Carved into the granite rock, these erected stones are astonishing.
The site offers an incomparable collection of these megalithic monuments, true sculptures in mostly anthropomorphic (human) forms, which are witnesses to the great civilizations that reigned on the island before our era, evoking religious rites that are still mysterious.
The function of these voluminous granite fragments has yet to be determined, although it is known that the menhirs of the 4th millennium BC were reworked into statue-menhirs around -1200 B.C. Sword, dagger, helmet and breastplate, the panoply of details engraved on these “men of stone” still give rise to many interpretations.
Many questions remain about the meaning to be given to these menhirs and statue-menhirs. Are the first monoliths of the Neolithic period phallic symbols erected by peasants in the hope that they would fertilize the earth? Were they markers of space at a time when man was struggling to keep a territory? Or were they memorials to a warrior or a distinctive character? The riddle remains.
The stonemasons have built here the largest centre of statuary art in Corsica.
For the CNRS archaeologist Roger Grosjean, the menhir statues would represent the warriors Shardanes (“People of the Sea”) allied with the Philistines who attacked and then allied themselves with Pharaonic Egypt between the 14th and 12th centuries BC. Megalithic sculptors are said to have immortalized the strength of these warriors in stone.
The artists also had an eye for detail. The figure is depicted with a hemispherical helmet with accentuated neck cover. The clavicles and shoulder blades are protected by beads. The long swords are worn on the chest, hanging from a harness. The dagger is hung transversely from a belt holding a loincloth.
Other interpretations are possible. Swords and daggers are the attributes of the courageous warrior chief, as reported in oral tradition; tradition of the “Paladinu”, Corsican knight protecting the people against looters and arbitrary. These statues were painted or even adorned with various attributes that were used as ornaments during ceremonies.