Archaeologists discover 3,000-year-old Mont’e Prama stone giants

Archaeologists have found 3,000-year-old stone giants at the Mont’e Prama necropolis in Sardinia.

The necropolis is situated on the slopes of Mont’e Prama, a hill divided into the parallelepiped-shaped complex and the serpentine-shaped complex, towered by a nuraghe fortification.

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Previous excavations have found stone sculptures created by the Nuragic civilisation, a culture on Sardinia that emerged during the Bronze Age until the Roman period. The Nuragic are named for the large nuraghe tower-fortress constructions built across all parts of the island.

The civilisation is also attributed with the construction of the Giants’ Graves, a collection of over 800 giant megalithic gallery graves either in the so-called “slab type” or “block type” format.

In the latest excavations, researchers found two Mont’e Prama stone giants depicting Cavalupo boxers, armed with a shield wrapped around their bodies.  The discovery adds to a group of over 30 other statues of boxers, wrestlers, warriors and archers previously excavated in 1974 near Cabras, in the province of Oristano.

Image Credit : MiC Press and Communication Office

Mont’e Prama stone giants usually have disc-shaped eyes and are believed to depict mythical [unknown] heroes that guarded a sepulchre, or possibly a Pantheon of Nuragic divinities.

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Monica Stochino, the culture ministry’s superintendent for southern Sardinia, said: “The two large and heavy blocks of torsos will need time to be freed from the sediment surrounding them and to be prepared for safe recovery.”

“It’s an exceptional discovery,” said the Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini, further adding that it would shed further light on ancient Mediterranean culture. “Two new jewels add to the mysterious charm of this group of statues,” he said.

Ministry of Culture

Header Image – Giant of Mont’e Prama from previous excavations during the 1970s – Image Credit : Alice Agus

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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