Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Nuragic Giants' Tombs in Sardinia

Scattered throughout the island, with some variation, are the so-called ‘Giant’s Tombs’. With few exceptions, these are the only known mortuary structures for Sardinia’s Nuragic period. Given their size – up to 30 m, local legend had t that these were the tombs of giants. Archaeological evidence suggest these were communal burial structures. These structures are made up of a long burial chamber, formed by a series of vertical and horizontal  megalithic slabs creating a corridor like chamber that was then covered with smaller rocks and earth to form a tumulus. The entrance to the burial chamber is marked with a semi-circular row of standing stones, giving these Sardinian Bronze Age tumuli a very distinctive and unique character.

Coddu Vecchiu Tomb of Giants

Tomba dei Giganti di Coddu Vecchiu is one of the larger ‘Giants’ tombs’ in Sardinia. It is remarkably well preserved. Located near the town of Arzachena, the funerary monument is one of a number of Nuragic archaeological sites in the area. It dates to the Bronze Age (around 2500 BC) and is fronted by an impressive 4 m high stone slab. The structure was used as a mass burial chamber and contains a series of megaliths which form a dolmen corridor. The site is surrounded by vineyards with the prestigious Capichera winery situated nearby.

Tomb of Giants Imbertighe

In the flat countryside of the municipality of Borore, a very short distance from the town centre lies one of the island’s most characteristic Tombs of the Giants. It is dated to the Middle Bronze Age and, because of its fine quality, has been cited and studied several times, particularly between the 19th and 20th centuries, by influential scholars. We can still observe the large stele formed from a single block of finely worked basalt and the two wings of the exedra. Unfortunately, no trace remains of the inner chamber where the bodies were laid to rest. However, we can reconstruct its shape and original dimensions thanks to the work of Scottish archaeologist Duncan Mackenzie, who described and photographed the monument in the early 20th century.