Sardinian farmers who were plowing their fields in the spring of 1974 suddenly stopped working. They found what looked like a block of heavy rock, but closer examination revealed something much more remarkable: fragments of a giant stone head. This discovery was one of the most important discoveries of the Iron Age in the western Mediterranean.
Limestone shards were discovered at Monte Brama, on the island’s fertile west coast. This was the first of thousands of artifacts discovered by archaeologists in the following decades. Since then, the wreck has been grouped together, leaving dozens of colossal statues for posterity.
The statues were originally carved out of a single block of limestone, and now stand out above most of the inhabitants of Monte Brama, some of which are more than two meters high. They display highly stylized features, such as triangular faces, eyebrows, and T-shaped noses. Most noticeable are the eyes, each depicted with two large concentric circles and giving the faces a dazzling look. Some characters are equipped with shields, others with bows and arrows. Based on these qualities, scientists have classified the “Mont Brama giants” into three classes: archers, boxers, and warriors.
(Did Michelangelo imitate this famous statue from antiquity?)
While historians remain unsure of exactly what the giants represented, they do agree that they intended to connect an ancient society with their powerful symbolism. The images attest to the remarkable Iron Age culture that flourished nearly 3,000 years ago and then fell under successive waves of invaders.
Read also: Farm stay in Sardinia
Sardinia is now part of Italy but has a long and dynamic history of human habitation. Located between the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, Sardinia has played a very important role in the Mediterranean trade for long periods.
When the Monte Brama statues were discovered, scholars assumed they were part of a Carthaginian temple complex. The commercial power of Carthage was concentrated in North Africa, where this trading empire began in the 6th century BC. Sardinia was also conquered.
Devoted music ninja. Zombie practitioner. Pop culture aficionado. Webaholic. Communicator. Internet nerd. Certified alcohol maven. Tv buff.