The torsos of two statues of boxers, dating back to the iron age, have been discovered at the Mont’e Prama necropolis in Sardinia.
The latest finds, sculpted in limestone by the Nuragic civilisation, add to several other statues of boxers, wrestlers and archers dug up at the site since the 1970s and which have become known as “the giants of Mont’e Prama”.
The bare torsos, along with their fragments, have been identified as depicting boxers, due to the shield wrapped around their bodies. They are similar to two other statues found a few metres away at the site in Cabras, on the Italian island’s west coast, in 2014.
The discovery comes after fresh excavations in the southern area of the huge necropolis began in early April.
“It’s an exceptional discovery,” said the Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini, adding that it would shed further light on ancient Mediterranean culture. “Two new jewels add to the mysterious charm of this group of statues,” he said.
Archaeologists have also unearthed a major burial road, along which tombs dating between 950BC to 730BC have been found.
The Mont’e Prama site was first discovered by local farmers in 1974. It is believed that the warrior statues, ranging in height between 2 and 2.5 metres, guarded tombs at the necropolis. Studies done so far of 170 tombs found that the cemetery was reserved almost exclusively for young men.
The Nuragic civilisation flourished in Sardinia until the second century AD. Thousands of large tower-shaped stone structures, known as , have been found across the island, although their original purpose is unknown.
Some of the statues found at Mont’e Parma have been on display at Cabras museum since 2014. The new statues will also eventually be exhibited.
Monica Stochino, the culture ministry’s superintendent for southern Sardinia, said: “The two large and heavy blocks of torsos will need time to be freed from the sediment surrounding them and to be prepared for safe recovery.”
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( Information from theguardian.com was used in this report. To Read More, click here )