By: Tasha Shayne …..
Perhaps few lands, ancient or modern, are as attractive as Italy — for its people, rolling landscapes, Mediterranean coast, and rich historical allure. We can add to this list an emerging archaeological phenomenon in Sardinia. On this island off the coast of Italy, lies an ancient site where skeletal remains of giants have been uncovered, defying academic conclusions about the land’s earliest inhabitants.
If you take a ferry, Sardinia is situated five hours West of mainland Italy, and is home to a persistent theory that giants may have roamed the land. Travel guides suggest that much of the island’s prehistoric past has been preserved, mainly because Sardinia features a relatively unpopulated countryside, and many areas where people once lived have long been abandoned. Human occupation is traceable steadily throughout the Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Calcolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages.
While early Sardinians left behind significant contributions of ancient pottery and megalithic statues crafted out of large, heavy, and enduring stone, perhaps the most startling finds are those said to be of Sardinian giants and include bone and teeth fragments. The site in question is in Coddu Vecchiu, in a place that locals and archaeologists alike refer to as Tomba dei Giganti — the tomb of the giants. It was constructed during the Bronze Age (3300-700 BC) by the Nuragic civilization as a public tomb, in an area where many were buried.
Located on a hillside peppered with vineyards, the giants’ tombs of Coddu Vecchiu are introduced through the doorway of a central stele (an upright stone slab or column serving as a gravestone), which was believed to serve as a barrier between the physical world and the afterlife. In the stone forecourt of the compound are eleven granite stones, arranged in a semicircle measuring about 40 feet across.
It has been hypothesized that the semicircular arrangement of the stones may have been an attempt to harness telluric currents of the granite for rejuvenating purposes. Author of Mysterious Places in Italy, Isabella Dalla Vecchia, wrote that telluric energy and magnetic forces flowing under the Earth’s crust and is part of what makes planet Earth a living organism. Dalla Vecchia wrote, “Man, a creature of Mother Earth, is able to interact with and become very sensitive to these movements. Men absorb them unconsciously in particular situations.” Additionally, she explained, a large stone slab with a small doorway is believed to connect the gravesite with the outside world. The opening symbolizes the union between this world and the afterworld. Offerings were deposited on a large bench at the base of the tomb.
Legends vs. Modern Science
According to legend, Sardinia was once home to a race of giants. Those who support this theory point to the massive size of some of the stones used on the burial grounds. On the other hand, archaeologists argue that only the tombs are giant, but those buried at the site were normal-sized humans. Perhaps equally mysterious aspects of the archaeological site are traces of rituals, the existence of powerful sources of natural energy, and how the megaliths are related to the heavens. Many tombs of giants are oriented toward the Taurus’ constellation and point to the brightest star, Aldebaran. And on the days of the Equinoxes, the light of the rising sun enters directly into the tomb corridor through a small opening on the stele.