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Mont’e Prama

The statues of Mont’e Prama (900-700 BC) are the only examples of stone statuary from the Nuragic era to have been found in Sardinia so far. They are also among the oldest groups of statuary from the Mediterranean area. The anthropomorphic sculptures are all male and the majority of them depict distinctive “boxers” with battle gloves and protective shields held over their heads. Classic archers with bows on their shoulders and warriors with round shields also feature, albeit in smaller numbers. In addition, there are sculptures of nuraghi. These quintessentially Sardinian constructions were already old and possibly crumbling when the sculptures were created, but they were still vibrant emblems and symbols of cultural identity. Many of the sculptures are as much as two metres in height, which is why they are incorrectly referred to as “Giants”. The statues come from the Mont’e Prama archaeological area in the municipality of Cabras, to the West of the Cabras wetlands in the centre of the Sinis peninsula. The site was discovered in 1974, when a plough brought the first fragments of sculptures to the surface. Some pieces of the statues were displayed in the National Archaeology Museum in Cagliari. As well as identifying ten or so tombs, the archaeological digs in the 1970s led to the discovery of more than 5,000 fragments. After a long, painstaking restoration process at the Li Punti Restoration Centre, they were reassembled into 38 statues.
Since 22 March 2014, the statues have been on display on the ground floor and third floor of the museum, as part of the “Mont’e Prama 1974-2014” exhibition which is being held in tandem with the G. Marongiu Civic Museum in Cabras.

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