The Giants of Monte Prama are two to two-and-a-half-meter-tall statues erected by the Nuragic culture, who lived on the island of Sardinia between the eighteenth and second centuries BC.
Researchers are divided on whether these Nuragians originated on the island or linked to the Sea Peoples, who devastated the Mediterranean coast during the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC. In the latter theory, they would have landed in Sardinia following their defeat in their unsuccessful invasion of Egypt in the 13th and 12th centuries BC.
The Giants, or Colossi, the term given to the sculptures by archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu, were discovered in 1974 near the village of Cabras on the island’s west coast.
They are shield-carrying warriors, archers, and combatants. Aside from its great size, one of its most distinguishing traits is the eyes created by two concentric discs. It’s unclear if they’re mythological heroes or gods.
Because the discovery happened near a tomb on the same date, it is assumed that they were set as guards around it. However, this is also not entirely obvious.
They might have belonged to a neighboring temple that has yet to be discovered. After 40 years of research and repair, the Giants were unveiled to the public in March 2015 at Cagliari’s National Archaeological Museum.
With the almost 5,000 components discovered, 33 Giants might be constructed in all. In September 2016, two more parts were found, both of which were full and undamaged.
According to radar scans, a third component may be buried deeper. The latest two discovered Giants are unique in that, unlike those seen previously, they hold their shields connected to the side rather than over the head.
A posture comparable to that of a little Nuragic bronze from the same time discovered in Viterbo (north of Rome), the age of which is inevitable: 9th century BC.
If the link is confirmed, we would be looking at the oldest example of colossi (giant sculptures) found in the Mediterranean, dating back many centuries before the Greek colossi. And there’s more since academics think the Giants wore masks similar to those used now in Sardinian traditional festivals.
Although they were not identical, this would indicate that certain ancestral ceremonies and customs had remained on the island for almost 3,000 years. What are your thoughts on the Monte Prama Giants?