The popular legends of Teti tell of treasures (iscusorzos) hidden for centuries between the mountains in the center of the Island. According to the tales of the elders, it was thanks to a young townsmans’ dream, that the fascinating evidences of the archaic Nuragic civilization were discovered in the Nineteenth Century.
The first testimonies of human presence in the territory go back to the middle Neolithic Period (fifth millennium B.C.): in the town of Atzadalai, together with hatchets in stone and scraps of obsidian, was found an extraordinary little statue called "Venus sleeping", one of the oldest works of art in Sardinia.
Nuraghi, villages and the giants' tombs document the nuragic epopee and the high degree of skills reached. Between the eighth and the VII century B.C. the important village-sanctuary Abini was founded, of which a part of the village is preserved and the sacred well enclosed by a wall that surrounds the area dedicated to the rituals.
From the roman age remain some sections of the important road that joined the centers of Sorabile (Fonni) and Austis. In this area the local populations, called Barbaricine, vetoed a determined resistance to the harsh Roman colonization that was carried out even with the use of trained dogs to hunt men.
In Medieval times, the center was part of the kingdom of Arborea in the department of Austis. With the fall of the district, the neighboring villages were granted as a fief to several officials chosen by the Spanish Crown but managed to preserve a certain degree of autonomy.
In 1720, the island came under the government of the Savoia family that enabled the continuation of the feudal system until the first half of the Nineteenth Century. With the first excavations in 1865, Teti was placed at the center of attention of the chronicles. That brought about the construction of the subsequent archaeological campaigns and the creation of the Comprensorial Archaeological Museum.
The village extends to 714 meters of altitude on the north side of Punta sa Marghine from which, on fine days, you can enjoy breathtaking views. From the top, 954 meters above sea level, one can in fact, admire all the surrounding relieves: starting from the South-East, gazing eyes rest on the Gennargentu mountain with the tips of Muggianeddu and Monte Spada. Continuing into the North-East, on the complex of the Supramonte of Orgosolo and Oliena, North on the chain of Marghine, from the Goceano up to the Monte Limbara, and toward the West reaches the Monte Ferru and the Gulf Sea of Oristano.
Among the most charming sites is the valley of the river Taloro; along its course, in the sixties of the Twentieth Century, were made of the weirs for the exploitation of hydro-electric energy that gave origin to Lake Cuchinadorza. In the artificial basin there is a lot of wildlife and the waters of perennial streams fed by numerous sources: there are about two hundred. Some of these springs are in the vicinity of the country and are a source of supply for many sardinian and the same tetiesi.
Its rich environmental heritage is characterized by the presence of dense woods of Oak and Cork, rendered impenetrable by the macchia mediterranea (Mediterranean vegetation), in which live wild animals like deer, fallow deer, wild boar, weasels, martens, foxes, hares and various species of birds including the Golden Eagle. In the high areas the vegetation is mainly composed of forests of oaks while the hills have fruit trees such as walnut, almond, wild pear, and wild cherry.
This natural environment, characterized by the presence of the broad-leaved trees, represents the ideal place for the growth of mushrooms, in particular the most esteemed types such as porcini and ovolo, particularly sought after by fans and very appreciated in local cuisine. A curiosity: according to various sources the name of the country derives from Smilax aspera, a climbing shrub called in Sardinian “Teti”, “titione” in various local languages, with edible berries very appreciated by deer and birds.
From the nineteenth century the country of Teti became famous for the discovery of one of the most important places of worship of the ancient Sardinian: the Abini Sanctuary. In addition to an extensive nuragic village, an area dedicated to the rituals has been discovered, enclosed by walls within which is a sacred well; many bronzetti (little bronze statues) were found here that depict different characters including the fantastic warriors represented with 4 arms and 4 eyes.
The area is abounded with prehistoric sites (su Carratzu, su ballu tundu, Alineddu, Turria, Atzadalai) including the well-known village of S’Urbale’s. The study of some of the shacks (about 50 found) has made it possible to recover much information on the life of the nuragics. One of these houses of the Bronze age has been faithfully rebuilt in the archaeological Museum in the district of Teti which exposes the finds coming from the communal territory and other towns of Barbagia-Mandrolisai.
The museum is located in the historic center within walking distance from the parish church of Santa Maria della Neve. The religious building dates from the seventeenth century and has a Renaissance Style facade divided into three sections that correspond to the inner aisles; on the side there is a beautiful bell tower with a square plan. The oldest town church is San Sebastiano, about 1 km from the village, built in the Medieval era with a Greek cross plan, has undergone several changes and today has a Latin cross with a simple facade decorated with a rosette and surmounted by a small bell tower. Around it there arethe typical cumbessias, designed to accommodate the pilgrims during the days of the feast in honor of the Saint.
During the event “Autumn in Barbagia” it is possible to visit interesting ethnographic exhibitions prepared at casa Satta and casa Mereu, two ancient tetiesi houses. Within the first has been built a faithful reconstruction of the traditional environments of the early years of the Twentieth Century, in which they have exposed the instruments used in agricultural and pastoral work, while in the second you can admire the decorations and the furniture characteristic of a noble residence of that period.