Uta is in the Campidano, in the south-west of the Sardinian chief town, exactly at 20 Km. It has a territory of 134,33 Km2 and it confines at north with Villaspeciosa, and, clockwise, with Decimomannu, Assemini, Capoterra and Siliqua.
Uta is on a fertile plain crossed by two rivers (Rio Cixerri and Rio Mannu) that flow into the pond of Santa Gilla. It is at 6 metres above the sea level, but in its district there is also a wide mountainous zone, formed by the Arcosu Mountain (948 m), the Lattias Mountain (1086 m) and in part by the tops of Guttureddu and Gutturu Mannu.
The south-west part of the territory, beginning by the Rio Cixerri, includes some small hills with an average height of about 100 metres where there are the ruins of two ancient Christian Churches (Santa Maria Magramixi and San Nicola) and a Romanic temple, everyone of them faces the Rio Cixerri; there is also a giants’ grave with thirty Menhirs, but it has been destroyed by men’s ignorance through mechanical means.
A recent frontier, in the direction of Siliqua, is the artificial lake obtained from the dam on the Cixerri that, together with the railway and the state road 130, closes the town at North/North-West.
The weather of Uta is typically Mediterranean: the influence of the sea and of other streams makes mild the low temperatures caused by the mistral coming from North-West during autumn and appeases the sultriness caused by the hot winds coming from Africa at the beginning of spring.
The inhabited centre is located in the North part of the territory and the population reached over 8000 inhabitants. Because of past inundations and floods, the ancient part of the town has been destroyed and the urban structure of the built-up area has been subjected to several reconstructions using different materials and renewing the home typologies.
In ancient times Uta was divided into two villages: Uta Susu and Uta Jossu. The Church of Santa Maria and few houses located in the surrounding area belonged to the first village, while at about 1 Km there was Uta Jossu (where was situated the Church of San Cromazio), that is to say the actual Uta. It stood because of a natural transfer of the population towards a healthier zone and towards a zone less hit by the usual inundations of the Rio Cixerri and Rio Mannu. These rivers, together with their affluents, came together in the final part of their course, at South of the town. There, they created a marsh and, because of the lack of adequate embankments, they frequently overflowed causing many damages to the countryside and to the houses and the death of livestock and sometimes of some persons.
It seems, for some reasons, that the name Uta derived from the Latin word UDUS that means marshy and damp.
According to other sources, in particular according to a research done visualizing some Ptolemaic papers of the book “Sardegna Antiqua” , it emerges that the name Uta has had different changes according to the visitors that arrived there or according to the language that he spoke:
- Yra y Ity: ancient greek
- Villanova: with reference to new village
- Itta-Utta-Ura and finally Uta, and after it returned as Utasusu and Utajossu.
Another alternative about the origin of the name Uta comes from the “Sistema Linguistico della civiltà Nuragica” of the professor Raffaele Sardella, in which it is written:
- From the Sumero Uta-She : towards the Sun God Utu (so Uta = Utu = God of the sun Utu)
- From the Sumero Uta-She : seat of the Sun God
- From the Sumero Uta-She: seat, foundation of the sky
Short historic report
Our town has ancient origins, as it is testified by the findings of several times found in our territory and by the documents about Uta.
The zone was already inhabited in the nuragic period. Actually, in the slope of Monte Arcosu there are the ruins of numerous nuraghes. Among them, the biggest is “Su niu de su Pilloni” that includes also the ruins of a nuragic village and of a furnace; everything appears not very visible because of the decay and the wear of the time, and, moreover, a lot of them are probably still underground.
The Romanic period too has left its mark. Actually, the ancient road that led from Caralis to Nora crossed the whole territory of Uta. Several findings (a colossal statue of a Romanic priestess, ruins of granite columns, a big marble slab dedicated to three Christian boys buried in Uta, ruins of suburban Romanic houses and the supposed bridge on the Rio Cixerri called “ponte de is aramigus”) confirm the presence of Romanic population.
During this period Sardinia was divided into giudicati (singular giudicato), among them there was the giudicato of Cagliari. In its turn each giudicato was divided into districts called curatorie. Among the curatorie of the giudicato of Cagliari there was the one of Decimomannu that controlled some small settlings called Ville (singular villa). These were Siliqua, Villaspeciosa, Uta, San Sperate, etc.
In this period, the giudicati granted lands and gave Churches to the monks, so that the inhabitants could take advantage from their presence. Exactly in this period the Benedictine monks of Saint Victor (Marseille) arrived in Uta’s territory.
One of the most important events, probably the most important, was the concession of two Churches (one in Uta’s territory) done to them by the judge Torchitorio of Cagliari in 1089.
These monks contributed to the reclaim the marsh areas of the village (ancient zone of Uta Susu) and here they erected the Shrine of Santa Maria.
Around 1258, Uta became a possession of the Pisan lords Gherardesca Gherardini.
Afterwards , in 1324, it became a town of the Catalan Aragonese kingdom of Sardinia and was object of contests between the Gherardescas and the Acens. Actually, it was, together with Uta Jossu, granted to Pietro Acen.
In 1328 the two villages were occupied with force by Berengario Carroz and so included into the Baronia of San Michele, in spite of the request the Sardinia’s King so that they were given back to the legitimate owner.
From 1365 to 1409, after a war between the Arborea’s Kingdom and the Sardinia’s Kingdom, the village took again the arborense aspect.
When Uta was again part of the Sardinia’s Kingdom, it became again a possession of the Carrozs in the baronia of San Michele. The construction of the Church of Santa Giusta probably goes back to this period . The coat of arms of that family is engraved on the presbytery’s arc and a date is engraved in the left chapel in front of the high altar.
In 1511, when the last Carrozs’ heir (Violante) died, the Centelles came into possession of Uta.
In 1674, it became a possession of the dukes Borgia of Gandia.
In 1726, after a judicial quarrel, Uta was given to the Catadàs.
Finally, in 1805, the Osorio de la Cueva came into possession of the village and in 1839 redeemed it
In 1849 were found eight bronze figurines: they are small sacred bronze idols that represent eight different scenes and characters in several ages of their life. Now they are kept in the Museo Archeologico of Cagliari.
The economic activities done in Uta regards above all the primary sector; actually, it is fundamentally an agricultural town. Horticultural greenhouses, cultivation of artichokes and corn, orchards and olive graves are very spread, but it is present also sheep farming.
Until not long ago, an addition activity and profitable economic resource of the town was fishing; it was practised above all during the free time.
As regards the secondary and tertiary sectors, in the east part of Uta, in the zone called Macchiareddu, there are the industrial plans and the service centre CASIC. Also the commercial activities appear well launched.