A group of archaeologists stumbled across 2 statues of "stone giants" believed to date back at least 3,000 years. The discovery was made on the Italian island of Sardinia. The civilization that carved the statues is also thought to have built megalithic monuments across the island.
Giants of Mount Prama or Kolossoi of Mont’e Prama are Nuragic sculptures sculpted in an oval shape and located in the Italian region of Sardinia near the town of Cabras on the Island of Sardinia.
Stone sculptures created by the Nuragic civilization have been found at the site in previous excavations. The Nuragic culture in Sardinia dates from the Bronze Age to Roman times. It is named after the Nuraghi – tower fortresses built having false domes.
Multi-tower nuraghe constructions were the tallest megalithic constructions – second only to the Egyptian pyramids. Experts believe these monuments were built in the Mediterranean protohistoric period during the Bronze Age. One of the tallest towers on the island is the Nuraghe Arrubiu (Orroli). It stands thirty meters in height.
In general, there are nineteen towers in that monument, articulated around several courtyards, covering an area of approximately 3,000 square meters, minus the village outside the walls.
This civilization is also believed to have constructed the Tombs of the Giants, a collection of nearly 800 gallery tombs, in either a “slab-type” or “block-type” format. Recent excavations on Monte de Prama turned up two stone giants whose torsos bore the marks of boxers from Cavalupo, each wearing a shield around their bodies.
The new statues join around 40 others previously discovered near Cabras, in the province of Oristano, that depict boxers, wrestlers, warriors, and archers.
The recent discovery is similar to another two sculptures excavated a few meters away in 2014 and is now on display at the local museum, the Italian Ministry of Culture said.
Many of Monte de Prama’s stone giants are believed to be mythical heroes guarding tombs or pantheons of Nuragic deities with disk-shaped eyes. Meanwhile, ancient astronaut theorists viewed them as alien robots.
“It’s an exceptional discovery,” Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini said. “Two new jewels add to the mysterious allure of this group of statues.”
MonicaStochino, superintendent of the Ministry of Culture for southern Sardinia, explained that it would take time to free the massive stone blocks from the sediment that surrounds them and prepare them for restoration and further studies.
Furthermore, researchers said that it would likely require considerable time and effort to examine, clean, and remove the large torsos due to the fragility of the limestone in which they are carved, but it will certainly provide new information.
The Kolossoi – the name that archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu gave to the statues – are dated between the 11th and 8th centuries BC, depending on the different hypotheses. According to archaeologists, these might be the oldest sculptures of anthropomorphs in the Mediterranean, after the Egyptian statues and even having been carved long before the kouroi in ancient Greece.
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