We have been presented with a historical mystery that we had not heard of until today: a group of approximately 33 life-size warriors independently carved from a solid stone by the Nuragic civilization of Sardinia, better known as statues of Kouros, appeared in the Archaic period of Greece in the 7th century BC.
This is the only group of life-size warriors found in Europe and that, as a whimsical coincidence, the first pieces were discovered in March 1974, the same month and year in which the first figures of the Terracotta Army were discovered. They have been found in an ancient necropolis near Cabras, in western Sardinia, broken into thousands of pieces. Radiocarbon testing on a handful of pottery shards dates to the 9th century BC.
The archaeological excavations in the area in recent years they have recovered even more fragments. The amount estimated so far is 5,172 pieces of stone warriors, among which there are 15 heads and 21 torsos. Ten fragments of two statues were put back together and are displayed, but the rest of the pieces, uncleaned and unexamined, languished for the next 30 years or so, until in 2004 archaeologists and curators of the Sassari Conservation and Restoration Center they started a restoration program.
The researchers carefully cleaned and assembled the warriors parts using a backing instead of gluing the pieces together with modern plaster and stone so they look just like they were when new.
25 of the warriors are now restored and will be exhibited this summer in the Cagliari Museum from southern Sardinia. There are three different types of representations of warriors: 16 ‘boxers’ with shields on their heads, six archers and another six warriors, complemented by bows, shields, swords, armor and horned helmets.
The fragments of 13 models of nuraghe, massive conical-shaped stone castles built by the Nuragic culture from 1,500 BC, the oldest castles in Europe.
Tens of thousands of them were on the island, but time, the erosion of the stone and the numerous invasive waves on the part of the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Spanish and finally the Italians, have reduced their number to just 7,000 that remain. today. It is a very resistant type of construction considering that no type of mortar was used.
It was the Carthaginians those who probably destroyed the stone army during their conquests of the island in the 6th century BC. The group of fragments indicates a clear intention of destruction and, since stone warriors and castles guarded the tombs of two generations of a single extended family, their destruction could have been a symbol of power for the new head of the city.
Source: Sassari Conservation and Restoration Center
With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.