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Article and photos by Isabella Dalla Vecchia -
Traduction by Ilaria La Porta -
We thanks Tele Indipendentzia for photos and documents.

The discovery
In March of 1974 at Monti Prama - Sinis / Cabras (Or), a farmer during a simple plowing, inadvertently touched something unusual, a giant head of a statue!
Frightened by the discovery he asked for help to Local authorities. They spoke with  two of the most famous Sardinian archaeologists at that  time, Giovanni Lilliu and Enrico Atzeni, who gave their approval to the largest and most mysterious discovery in the Sardinian territory.
The excavations brought to light 30 gigantic stone statues, about two meters high, at least from 2700 years ago.

These 30 warriors, including archers and boxers, probably were guardians of a tomb, like the famous Chinese warriors but with a difference from them, they are not the exact copy of a human beings, but show unusual features:  they have eyes like two superimposed circles and their mouth is a simple slot.
Hairstyle is similar to Celtic style with braids and they wear oriental clothes.
But what makes them unique is their titanic height, with a range between 2 and 2.60 meters! Shoes size is EU 52!
Statues are made in sandstone, standing straight and with arms folded to keep shields or weapons.
The statues were found in a sacred area above the bases that delimited "Nuraghe tombs" and several "betili" (items like menhir).
Giovanni Lilliu, the archaeologist who worked on the excavations, told that at the time of discover the clear and warm sun that characterized the day was suddenly overshadowed by a terrible storm that  hit while the statues were brought to light. It seemed that the ancient had awakened with all the statues, a feeling impossible to describe as recalls a fearfully  Lilliu.

The concealment
What is unbelievable and amazing is the fact that about this incredible and astonishing founding nobody has talked about beside during this few past years. In fact they were "abandoned" for 32 years in the museum of Cagliari, but not in a visiting room, but in damp and dark basement ... why?
Only in 2003, when they were almost entirely forgotten, it was finally decided to transport them in a center of restoration at "Li Punti", near the city of Sassari, in the north of Sardinia.
This gesture was made probably in response to pressure from many scholars and fans who found it absurd that one of the most incredible discovery of our country was slowly crumbling in the underground of a museum! Why?
Why so exceptional statues were always hidden? Why was not given them a space worthy of the museum which firstly  should gather the entire history of Sardinia?

Thousand of questions and no answers, the only certainty was that the Giants instead of starting to see the light of the sun, the day of their discovery went back to the dark.
Is it normal that in 32 years no one at the museum of Cagliari hasn’t had the desire to expose this discovery, perhaps by affecting his name in the history of Sardinian archeology?
Today the statues are at "Li Punti" under the careful work of conservators who are assembling one  each other almost 4000 pieces, that the bad "conservation" done by the Museum of Cagliari has not helped to improve the situation.

Observing them more closely we are invaded by 1000 questions. Who was supposed to defend this army? A king or people? Foreigners or forces of evil? Who has carved them?

The hairstyles are Celtic, the helmets have horns, the shields are elaborated.
They are very similar to the bronzes found at "Abini / Serri" (named of the places of discovery: Abini / Teti and Santa / Serri) for faces, clothing and weapons and this is the reason why they are dated between the VI and VIII centuries BC period when Shardana (the people of the Sardinian sea) would have already shot the known world, acquiring many knowledge in clothing (east), in the hair (Celtic) and weapons.
Real dating has never been found, but there are other assumptions that go from 2700 BC to the 1st  millennium BC up to  the seventh century BC.
The first Shardana’s forms of art are the bronzes from UTA, but after a disaster (which recalls the events of Atlantide) they were forced to leave the island in 1200 BC, traveling then around the world. When they came back they built the Great Statue for some unknown reason.

Later in the second century BC Sardinia had become very powerful having as capital Tharros, a Phoenician city, that any army has ever subdue. In 540 BC the Carthaginian general Malko after conquering almost all of Sicily with 80,000 men, tried unsuccessfully to invade Sardinia, but was decimated.

But there isn’t an explanation on why their eyes were built with two concentric circles as if they were glasses. Perhaps was it an attempt to represent the pupil or did they want to draw something else? In the history of humanity eyes have never been drown in  that way.

Maybe they derive from the most ancient Greek statues, the Kuro and Kore (female and male statue), very stylized, which are close to this style of sculpture.
But if you focus the data, the Giant of Monti Prama are absolutely antecedents.
Maybe the Greek statues were inspired by the Giants?

The statues are very stylized with a very pronounced nose. Eyes’ circles are perfect. The arched eyebrows are very marked maybe do to the  wish to highlight the thick eyebrows, classic feature of Sardinia people.
The big feet EU size 52 are very present and they base on safe broad bases. They are all archers and boxers, only one is a warrior. On some of them have been found some trace of red and black color. Up to now it has not been possible to rebuild a complete statue. Certainly have been identified  25 statues of which 17 are Boxers and 8 archers.

The Boxers
All have :

  • Naked chest
  • A skirt kept on by surrounding laces
  • A plain  helmet (maybe to represent a skin or fabric one)
  • Long braids combed in  "Celtic style"
  • The right arm has a protective leather up to the hand and holds the shortest part of the shield
  • The left arm holds the shield covering the head as to "defense"

The characteristic of Boxers is the left arm that holds a shield to protect the head, while the right arm holds the short part of the shield. This action was often followed during the battle to defend themselves from the rain of arrows from the enemy archers.
The Boxers in this case are therefore in a defensive and not attacking position. They have similarities with the bronzes of DORGALI

The archery
All have:

  • A chest plate
  • A short tunic
  • A helmet with horns
  • Long braids combed in the "Celtic style"
  • Their calves are protected by greave
  • The left arm holds the bow
  • The right arm is in a "offer position" or holding a shield
  • They are neither to defend nor to attack, but they are at rest.

They are in a rest position because with their right hand sometimes they seem to hold a shield, others tend to sign the bid. They differ a lot among themselves, thing that does not happen in the group of Boxers which are much more similar one each other. They have similarities with the bronzes of TETI ABINI

The warrior
There is only one warrior which cannot be described in detail because he is almost completely destroyed.

The model of Nuraghe and Betili (a sort of menhir)
With them were found patterns of Nuraghe.

The discovery of the tombs
The well tombs, where they have been found, are called in this way because they contained bodies in  fetal position. In total are 33 bodies, almost one for each statue-warrior.
The tombs have no funerary wealth. Only in one tomb was found a scarab of the seventh century BC, Egyptian style as Hyksos, the only evidence on which it is possible to date the statue, although if it is probable that the tombs have been re-used in a later periods.

Sardinia is full of ancient bronzes (also considering the thousands of Artcrafts stolen by grave robbers and  sold to private parties), but statues of this type, that recall the bronzes, were found only here. Which is something. The hard work, in addition to restoration, is also done so to understand them and the message that for millennia they carry on: who build them and why?  The burial area in which they were found, full of equipment or signs, was dedicated to a family or clan, which was not of particular importance. But they were there, to guard this place.
The archaeologist TRONCHETTI, says that Boxers are not "real soldiers" but are "Warriors of worship", perhaps to represent a sort of funerary ritual to defend the soul so to accompany it to the afterlife, where any bronze weapon was useful against the forces of darkness.

The enigma of the eyes

Among the means of processing it is assumed there was the compass, or something like that, without which it would have been impossible to achieve eye circles so perfect. Certainly have been used tools made of metal or bronze for the sculpture, chisels, scrapers, drills. Some of the steps require the use of "Gradina" a kind of chisel with serrated edge of which, however, we have some news for the first time centuries later, only by  the sixth century BC in Greece.

Eyes made of two concentric circles almost are able to magnetize the eyes of those who look at them. They have an hypnotic gaze due to accentuated  eyebrows and nose which give emphasis to the three-dimensionality of eyes which disappear in the shadow of an unnatural face. 
 The eyes seem to talk where their mouth is absent, just pronounced. As statues, they cannot emit any sound, but they can only talk with the eyes, the true voice of the soul. They seem to speak to us but we don’t know how to listen and we keep staring at them  for hours without even knowing why.

Ancient technologies


Monti Prama is near Oristano in the west coast of Sardinia but today the statue are in the north of isle.

Article and photos by Isabella Dalla Vecchia -
Traduction by Ilaria La Porta -

The article was written based on sources found by
“Le Tombe e gli eroi, considerazione sulla statuaria di Monte Prama”
P.Bernardini – R.Zucca – Carlo Tronchetti
(c) photo Tele Indipendentzia Staff iTB > indipendentzia TeleBisura - -