Palace, a museum that takes care of this; or all those population centers which in the past have failed to survive and, for one reason or another, have not reached our days.

First museum in Italy dedicated to the theme of the depopulation, Biddas, Museum of the marooned villages of Sardinia, exposes accurately and exhaustively, starting from the processes of displacement of modern times, a journey of considerable charm that comes from cases of depopulation in the Middle Age and that offers a very interesting key to understand about the causes that led to the abandonment of these unlucky villages.

The originality of the museum Biddas is the fact that it is not only a classic museum where artifacts are collected, but it is a place where the focus is on the reality of a phenomenon that has constantly concerned Sardinia. It is a place of experience, a place where you take a trip back in time and where the archeology finds its important connotation.

Today the causes that led to the depopulation of a village are difficult to occur again. Indeed, in the Middle Age one of the main cases of abandonment of the villages were the plagues that decimated the population and forced the survivors to move elsewhere.

The causes of current depopulation of a village are quite dissimilar but no less unsettling. These range from isolation, the joblessness, the aging of the population, to the close of business activities that force people to move somewhere else, from natural disasters that affect that territory to particular social situations that determine the gradual emigration of the young people.

In the museum Biddas these issues are investigated and analyzed. Depopulation has always been a widespread problem in Sardinia, throughout the ages. Analyzing the causes of abandonment in the past is essential to understand the motivations of today depopulation.

In this context, in the museum, archeology and history are supported by other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology that, correlating to each other, allow a greater understanding, thanks to very useful communication devices.
The choice of the museum to focus on dynamism and interactivity, digital and informational media has proved to be immediately successful.

Very interesting is the story of Geridu, an abandoned medieval village near Sorso. This site, which were dedicated several excavations that have unearthed many finds, is the model that inspired to understand the sociocultural dynamics of the medieval Sardinian communities and is an emblematic example of dozens of other abandoned Sardinian villages.

The museum also hosts workshops, coordinates educational tours for schools, organizes workshops and archaeological works with various organizations and institutions with the aim to involve especially the younger visitors.

All these important peculiarities ranging from the high scientific quality to the intensive teaching activity that characterized Biddas Museum since its opening, have not gone unnoticed and the Museum obtained a prestigious recognition: the Award Riccardo Francovich as best Italian medieval museum and archaeological park.
Discovering the Middle Age has never been so easy and exciting.

Understanding the phenomenon of depopulation is here much easier. A dip in the past, distant and intriguing with our eyes focused on the present. All this at the Biddas Museum is incredibly at hand.

Info and reservations:

01 July 2015

Mauro Cuccu
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