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The Mysterious Coddu Vecchiu Tombs of Giants

The Coddu Vecchiu Tombs of Giants: Nuragic Burials and Sardinian Secrets

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During the Bronze Age (3300 – 700 BC), the Nuragic civilization built what are known as the Tombs of Giants (Tomba dei Gigantic). These megalithic gallery graves were used by the Nuragic people as public tombs, for the burials of many individuals from these early societies. Massive in size and astonishing to view, the giants’ grave at Coddu Vecchiu in Sardinia is one example that represents a somewhat mysterious and intriguing part of human history – providing some general answers as to the burial rituals of ancient human civilizations, but also leaving many questions unanswered.

The Two Types of Tombs of Giants

The Nuragic civilization constructed two distinct types of tombs. The “slab type” was constructed from giant stone slabs which were placed upright and buried into the ground. The slabs were placed side by side in a long row. They are uniform in height except for the center slab, known as a central stele, which is taller than the other slabs.

A tomb of giants, Coddu Vecchiu in Sardinia. ( anke182 /Adobe Stock)

Rising up to 4 meters (13 feet) in height, the central stele stands far above the other slabs and has a doorway carved into its center. It is also generally decorated with carved text and images for funeral or memorial purposes, with the top carved into a rounded arch.

In another variation, the center slab blended more easily with the surrounding slabs. It contained no alterations form its original state other than the addition of a doorway. Through the doorway in the stele is a rectangular tomb and a burial chamber that is 5 - 15 meters (16 – 49 feet) long and 1 - 2 meters (3 – 7 feet) high. When the tombs were first constructed, they were covered by a large mound of dirt.

Through the doorway of the stele is a large rectangular burial chamber

Through the doorway of the stele is a large rectangular burial chamber. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

The second type of giants’ tomb is the “block type.” Rather than giant slabs, the block type tombs were constructed of large, rectangular blocks. The tombs found at Coddu Vecchiu are of the slab type variety, while the block-type tombs are found elsewhere.

Giant Legends, Not Giant People

While the name ‘Tomb of Giants’ (or Giants’ Grave) invokes images of the burial of giant human beings , the tombs actually have nothing to do with the burial of anyone other than regular sized people from the Nuragic civilization. According to some legends, giants were buried in these tombs, in large part due to the massive size of some of the stones used, some reaching as high as 30.5 meters (100 feet) tall.

However, no evidence of giant-sized humans has been found at the site. The use of the word giant refers to the fact that these tombs were used as giant public burial chambers. 321 of these graves have been discovered in Sardinia, Italy, including those found at Coddu Vecchiu.

While the tomb may look like the grave of a giant, only regular-sized human remains have been found there

While the tomb may look like the grave of a giant, only regular-sized human remains have been found there. (pjt56 /CC BY SA 3.0 )

The Giants’ Graves at Coddu Vecchiu remain mysterious because little is known about the ceremonies or rituals that occurred there, or the symbolism that was being invoked. It is believed that the iconic doors in the tombs were used to facilitate passage into the afterlife. These doorways served as the barrier between the physical world and the afterlife. Mourners and others would leave offerings at the entrance to the tombs.

Sources of Powerful Energy?

There has been some speculation that the sites are the location of powerful sources of natural energy and they were chosen as burial locations for that reason. It is said that channels of “telluric energies and magnetic forces” are found at the Giants’ Graves and that the Nuragic people knew of these forces and intended to use them for burial purposes.

The positive energy emanating from the area was believed to provide a “ supernatural” rejuvenation and it was believed that such positive energy would allow the deceased an easier and more positive entry into the afterlife. The slabs were arranged in a semi-circular position and it was believed that this shape was in alignment with telluric energy lines, so that the energy would be captured in each individual slab.

This energy would then gather, all leading to the central slab, with the central slab absorbing a great deal of energy. The sick and injured would lie on the stones hoping to be healed. The energy would also benefit the dead, as it was believed that it helped to separate their soul from their physical body.

The doorway of the central stele was believed to be the barrier between the physical world and the afterlife

The doorway of the central stele was believed to be the barrier between the physical world and the afterlife. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

More Questions than Answers

The Tombs of Giants may provide us with more questions than answers. While they give an interesting insight into the burial rituals of ancient civilizations, they do not provide much information beyond the physical structure of the tombs and the fact that they were used for burial purposes.

With religious and spiritual beliefs being far different during ancient times than they are today, it is likely that ancient burial rituals were very different to what we currently know. There was likely much focus on safely making it to the afterlife and ensuring a smooth transition from a physical presence on Earth, to a spiritual presence beyond Earth, and possibly a reincarnation into a new life.

The Giants’ Graves illustrate an early form of public tomb, where large numbers of people would be buried. Unlike tombs that were created for nobles or elite figures in society, largely utilized public tombs can give a greater insight into the culture and traditions of the vast majority of people from ancient civilizations.

Top Image: Tombs of Giants, Coddu Vecchiu in Sardinia. Source: anke182 /Adobe Stock

By M R Reese

References

The Giants’ Grave of Coddu Vecchiu – Atlas Obscura. Available from: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-giants-grave-of-coddu-vecchiu

Coddu Vecchiu – Mysterious Places. Available from: http://www.mysteriousplaces.it/sardegna/codduvecchiu.html

Coddu Vecchiu – Stone Pages. Available from: http://www.stonepages.com/italia/codduvecchiu.html

Comments

Hi All,

The subject of Giant's is a Topic that is made known in every oral story classified as an Myth, in The Bible; since I believe in The Bible, and what it Teaches, I'm thinking perhaps something that's non-human is closing the door on finding Giant skeletons.

Maybe something in The Universe does not want them found.

For example, there's another legendary story comes all the way from Cameroon and The Congo though many have tried to find this legend it always seems to fall short of that goal but, on the other hand the people that live around the territory of this legends existence testify to seeing it all the time.

What can I possibly be talking about? The legendary Mokelembe.

Sightings of Mokelembe has gone back centuries even white missionaries saw the creatures at one time or another.

The stories of these creatures being alive caught the attention of The Smithsonian who sent and actual expedition; to Cameroon and the Congo to seek the animals out why we're these animals so important they've been ID as a living Dinosaur Brontosaurus (I never liked the name Apatasorus sounded weak where as Brontosaurus is Strong meaning Thunder Lizard), so it was suppose to be alive the expedition took place in the Early 1920s, 1923 I believe.

While taking pictures of Fresh Footprints by the creatures; the Team got word that a herd Mokelembe's passing through an Village.

So the Team boarded a train too get to that particular Village before they could arrive however at the village in either Cameroon or The Congo; a train derailment happened.

How? Because of a massive storm that coincided with the expedition it caused flash flooding, an a mudslide, the mudslide knocked the train off the tracks many crew members on the Expedition were either injured or killed.

The Expedition was then called off and the Team never got the chance to see if they really were Brontosaurus alive though people still claim to see the animal on occassion to this Day.

My point of this side track from the Giant Subject is this about the science expedition financed by the Smithsonian.

Just like the Smithsonian Team weren't meant to find those Mokelembe that may or might not be living Brontosaurus somethings in this World should remain a Mystery like that of Skeletons of Giant's so perhaps we're not meant to find them.

I think, I'll leave the discussion here about The Giants of Oral History so until next time Everyone, Goodbye!

The doors don’t look like made for giants.

Gary Moran's picture

There are many newspaper and local ‘historical society’ accounts from the late 1800’s of giant-sized skeletons excavated from sites, especially in the Ohio River valley areas in the U.S. Many of those were supposedly dug up by employees or people connected in some way with the Smithsonian and/or Carnegie Museums. Several very large ones were reported to have been sold to the Smithsonian as well. Their existence is now universally denied, and thanks to NAGPRA, skeletal remains were released to tribes currently {or historically} residing in the areas they were discovered {regardless of whether any kinship could be proven} to be re-interred, That legislation has conveniently erased the possibility of any real investigation regarding the authenticity or genetic provenance of those remains and the peoples who inhabited those areas.

I dont believe what redroksaz wrote that Roman catholic church is removing bones ... Because if they found giant bones is something good for them, because it is in line with Bible.
For example, i am christian, and it will be good to find giant human bones, why not, it is not something that needs to be hiden.

It is for everyone to see, not to hide.

It will be more obvious that it is hidden by some other organization.

Tsurugi's picture

Very interesting.

IMO there is a better-than-even chance the remains found inside these structures were intrusive burials. They remind me of the megalithic Chullpa towers of the Peruvian highlands, which were found to be filled with remains of indigenous peoples from the area. Thing is, these "burial towers" don't have entrances, so the natives had to enter them from the top.
To do this they constructed ramps made from stone....ramps which are quite obviously not made to anything even approaching the level of skill and sophistication of the towers themselves. The towers are dry-laid, heterogeneous convex-polygonal masonry with high-relief carvings. The ramps are a loose aggregate of gravel, piled against the side of the tower until its top could be reached. The difference is clear.....the skilled masons who constructed those towers had no hand in building the ramps. The ramps were a later addition, by a people who decided to use the towers as tombs. Intrusive burials.

That opens up the questions of who were the original builders, when exactly did they build the towers, and why did they build so many all over Peru? They weren't tombs, so what were they for? What can you do with a building that has no entrance....?

But those questions lead one down lines of thought that are academically unpopular and politically incorrect, which is why if you Google "chullpas" you will see them described as "funerary towers of the ancestors of the local Aymara people."

I doubt the Aymara would agree with that statement. They probably would say they buried their people in the towers because they were sacred places, built by the old gods.

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