This prehistoric site was discovered by accident in 1903 following the purchase of the land by a local winery. Excavation work was carried out in 1904-1908, 1936 and 1967 to unearth the 37 underground burial chambers which are the best examples of the ubiquitous "domus de janas" or "houses of fairies" in Sardinia.
The necropolis dates back to the Late Neolithic - Early Copper Age (3300-2700 BC) although it saw re-use up until 1500 BC. These dates are confirmed by the amount of archeological material yielded from the Ozieri culture which existed in the area during this period.
Several of the tombs showed signs of mass burial but most contained individuals lying on their backs. There were also occasional skeletons from which the flesh had been removed prior to burial and even some cases of semi-cremation.
Replicas of some of the findings can be seen at the Museo e Tenuta Vitivinicola which is located 1 km further north along the Porto Torres road. This museum is owned by the winery and as such winemaking is the main theme.
Anghelu Ruju is open all year round. Tickets cost around two euros with an additional charge for the use of a handheld guide. It is also possible to purchase a ticket that also allows visitors access to Nuraghe di Palmavera.