The Nuraghic Age "bronze figures" are sculptures made of bronze with the lost wax technique which represent, in miniature, male, female characters or animals. They were found primarily in places of worship and, for this reason, scholars consider them votive items.
Some particularly interesting bronze figures were found in the Nuraghe Pizzinnu of Posada:
A praying archer with bow on his shoulder (X-VII century B.C.)
It is 19 cm high and represents an archer with a bow over his shoulder and a dome-shaped helmet topped by horns (fig. 1). The face is marked by rounded ears and eyes, cord eyebrows and a prominent straight nose. He wears a smooth tunic and the neck is protected by a decorated throat guard. The bow is resting on the left shoulder and the quiver hangs from his shoulders while shin guards protect his legs. The right arm extends forward in a ritual greeting gesture.
Praying warrior (X-VII century B.C.)
It represents a praying warrior with armour and helmet, in the act of resting and greeting (fig. 2). It is 21.7 cm high and has a face with rounded ears, a pillar-shaped nose, oval eyes, prominent lips and the neck is protected by a throat guard. On his head he has a domed helmet with a central crest topped by horns. He is wearing a short grooved armour equipped with large shoulder straps and a smooth double-layer skirt. His legs are protected by studded greaves; his feet, webbed, are trapezoidal.
Standing bull (X-VII century)
The bronze statuette represents a standing bull with a movable collar. It is 13.2 cm high and 12.5 cm long (fig. 3). The animal is highly stylised: the body is thin and long; two large scythe-shaped horns and big rounded eyes stand out on its head, while the neck is adorned by the ring collar.
Besides a vast production of bronze statuettes depicting the people belonging to the Nuraghic community, numerous reproductions of animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, canines, horses, but also deer and birds, have been found. All have great vitality and the capacity to evoke the island’s natural environment during the Nuraghic Era.
It is possible to detect two different styles in the zoomorphic bronze figures: a "geometric" style which simplifies the shape and a "free spontaneous" one which reproduces the figures with greater realism (fig. 4).
- A. MORAVETTI, E. ALBA, L. FODDAI, La Sardegna nuragica. Storia e materiali, Sassari 2014.
- G. CANINO, Bronzi a figura maschile, in LA SARDEGNA NURAGICA 2014, pp. 347-359.
- S. CASTIA, Toro stante, scheda 8, in LA SARDEGNA NURAGICA 2014, p. 418.
- L. FODDAI, Bronzi a figura zoomorfa, in LA SARDEGNA NURAGICA 2014, p. 405.
- L. FODDAI, Sculture zoomorfe. Studi sulla bronzistica figurata nuragica, Milano 2008.
- F. LO SCHIAVO, Bronzi e bronzetti del Museo “G.A. Sanna” di Sassari, Piedimonte Matese (CE) 2000.
- G. LILLIU, Sculture della Sardegna nuragica, Verona 1966.