SARDINA FLAGHEAD T-Shirt
Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian, Sardigna or Sardinna in the Sardinian language), is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily is the largest), between Italy, Spain and Tunisia, south of Corsica. It is an Italian region with a special autonomous statute. At the beginning of the nuragic age circa 1500 BC the island was first called Hyknusa (latinized Ichnusa) by the Mycenaeans probably meaning island (nusa) of the Hyksos, the people who had just been expelled by Ahmose I of Egypt circa 1540 BC. Sandalyon was its second name, probably due to its shape, recalling a footprint. Last and present name has been Sardinia, for the Shardana (whose invasion on Egypt was defeated by Ramesses III circa 1180 BC).-----------Sardinia's history is very ancient. In 1979 human remains were found that were dated to 150,000 BC. In Prehistory Sardinia's inhabitants developed a trade in obsidian, a stone used for the production of the first rough tools, and this activity brought Sardinians into contact with most of the Mediterranean people. Desiccated grapes, recently found in several locations, were DNA tested and proved to be the oldest grapes in the world, dating back to 1200 BC, the Pyramids' and Mesopotamia’s era. The Cannonau wine is made with these grapes and may qualify as the mother of all the European wines.------------In 1718 Sardinia became an 'independent' vassal kingdom under the House of Savoy, rulers of Piedmont. In 1792, Jean-Paul Marat, son of a Sardinian father from Cagliari and a Swiss mother, was one of the triumvirate leading the French Revolution. In 1793, Sardinians rebelled, demanding autonomy in exchange for helping to defeat French invasion forces. Autonomy was granted in the combined kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, but after the French threat to the kingdom lessened, the king took back his authority. In 1860, Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Sardinia became also the first King of Italy after conquering the rest of the peninsula.------------The most spoken languages in Sardinia are Italian and Sardinian, a Romance language of Latin origin, but with an obscure Pre-Roman element, including Phoenician, Etruscan, and Near Eastern languages. While it has been significantly supplanted by Italian for official purposes, Sardinian is still widely spoken in most rural parts and, stemming from a long history of oral tradition, is used culturally for folk songs and poetry. As a literary language, it is gaining clout, despite heated debate about the lack of standard orthography and controversial proposed solutions to this problem. Recently, the regional administration has approved the use of Sardinian in official documents.