The Mont’e Prama Giants: A Massive Archaeological Mystery

The Mont’e Prama Giants: A Massive Archaeological Mystery

1974, Sinis region, Sardinia (Oristano): the plow of a farmer being blocked by a piece of stone marked the beginning of a series of excavations in the area of Mont'e Prama, near the village of Cabras. Unable to continue plowing, the man got off the tractor and perplexedly examined an outcropping of stone. Digging with his hands, he pulled a huge head out of the ground. It had double-carved eyes, something he had never seen before and which no one else had laid eyes on for many centuries. Thus began the mystery of the Mont’e Prama Giants.

What came to light immediately held considerable importance: in the approximately 50 meters (164 ft.) that initially delimited the burial ground, there were numerous stone slabs that covered many tombs with large statues originally placed above them. The dating, at the time not completely certain, assigned the construction to the 9th century BC and was attributed to the families of local aristocrats. It was obviously a sacred complex of great importance. Never before had such an imposing and pronounced complex been found, with a form of statuary so unusual and older than the Greeks.

Reconstruction of a Mont’e Prama grave. (DedaloNur/CC BY SA 3.0 )

The statues soon began to be studied, despite the scarcity of means and funds at the time, and boxers, archers and warriors soon were unearthed with models of nuraghe and betyls (from the Hebrew Beth-El, house of God) - stones of sacred value worked in a truncated cone shape, sometimes with quadrangular recesses.

A betyl. (Author provided)

Over time, 16 big statues of boxers emerged, all over two meters (6.56 ft.) tall and carrying a large shield raised over their heads and a glove armed with spikes on their right hands; six warriors were found with a round shield and armed with a sword, wearing long, horned helmets; six archers also emerged from the earth with their quivers and a finely decorated bow in their left hands, as well as 13 menhir-like betyls and nuraghe models.

The finds began to be collected and catalogued and a selection of the more than 5000 fragments have been exhibited since 1980 at the museum of Cagliari.

In December 1979 the excavations stopped. The row of tombs showed slabs put at the ends as if to indicate the end of the burial ground. Tests carried out in the continuation both towards South and North and trenches towards the West gave negative results.

After 30 years, the numerous blocks were transferred to the center of Li Punti, where an analysis and intervention laboratory was set up to restore and study the statues with various types of scientific investigations. They were found to have realistic decorations on the shields, armor, and weapons.

Some of the Mont’e Prama Giants. (Author Provided)

About 30 years passed, in which the Giants , as they became known, were hosted in some exhibitions, and studies continued. But it was only in 2014, thanks to a University of Sardinia research project together with the Archaeological Superintendence of Cagliari that excavations resumed at the site where the Mont’e Prama Giants had been found; this brought new extraordinary finds to light.

In particular, two figures were found, one still with the head connected to the body, which are assumed to be magicians or priests. They differ from all the others because of their shoes - the other statues are for the most part barefoot - and a particular cone shaped headgear, curiously of the same type as a bronze statuette found in a tomb in Lazio (Vulci), where a Nuragic princess and her Etruscan husband were buried. And other Giants seem to be waiting for their turn to return to the light as well.

But why is the Mont’e Prama site so important?

The Most Extraordinary Archaeological Discovery of the 21st Century

The statues found at Mont'e Prama are unique, both in appearance and age. And they date back several centuries. In fact, before the discovery there was no news of such impressive artistic elements prior to the Greek and Etruscan statuary documented to the beginning of the seventh century BC. But the Giants changed everything and dealt a decisive blow to the usual perception classical archaeology had assigned to the Nuragic culture (second half of the 2nd millennium BC).

Mont'e Prama revealed a much more refined culture than was previously thought. It shows a culture that was able to produce an imposing sacred complex and the most ancient statues of the Mediterranean basin and Europe.

Bedini excavation (1975) of Mont’e Prama, Sardinia, Italy.

From the findings we can understand that the Iron Age in Sardinia, from the 9th century BC, was an extremely varied and culturally active period. It seems clear that the island at this time was a crossroads of populations, cultural and artistic influences, and ideas; literally it was at the center of a specialized network of art and trade professionals. The Sardinian people exported their goods from Andalusia to Morocco and throughout the Mediterranean area in northern Africa.

Sardinia thus participated directly in the trade and perhaps assimilated construction techniques and stylistic influences, creating the first great statues in Europe. The constitutive peculiarities of the Giants, the highly suggestive eyes , the realistic decorations of the panoply (complete armor), the large shields, the imposing positions with the shield raised or the bent arms supporting the bow, clearly state that the creators of the Mont'e Prama area had access to avant-garde techniques for the time, and their work was very refined.

Not only that, the uniqueness of the complex and impressive statuary tells us that there were aristocracies so powerful and rich that they wanted to hand down their culture through a refined example that would last for many centuries. The site itself, as will be discovered through a new generation of geo-radar thanks to the geophysicist Prof. Gaetano Ranieri, is known to be much more extensive than what has emerged today, and it testifies to the considerable constructive and artistic skills of the people.

It is very interesting that this new vision of Sardinia offered by Mont'e Prama matches what is presented in classical sources. According to Diodorus Siculus, the island was inhabited by the 50 sons of Heracles, conceived with the daughters of Thespius, the Thespiades. Supposedly the hero wanted to populate Sardinia before being hired by the Gods and sent his nephew Iolaus to lead the Thespiades to colonize Sardinia.

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‘Daughters of Thespius’ (1853) by Gustave Moreau.

The result was a sort of paradise where the inhabitants produced valuable architectural works, gymnasiums, and courts – this was the image of a happy island. A tradition reported by Pseudo - Aristotle adds interesting notes about the advanced culture and art of the island, which in ancient times would have been scattered with temples of exquisite workmanship and fields cultivated with technologies that were unusually advanced for their time.

The Heroon of Mont’e Prama

The site is considered by many scholars to be a Heroon, a monumental sanctuary dedicated to a hero (or exemplary heroes) who became mythical or mythological over time. The area is located about two km (1.24 miles) from the pond of Cabras and is essentially formed by a series of 60 cockpit tombs with a depth between 70 and 80 cm (27.56-31.50 inches), aligned on a north-south vector, (others without slabs are located further east). They run alongside a road and many are covered by slabs about 20 cm (7.87 inches) thick, on which about 5,000 sculptural fragments of statues, betyls, and models of sandstone nuraghe were scattered.

The betyls are created with different materials than the statues. They are made of sandstone while the statues are of limestone. Sandstone is located a few kilometers from Mont'e Prama, while the limestone was extracted from the quarries between S'Archittu and Santa Caterina (Cuglieri) posing new questions about how the blocks were transported.

Various models of nuraghe have also been found that sometimes deviate from the classical image; they are rather complex: some of them even have eight towers (however, we do not have examples of this style in Sardinia) of various sizes joined by terraces to a larger central body. They are rather unusual and resemble small medieval castles .

A nuraghe found with the Mont’e Prama Giants. (DedaloNur/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

The beginning and the end of the burial ground is marked by two vertical sunken stones adjacent to the first and last tomb. About 20 meters (65.62 ft.) from them, to the west, are the remains of a Nuragic hut.

At the time of opening, all the tombs were devoid of any funerary equipment, except for number 25, which returned an Egyptian scarab from the 12th/ 11th century BC, reused in a necklace.

Scarab and fibula found in tomb 25. (DedaloNur/CC BY SA 3.0 )

What Do the Mont’e Prama Giants Look Like?

The statues, carved from a single block of stone, mainly represent boxers, archers, and warriors with round shields, all of them around 2.30 meters (7.55 ft.) tall. Several of them have helmets with frontal horns, visible combat gloves, a cap on the head from which long braids descend, and large shields which are held above the head.

All of the statues show feet resting on irregular squares with well-outlined toes, well-shaped faces, and especially unique eyes, marked by a double concentric circle executed to perfection, and a pillar nose.

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Head of one of the Mont’e Prama Giants. ( spritz77 /Adobe Stock)

The boxers are bare-chested, wearing a sort of triangular tip back skirt with perceivable closing laces, while the archers wear a tunic. The warriors also wear armor on their tunics. Archers are copies of Sardinian bronzes found everywhere in Sardinia and Etruria. Other elements present are the well-sculpted and visible greaves (leg guards), and in some cases a two-horned helmet. Quivers and sword sheaths are clearly visible.

Left: Nuragic bronze boxer warrior . (Shardan/ CC BY SA 3.0 ) Right: Giant of Mont’e Prama boxer warrior. (DedaloNur/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

An anthropological analysis conducted on recovered bone remains shows that they belong to young men. Radioactive carbon (C-14) dating places the site to between 1100 and 800 BC.

The Expanding Archaeological Site

Sardinian archaeological authorities state that the burials and other elements at the site suggest this was meant to be an imposing complex aimed at celebrating deceased nobles or exemplary ancestors who magnificently represent the best characteristics of the local civilization.

The construction methods identify three phases inserted chronologically between the 9th and the end of the 8th century BC: in the oldest one the tombs were excavated, in the second one the perimeter was delimited with a fence and stone slabs covered the tombs, and in the last phase the statues were made. These create an appropriate monumental decoration for a site of evident importance for the Nuragic civilization.

According to the 1st century historian Diodorus Siculus, between the 10th and 7th century BC warrior aristocracies developed in the area and imposed their power on other local people. It is commonly believed that these aristocracies commissioned the construction of the Heroon to glorify their success and their wealth.

The necropolis can also be framed in its cultural place through the evaluation of the populations that gravitated around the area. The hill of the site is in fact the home of several Nuragic structures . Unfortunately we do not know the exact date of these buildings and therefore we cannot directly link them with the necropolis.

However, other nearby Nuragic sites are certainly contemporary. Moreover, the Phoenician colony of Tharros was about 10 km (6.2 miles) away and it is certain that there was constant contact between the two areas due to the discovery of small Nuragic objects in Phoenician burial sites near Mont'e Prama. This could suggest the possibility of the two ethnic groups mixing.

Ruins of the Phoenician colony of Tharros. (Author provided)

Damnatio Memoriae

The excavations also outlined an interesting final epilogue to the history of the Mont'e Prama area: the destruction of the statues into thousands of pieces. Their heads were taken off and eye lines were erased in a sort of eternal damnatio memoriae . Someone has deliberately erased the traces of the civilization that produced the Mont'e Prama site. But who? When? And most importantly why?

It's difficult to say with certainty, since there is no specific data about the event except a partial dating on the basis of the analyses carried out. The destruction of the statues, betyls, and all that surrounded the tombs took place before 300 BC. On the basis of this data, various hypotheses have been put forward; all are possible explanations for the destruction: a Carthaginian expedition, internal wars between the various tribes or local people to conquer the territory, Phoenician incursions of the nearby colony of Tharros, natural degradation of the stones, and the site being used as a landfill.

New Discoveries

The discovery of a monumental necropolis in an unimposing field far from hot springs and raw materials poses many questions, especially of its real intention. Was there anything like a built-up area or a shrine at Mont'e Prama that could justify the presence of a necropolis? A research project was set up involving the two universities of the island : on the technological side was the University of Cagliari, which was directed by Prof. G. Ranieri, and the archaeological side was covered by Prof. R. Zucca’s team from the University of Sassari.

In 2013 the Cagliari unit highlighted numerous possible archaeological structures. To the north and south of the old archaeological area they found circular (Nuragic huts?), rectangular (buildings?), linear and flat (roads?), elliptical (fences?), and row (tombs?) anomalies, and, nearby there were important scattered anomalies (statues?). Many innovative geophysical methods were used (multi-channel georadar, 3D electric tomography, thermal tomography, ARP, etc.) and the 7-hectare subsoil around the old archaeological site was scanned and digitally represented up to three meters (9.84 ft.) deep.

Prof. Ranieri’s mobile georadar. (Prof. Ranieri)

In 2014, multi-channel georadar immediately showed important anomalies. Prof. Zucca's team, together with the Superintendence Department, verified the integrity of the method that was used with high precision (sometimes down to the centimeter.) They discovered two enormous beetles (2.35x 60 cm), lined with millenary furrows from plows and placed at the edge of two other groups of four tombs each.

More than 4000 finds were brought to light - feet, statue heads, busts with quivers, and many models of nuraghe. Further geophysical research discovered two unusual statues of unarmed people, one of which with its head still attached to the body. In 2015 the geophysical exploration of Prof. Ranieri's unit led to the finding of another 8 hectares with important anomalies still waiting to be verified.

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Top: A map of one hectare at 0.8 m depth situated North of the archaeological site. We can see a road, a paved square, a rectangular construction, and a Nuragic hut. Bottom: An area of 1.2 hectares explored in one day at 0.8 m depth. We can see a line of tombs, an enclosure surrounded by an elliptical border for funeral celebrations, and a paved construction. (Author provided)

In 2015 / 2016 the Archaeological Superintendence of Cagliari, with the participation in 2017 of the University of Sassari, carried out extensive research outside the area of the 1974-1979 findings, verifying the archaeological correspondence of the anomalies found in 2014 by Prof. Ranieri’s team. Other elements (a monumental wall) excavated by the Superintendence in the N-NW direction corresponds to the anomalies revealed by the electrical and Georadar investigations.

It is obvious that there is a vast, hidden universe under the surface just waiting to be brought to light.

The apparent resistivity map of a two hectare area at a depth of 0.6m explored in only one hour and 22 minutes. We can see a rectangular construction (a temple?), two lines of graves and some circular anomalies probably representing Nuragic huts. (Author provided)

The author would like to sincerely thank Prof. Ranieri and Prof. Zucca for their kind help in drafting this article.

Pierluigi Tombetti is the author of Hitler’s Occult Enigma – The Third Reich and the New World Order (in Italian). Visit his website at www.pierluigitombetti.com.


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Teaser

ANDREW COLLINS: They have these very strange, circular eyes.

JASON MARTELL: This pyramid almost looks like a large launch ramp on top of a platform.

GIORGIO A. TSOUKALOS: Look at the size of these blocks.  I mean, that one right there is a minimum of one ton.

NARRATOR: But are they extraterrestrial?

TIMOTHY ALBERINO:  There was something very unusual happening on this island.

NARRATOR: Oak Island treasure hunter Marty Lagina

MARTY LAGINA: The effort to create this is extraordinary.

NARRATOR: joins ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos

LAGINA: What do you think that represents?

TSOUKALOS: It could be some type of a flying craft.

NARRATOR: for a sky high exploration of one of the most unusual places on Earth.

DAVID CHILDRESS: It's possible that Sardinia was the epicenter for giants in the ancient world.

NARRATOR: Will Marty help Giorgio solve a centuries-old mystery?

TSOUKALOS: Look at this. It's a perfect circle.

NARRATOR: And will Marty return home convinced that aliens really do exist?

LAGINA:  I am literally wowed by this.  Someone or some ones had extraordinary knowledge. ΐ]

Act 1

Sardinia, Italy.  2,000 years ago, Sardinia was home to a mysterious megalithic culture called the "Nuragic civilization."  There are tens of thousands of megalithic stone towers called "nuraghe," tombs of the giants and even a pyramid. Giorgio Tsoukalos traveled to Sardinia in May of 2018 to meet with Oak Island treasure hunter Marty Lagina.  According to ancient astronaut theory, the gods mated with women of Earth, producing giants.  

Giorgio and Marty visit the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari.  On display are stone statues called the Giants of Mont'e Prama.  In 1974, archaeologists recovered over 5,000 broken remnants from a farmer's field.  Mainstream historians say the statues were carved by the Nuragic people, who inhabited the island for 2,000 years from 1800 BC until 200 AD.  The circular disc eyes give the statues the appearance of robots. The statues were found at Mont'e Prama, and are seven and a half to eight feet tall.  They were not displayed at the museum until the year 2000.  The statues do not conform to the conventional archaeological narrative on the island, indicating something unusual.

Giorgio and Marty meet with tour guide Maria Paola Loi.  Giorgio compares the Giganti statues to the giant-eyed statues in Tell Asmar from ancient Sumerian and Babylonian times.  Archeologists say the Nuragic people probably arrived from Mesopotamia, implying connection to the Anunnaki.  Language connections between Sardinia and Mesopotamia suggest the Sardinians came from Mesopotamia, and brought traditions of the Anunnaki.  Wall reliefs depict the Anunnaki as larger beings of greater stature than other Sumerian human beings.  The Sardinian giant statues could be depicting the Anunnaki.

Act 2

"Cyclopean architecture" - only a Cyclops could have lifted the massive boulders into place

The architecture of the island is called "cyclopean" because only a Cyclops could have built it.  The Greek epic, The Odyssey  tells of a Cyclops named Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, the god of the sea.  The Cyclops were a legendary race of one-eyed giants.  The massive towers in Greece and Sardinia are thought to have been built by the Cyclops, who were the only ones strong enough to lift the giant boulders into place.

Sa Domu e S'orcu: A Tomb of the Giants

Giorgio and Marty, along with guide Ivana Malu, travel to the town of Siddi to visit Sa Domu e S'orcu: A Tomb of the Giants.  There are over 800 such structures on the island.  Although no bones were found in Sa Domu e S'orcu, many other of the tombs did contain human remains.  Archeologists say that giants could not fit in the tombs, although they are big enough for a nine to 12 foot giant.  Timothy Alberino says that the giants were buried underneath the tombs, and the edifice raised above.  In 1953, two over eight-foot-tall skeletons were discovered, along with other artifacts.  

Giorgio, Marty and Ivana enter the tomb, where the largest stone is 12 tons.  Alberino describes what the Nuragic culture called the "rite of incubation", where people would stay overnight in the tomb above the buried giants to absorb their power, prowess, and might.  The theorists speculate on the planning, motivation, and possible extraterrestrial origin of giants that inhabited Sardinia.

Act 3

There are more than 10,000 standing stones known as menhirs throughout Europe, and hundreds on Sardinia.  Giorgio Tsoukalos, Marty Lagina, and Ivana Malu meet at the Menhir Museum in Laconi.  The relief carvings on the stones look like a winged being or angel going down, possibly "the watchers" from the Bible.  Mainstream archeology interprets the spear shape below the winged being on the menhir as a dagger, but Giorgio interprets it as a flying craft.  

Nephilim, the Mighty Ones of Old -- Biblical giant mutant offspring of the "watchers" and human women

The watchers were angels sent by God to watch over mankind.  The watchers mated with human women producing a race of giant mutants known as Nephilim, the "mighty ones of old", who caused havoc and led God to bring the flood.  There are ancient legends that there were others besides Noah and his family who survived the flood in other places.  Sardinia may have been a refuge for the Nephilim.  

The stepped pyramid known as Monte d'Accoddi

Giorgio and Marty take a helicopter to view the ancient structures from the sky.  The stepped pyramid known as Monte d'Accoddi was built around 4000 BC.  The stepped pyramid resembles a ziggurat in Mesopotamia or the Canary Island of Tenerife.  Monte d'Accoddi was exposed to fire, and covered with earth around 2800 BC.  Jason Martell  speculates that the structure was used as a loading dock for spacecraft.  The ancient structures on Sardinia may have been built by a race of extraterrestrial, or by early humans who mimicked extraterrestrial activity.  The answers might be found in a structure built to track celestial events.

Act 4

Stonework of the Well of Santa Cristina appears modern, but is 3,000 years old.

Paulilatino, Sardinia, May 2018.  Giorgio Tsoukalos, Marty Lagina, and guide Ivana Malu meet with archeoastronomer Mauro Peppino Zeddato at the sacred Well of Santa Cristina, which was built about 1800 BC to track a rare celestial event.  Although the stones are perfectly cut, giving the appearance of modern construction, the well is 3,000 years old.  Giorgio believes that the well's stonework and its connection to celestial events indicate that a race of extraterrestrial giants inhabited the island.  

The group enters the well, noting the perfection of its construction.  The cupola was built to observe the Moon at Its maximum, every 18.6 years, when the full moon reflects its light in the water.  The event, called "The Lunar Standstill," is when the moon is at its highest point in the sky.  It is a mystery how an ancient civilization without mathematics or written language could plan and construct such a precise method of tracking such a rare lunar cycle.  Giorgio and Marty agree that extraordinary knowledge was required to build the structure.  Someone may have given the ancient Sardinians advanced engineering knowledge.  Giorgio believes the engineering knowledge was given to the local culture by extraterrestrials, because the legends and statuary indicate someone descending from the sky.  

More answers could be found in the Biblical story of the Nephilim, offspring of angels and human women.  The Nephilim studied astronomy, celestial cycles, architecture.  The Nephilim could have taught humanity the knowledge of the 18.61-year lunar cycle, and the knowledge could have been brought to Sardinia.  The Bible says the Nephilim were destroyed in the flood, but that some survived.  The survivors may have moved to Sardinia, founding a Moon-worshipping culture with the ancient Nuragic people.  Other structures in Sardinia point to origins of the Nephilim.

Act 5

Sardinia has thousands of megalithic towers, known as nuraghe, constructed using colossal stones without the use of mortar.  The conventional narrative of the towers is that they were constructed as fortifications.  There is no explanation of how an agrarian culture could have built 30,000 towers.  Giorgio Tsoukalos, Marty Lagina, and guide Ivana Malu visit the nuraghe of Santu Antine.  Giorgio recalls connections suggested of the nuraghe to the Pleiades constellation.

Seven Nuraghe correlate with the stars of the Pleiades.

Italian archaeologist Augusto Mulas wrote that the Pleiades constellation was an important part of ancient Babylonian and other religions.  Ancient astronaut theorists suggest a connection between the Pleiades constellation and ancient Babylonian stories of the Anunnaki and  the "watchers" in the Bible.  The Pleiades is a special constellation to the Maya, the Cherokee, and others as the place of origin of our creators.  They believe that beings have been travelling to and from the Pleiades for millennia.  Theorists speculate that the Nuragic people perhaps were in contact with beings from the Pleiades.  The nuraghe towers may have been a star map, showing where the extraterrestrials came from.  The race of giants on Sardinia could have been the Nephilim, who survived the Great Flood.

Act 6

The stories of giants on Sardinia have persisted for centuries with little physical evidence.  In 1979, giant bones were discovered during excavations.  Excavations of Nuragic ruins in the town of Sardara, underneath the Church of Sant'Anastasia have revealed skeletons of giants from nine to 12 feet tall.  The bones of the giants disappeared overnight after their discovery.  Hundreds of other excavated bones of giants have also been secreted away.  Giorgio and Marty had been promised access to a giant bone, but the offer was rescinded, implying censorship.  

Giorgio and Marty discussing the trip

Marty discusses the trip with Giorgio, who is convinced that our ancestors were all taught by the same teachers.  Giorgio says the ancient astronaut theory is proven with a conglomeration of evidence, as supported on Sardinia by the structures, stories and statues.  Marty is ambivalent but intrigued by the theories.  Sardinia may yet contain the remains of a race of ancient giant human-extraterrestrial hybrids.


The Mont’e Prama Giants: A Massive Archaeological Mystery - History

At the dawn of Nuragic civilisation, the Sinis shows a strange lack of archaic nuraghes and the megalithic tombs connected to them.
This absence sets the Sinis apart from the Nuragic districts of the Montiferru and Campidano. Thus, as stated by scholar Alessandro Usai, «the Sinis seems not to have been involved in the development of the first Nuragic monuments. For a good part of the Middle Bronze Age it only had small scattered settlements, with low population and limited pressure on environmental resources» (Usai 2014, page 32).

The Nuragic Period

Between the Middle Bronze Age 3 and the Recent Bronze Age, from the 16 th to the 13 th centuries BC, we witness the massive spread of classic nuraghes in two areas of the Sinis district: central-northern, in the territory of today’s San Vero Milis and Riola Sardo, and central-southern, in the territory of Cabras.

From the earliest archaeological investigations, the Sinis revealed a high density of nuraghes. According to a recent count by scholar Alessandro Usai, some ninety-three nuraghes have been found in this area: the least frequent type is the simple, or single-tower nuraghe of normal size. There are several complex nuraghes, and finally a large number of small nuraghes, known as nuracheddus.

About seventy-one Nuragic settlements have also been discovered: they developed in the golden age of the Nuragic fortresses and continued to be inhabited after their decline.

The most notable are the nuraghes Sàrgara, Piscina Arrubia, Su Cadalanu, Leporada and Matta Tramontis in the southern area in the territory of Cabras, and Su Cunventu, Spinarba, Nurache ‘e Mesu and Sa ‘e Procus in the northern part belonging to San Vero Milis.
Thus, this territory is dotted by nuraghes and settlements which generally occupy the summit of hills and the borders of the plateaux, forming a network established to control and manage the area. The area also shows surprising scarcity of the classic Nuragic collective burials, the ‘tombs of the giants’: only three are known, of which two destroyed and one (Su Cuccuru Mannu of Riola) not constructed but dug out of a sandstone ridge. The religious structures are also few in number, either destroyed or in very poor condition. The most notable ones are the sacred well of Cuccuru ‘e is Arrius and the hypogeum of San Salvatore, dating from the Roman Imperial period, consisting of a round underground chamber and an access staircase. It recalls very closely the design of Nuragic holy wells and might have originated from one of them.

The Phoenician-Punic age

Between the 12 th and the 9 th centuries BC, in the late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, in the Nuragic communities we note an interesting presence of pottery and bronze objects of eastern origin, first Cypriot and subsequently Phoenician. In this period there is evidence of trading between the different peoples and cultures, but the foreign traders did not yet establish true settlements. From the 8 th and 7 th centuries BC, Phoenician presence on the island became more stable. Particularly important was the area of Tharros, whose Phoenician settlement dated from the 7 th century BC, developing in the areas of Capo San Marco and San Giovanni.

The Punic (i.e. Carthaginian) presence is documented starting from the 6 th century BC.


The mysteries of Sardinia

An extraordinary island located in the midst of the Mediterranean sea, ancient and unknown civilizations, imposing megalithic constructions: Indagini e Misteri comes to Sardinia to lead a fascinating adventure. Where the mother earth and the rock merge in a mystic harmony and the sea caresses the quiet banks, deep mysteries are hidden along the history of that magical place. Is it possible the mythical Atlantis, descripted by the philosopher Plato more than two thousand years ago, is located in Sardinia? Moreover, how is it possible that a Templar church exists near Sassari, in a place so far from the lands of the medieval crusades?

Sardinia: a magical island which origins from the earth and lives inside the hard rock, as in a millennial embrace. A place where the sea laps ancient beaches, where history, legend, mysteries merge into an arcane and irresistible call. Since ancient times the region has known powerful and prosperous civilizations, but also quite mysterious. The oldest finds date back to twenty thousand years ago, but the most important period of development of the Sardinian populations is the Neolithic (6000-4000 BC). Salient feature of this phase are the numerous ceramic finds engraved by the use of a shell.

Prenuragic civilizations

There is mention of some important pre-Nuragic civilizations, such as the culture of Bonu-Ighinu (about 3500 BC) and of San Michele di Ozieri (2700 BC). Particularly relevant are the spirituality and the cult of the dead, attested by finds of extraordinary importance and significance. In this time, collective burials appear (today called domus de janas or fairy houses).

The ancient Sardinians believed that after death the spirit of the dead continued to live in burial chambers. For this reason, these places were carefully adorned and had a basic importance in the pre-Nuragic cultures. Moreover, the religiosity of these peoples was exquisitely linked to the territory and nature, to fertility, including that one of women. Evidence of this cult are the statues, found in good condition, in marble or clay, of the “Mother Goddess”. It represented the heavenly transfiguration of the earthly mother, in the sense of a benign and generous nature.

The “Mother Goddess” of the Bonu Ighinu culture, representation from the Civic Museum of Cabras (OR)

The menhirs, called pedras fittas in Sardinia, are linked to the same cult of the prenuragic civilizations. These are megalithic stones embedded in the ground, which represented a phallic symbolism or linked to the female fertility. In particular, one of the meanings related to the menhirs is the “Bull-God”. As the Mother Goddess propitiated the gifts and spontaneous fruits of the earth, it symbolized the fruitfulness of the land in agriculture. In Sardinia there are more than 700 menhirs, arranged in complexes called “sacred centers”, or alone. It is also possible that the menhirs were a representation of the gods. The ancient inhabitants of Sardinia went there in proximity to receive the vital energy, in connection with the mother earth.

Menhir, archeological area of Biru ‘e Concas – Sorgono (NU)

Nuragic age

From about 1800 BC a new civilization developed in Sardinia: it is the Nuragic civilization, mostly organized in small tribal nuclei. It takes its name from the most characteristic buildings, the Nuraghes, which still today dominate the landscape of the island.

Nuraghe, archeological area of Santu Antine – Torralba (SS)

Since their original conception, the nuraghes were circular megalithic constructions (truncated cones) made by stone. In Sardinia there are about seven thousand nuraghes, many of which are still partially or totally buried. Initially they were characterized by a single room, and were rather isolated from each other. Over time the nuraghes assumed increasingly bold and complex architectural characteristics. The buildings began to be aggregated around a central tower. They were often enclosed by a particular type of ogival roof, the tholoi. In this way nuragic villages were built, and they could contain several hundred people.

Nuraghe, archeological area of Santu Antine – Torralba (SS) Remains of the nuragic village, archaeological area of Santu Antine – Torralba (SS) “Tholos” cover, archaeological area of Santu Antine – Torralba (SS) Models of a nuragic complex, Civic Museum of Cabras (OR)

Particularly discussed (and mysterious) is the function that the nuraghes had in antiquity. It has been hypothesized they could be defensive military outposts, religious and sepulchral temples, simple houses, sheepfolds or even astronomical observation points! The scholar Mauro Peppino Zedda claims that the constructions were built according to precise astronomical rules, and were inhabited by priests-astronomers involved in the observation of the celestial vault. “The Ancient Sardinians were able to establish the timing of the seasons and had spatial references to the earth,” he said.

Giants’ grave

Another characteristic monument of the nuragic age is represented by the “tombs of the giants”, so defined because of their megalithic dimensions. These are collective burials with a particular architectural structure. A typical tomb of the giants was surrounded on the outside by a wall and an enormous exedra stone, which served as an imaginary gate to the world of the dead. The deceased could ideally access this afterlife dimension through a small opening at the base of the door. Internally the burial was characterized by a mound in the shape of an upturned boat.

Tomb of the Giants of Imbertighe, Borore (NU) Tomb of the Giants, archaeological area of Corruoe Aidu – Cossoine (SS) Burial of the tomb of the giants, archaeological area of Corruoe Aidu – Cossoine (SS)

Near the tombs of the giants were placed sacred stones with a very special meaning. They, called betili, represented the abode of the gods of the afterlife, who had the task of facilitating the passage of the dead. The cult of the dead, and the spirituality connected to it, were deeply felt by the ancient Sardinians, and have no equal in the rest of the world.

Betili, archaeological area of Tamuli – Macomer (NU)

Is Atlantis located in Sardinia?

Is it possible that the legendary Atlantis, the island described by the philosopher Plato, is in Sardinia? It is the thesis proposed by some scholars, among them the journalist Sergio Frau, which needs a more in-depth study.

In the dialogues Timeo and Crizia (360 BC), Plato describes the mythical island of Atlantis:

For the ocean there was at that time navigable for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, ‘the pillars of Heracles,’ there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together and it was possible for the travellers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean“.

According to the story of the philosopher, Atlantis was a huge continent located beyond the Pillars of Hercules. For a long time it was believed they were located at the Strait of Gibraltar, but according to Sergio Frau the ancient Pillars of Hercules corresponded to the Sicilian Channel, because this was the last Greek outpost in the Mediterranean Sea. Only after the Romans were they ideally located near Gibraltar.

If the Pillars of Hercules really corresponded to the Channel of Sicily, what great island was there beyond them? Certainly Sardinia! Sardinia is precisely the island that the Greeks believed to be the largest in the Mediterranean Sea (in reality it is the second after Sicily, but this was not known in antiquity).

Historical setting and symbolism

Plato dated the civilization of Atlantis about nine thousand years before the Athenian jurist and poet Solon (about 9600 BC). However the date could be symbolic. Moreover the philosopher reported what Solon wrote while returning from one of his journeys. Solon could have learned of the existence of Atlantis in Egypt. In short terms, the nine thousand years of Plato are unreal, and the epoch in which the legendary island is described could correspond to the period of the pre-Nuraghic civilizations of Sardinia, or even of the Nuragic one.

In fact, it is known from historical sources that the Egyptians fought against a mysterious people of highly skilled sailors and pirates. It was a people coming from the west and from northern Egypt, called “Shardana” or “Sherden”. The assonance with the term “Sardinia” is remarkable.

Who were the Shardana?

The existence of the Shardana is attested firstly in the letters of Amarna, a correspondence between the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton and Rib-Hadda. It is certain that Ramesse II succeeded in defeating this people (1278 BC), which was part of a “coalition of sea peoples”. The pharaoh was so impressed by their military ability that he decided to hire a group of them as a personal guard. In a stele in Tanis it is written:

“The Shardana rebels that no one ever knew how to fight, came from the center of the sea boldly sailing with their warships, no one has ever managed to resist him”.

Nowadays there is a lively discussion about who the Shardana were and their area of origin. The most quoted archaeological thesis is that they really belonged to some tribes of the Nuragic civilization of Sardinia.

In support of this thesis, there are numerous Nuragic Sardinian bronze sculptures. They could really depict the brave warriors described by Ramesse II.

In 1974 a casual find at Mont ‘e Prama allowed to know some of the most ancient statues of the whole Mediterranean area. They were called “giants” because of their enormous size, although they were found in fragments and it took several years to reconstruct them. They are the Giants of Mont ‘e Prama. Is it possible that these statues, which once guarded a burial complex, represent Shardana warriors? Is it possible that these are the same warriors described by Plato and Ramesse II?

Statue of Mont ‘e Prama, Civic Museum – Cabras (OR) Giant of Mont ‘e Prama, Civic Museum – Cabras (OR)

Moreover, even Plato describes the inhabitants of Atlantis as skilled sailors and as grandiose tower builders: just like the numerous nuraghes that characterize the Sardinian landscape.

Nuraghe of Santu Antine – Torralba (SS)

The fate of Atlantis

According to Plato, the fate of Atlantis was marked by an immense tragedy. A catastrophic event caused it to sink into the sea in one day and one night. In fact, the philosopher continues the story in the Timaeus dialogue:

But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea“.

Is it possible that the legendary continent of Atlantis was invaded by water, or is it only a myth? If that was the case, and the thesis of this article was correct, Sardinia would also have had a very similar fate.

The journalist Sergio Frau argues that the Nuragic civilization of Sardinia was really hit by a catastrophic event, like a tsunami, that submerged the Campidano plain. From this point of view it is actually ascertained the presence, in Sardinia, of some areas submerged in ancient times and the raising of the sea level by about two and a half meters, so that some cities (like Nora) are still submerged today.

Tharros

The city of Tharros could be revealing. The official historiography states that it was an important Phoenician city, but it cannot be excluded that it was built on a pre-existing settlement of the Nuragic age, of which there are no well-preserved traces (village of Su Muru Mannu). Certainly it is known that a portion of the city is still submerged, due to a marine event not yet well specified, which happened at the end of the Nuragic civilization. Furthermore, most of the finds in the city of Tharros were stolen, because the archaeological area was accessible to all and excavations began only in the 1950s. In particular, most of the building material was reused for the construction of the nearby city of Oristano.

It is possible that any findings from a previous settlement, perhaps from the Shardana, have been lost? If this was the case, the thesis that the ancient civilization of Tharros was really swept by the waters remains plausible, just as Plato said about the mythical Atlantis.


The debate about the tabletof Tziricotu

The archaeologists Zucca [11], Serra [12] and Pittau [13], like most of the national archeology scholars, as well as the Superintendency of the archaeological heritage of Cagliari and Oristano, reject Sanna’s thesis, stating that it has no scientific bases. In particular, as to the alleged casts of the tablet of Tziricotu, it has been shown that these are mold copies of the same artifact. Furthermore, since there are no real findings but only photographs, these cannot be used for an historical-critical analysis, nor they can be used to support any archaeological theory.

The archaeologist Serra claimed [12] that the tablet of Tziricotu would not be a bronze from the Nuragic age, but rather an artifact from the early Middle Ages and Byzantine times. In particular, according to this scholar, the finding is a fibula for belts, whose engraving signs would be merely decorative. The archaeologist Zucca made a careful analysis of the further finds attested by Gigi Sanna as bearers of Nuragic writing. The scholar said they are only engravings related to other known writers systems of the Mediterranean area.

Conclusions about the existence of a Nuragic language

The question of the existence of a Nuragic language is still debated, although the official position of archaeologists and the Superintendency is of strong pessimism. This derives from two substantial factors: the first concerns the scarcity of finds that could be cataloged in relation to a new alphabetical system of the Bronze Age. Since the quantity of objects containing other writing systems is numerous on the totality of the archaeological finds found in Sardinia, probably those belonging to the Nuragic civilization simply used the “foreign” alphabets (Phoenician in particular) to communicate with other peoples. According to this thesis, the ancient Sardinians did not have their own written language, nor they derived a Nuragic alphabet from the Phoenician one, as happened for most of the Mediterranean languages of the Bronze Age. Alternatively, from a historical point of view, it seems rather unlikely that ancient Sardinians might have devised a new alphabet, like very few other cases in the world, such as the Easter Island or Central America.

Daniela Campus and Samuele Corrente Naso

[1] Ugas, G. (2017), “Shardana e Sardegna. I Popoli del mare, gli alleati del Nordafrica e la fine dei grandi regni. (XV-XII secolo a.C.)”.

[3] Kenneth Kitchen, Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt, Aris & Phillips, 1982.

[4] Giacomo Cavillier, “Gli Shardana nell’Egitto Ramesside”.

[5] Grimal, N. “A History of Ancient Egypt”

[6] Atlas II, pl.78 Rosellini, II, Tav.CVIII

[7] Atlas II, pl.72 Rosellini, II, Tav.CVII

[8] MH I.17 Rosellini, II, Tav.CVIII MH I.18, 47 C-E Rosellini, II, Tav.CXXVI. MH II. 62 55, 63-65 MH II.71-72 129 D-F MH II. 88-89 MH II. 94-95

[9] MH I.30-31 Rosellini, II, Tav.CXXVI MH I.32-34 Rosellini, II, Tav.CXXVIII MH I.35 Rosellini, II, Tav.CXXIX MH I. 36-43 Rosellini, II, Tav.CXXXI.

[10] MH I.17 Rosellini, II, Tav.CVIII.

[11] Zucca, Raimondo. “Storiografia del problema della ‘scrittura nuragica’.” Bollettino di Studi Sardi (2012).

[12] Serra, Paolo Benito. “Su una matrice di modano e su una placca di fibbia dall’oristanese.” Quaderni (2014).

[13] Pittau, Massimo. La lingua dei Sardi Nuragici e degli Etruschi. Libreria Dessi, 1981.

Samuele is the founder of Indagini e Misteri, a reason for being perhaps philosophical, vaguely existential and anthropological enough. Daniela Campus, Sardinian, phD and researcher in Development Economics, is co-author in the writing of the articles.


The giants of Monte Prama in Sardinia

Sardinia is a large island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. An ancient land, perhaps the oldest in Europe, at least on the geological level. Indeed, for centuries, no earthquakes were recorded and many of the rocks date back to the Paleozoic era. Which is about 500 million years ago. It also boasts one of the most long-living population on earth. One of its curiosity is The giants of Monte Prama in Sardinia.

The density of inhabitants per square kilometer is very low and there are vast impervious areas. Its clear sea it is really like on the postcards. It knows no equal, and not only in Europe. Sardinia is an ideal destination for holidays accompanied by visits to museums and archaeological sites. In other words, a rich destination.

Few people know that in 1974 an extraordinary discovery was made.

The giants, or heroes, of Mont’e Prama. These are large statues carved in sandstone with a height variable between 2 and 2.5 meters. Their origin and function remain a mystery, one of the many that surround these lands. One that people work hard to solve.

We found these statues near a vast necropolis. There, young individuals, almost all of whom males, were buried in a standing posture, and if this is linked to the iconology of statuary, it underlines their belonging to the class of warriors and aristocrats. The nearby Nuraghi, mysterious megalithic structures whose function is still the subject of debate, are also noteworthy and deserves a visit. Do not miss it out!

Sardinia offers beautiful landscapes in addition to a rich history and culture. It is indeed popular for good reasons.


Was there a Civilization that Predates all other known Ancient Civilizations?

There is very little room left to deny the fact that ancient cultures throughout the world were all connected in the ancient past. We see depictions of Flying Machines in Mexico that are very similar to the Vimana we see in India, for example. And … [Continue reading] about Was there a Civilization that Predates all other known Ancient Civilizations?


The Sculptures of Mont’e Prama

Here are the sculptures of Mont’e Prama: archers, warriors and boxers carved in sandstone, two meters tall, and approximately 2,800 years old. They “lived” on the Sinis di Cabras peninsula, in Southwestern Sardinia.

Re-discovered after 1974 on the site where a necropolis had developed after the 11th century BC, these amazing statues represent young men armed for war with shields and swords, bows and quivers, or equipped with the gloves required in the “Noble art”.

Today, they are on display at the Giovanni Marongiu Civic Museum in Cabras and at Cagliari’s National Archaeological Museum.

Experts still debate the meaning of the spectacular complex they belonged to – with 27 anthropomorphic statues dating back to the 8th century BC, found with the remains of 16 nuraghe and 9 betili (large truncated cone stones, typical in burials from the Nuragic Age).

Some say they represented figures from the most important social classes, others believe they were mythical heroes at the center of Nuragic legends.


Watch the video: High Technology in Ancient Sardinia. Santa Cristina Holy Well u0026 Nuragic Village. Megalithomania