The Tombs of the Giants, or in Sardinian language “Tumbas de is gigantes“, are imposing megalithic monuments originating from the Nuragic Age (1800 BC-101 BC). Present throughout Sardinia, these collective tombs were part of a curious ancient cult that did not discriminate against anyone in the face of death.
Before starting our discussion on these majestic stone constructions, it is necessary to ask yourself a question: Who were the Nuraghi?.
There Nuragic civilization was born in Sardinia in the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1800 BC It did not appear out of nowhere, but its success on the island was determined by a gradual evolution of existing Neolithic cultures.
This particular population with a thousand-year history it never stood still. The Nuraghi, thanks to the continuous cultural and commercial exchanges with other Mediterranean civilizations, managed to grow on all fronts, from the political to the cultural one. Their wealth was so well known that it became a sort of myth for the ancient Greek historians, who saw in Sardinia a place of free intellectual flowering and full of refined architectural structures (and more).
The term “nurago“, to mean the population, it derives from”nuraghi“, ie megalithic constructions in the shape of a cone without a point. As can be seen, therefore, this ancient civilization he was more than capable of using large boulders of stone and turn them into rare structures to be found in any other undeveloped territory.
From this incredible technological capacity, the “tombs of the giants“- structures with a rectangular base (but with the final semicircular shape) and erected with large blocks of stone planted in the ground.
Initially the techniques to build them were very complex, but gradually the same method that was used to create the nuraghi began to be used. The aim was to recreate a plant that assumed, more or less, the shape of a bull’s face.
According to the most recent studies, the functionality of these particular burials was probably linked to a particular cult: that of Mother goddess (or Great Mother) and del god Taurus (Babai). From the latter could derive the recovery from the image of the bull in the plan of the structure.
It must also be considered that religion had a fundamental role in the Nuragic civilization, to the point that ancient sources tell us of a real theocratic system, where the government was led by prophets of the various cults on the island.
Anyway, the tombs of the giants were collective burial places, scattered throughout the Sardinian island. There they went to gather the various members of the pe tribes to commemorate all the dead – without any distinction of social class or gender. Of these, only the bones were buried directly under the large external stones – because the bodies were probably previously stripped of flesh.
If you dig deeper, however, the question naturally arises why build such immense tombs, to the point of being defined, since the past, owned by possible giants? The hypotheses are different: some scholars argue that they represented gods simple places of ritual (a bit like Stonehenge); others who were gods artificial limes to hinder external invasions; still others jumped into the world of cosmology.
Which is the most suitable answer to the question is not certain. We only know that around 1150 BC the nuraghi began to bury and commemorate their dead in more “private” mounds, bringing the “tombs of the giants” to gradually disappear in the landscape of ancient Sardinia.