The praying archer bronze statue

In the area of the megaron 1 temple (fig. 1), near to the external channel where water flowed during rituals (fig. 2), a bronze archer was found 15 cm high.

Fig. 1 - Overview of the megaron 1 temple (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).
Fig. 2 - External channel along the west side of the temple (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

The bronze statue (figs. 3, 4, 5) was made using the lost wax casting technique. It portrays a resting warrior while praying, in a frontal position, in the characteristic gesture of devotional greeting. The head is covered by a crested, horned helmet. The archer is wearing a double throat ring, a double short tunic with a fringed breast plate, a protection plaque over his stomach and ornate greaves. Two fringed sheets and a double quiver with dagger and arrows are on his shoulders. On his left shoulder he carries his bow and his forearm is protected by a wrist guard in the form of a rectangular plaque. The figure, which can be compared with other Sardinian bronze statues, can be dated to the 10-11th century B.C.

The artefact is on display at the National Archaeological Museum G. Asproni in Nuoro.

Figs. 3, 4, 5 - Praying archer (photo by Pinna P.P., RAS Photographic Archive).


  • FADDA M.A., Villagrande Strisaili (Nuoro). Località S’Arcu ’e is Forros. L’abitato nuragico in-torno al tempio a megaron, in Bollettino di Archeologia, 43-45, Roma 1997, p. 257.
  • FADDA M.A., Il Museo Speleo Archeologico di Nuro, Sardegna archeologica. Guide e itinerari , 17, Sassari 2006, pp. 60-61, fig. 63.
  • FADDA M.A., Il villaggio santuario di S'Arcu 'e Is Forros, Sardegna archeologica. Guide e itinerari , 48, Sassari 2012, pp. 19-22, fig. 32.
  • FADDA M.A., Villagrande Strisaili. Il santuario nuragico di S'Arcu 'e Is Forros e le insulae degli artigiani fusori, in Nel segno dell’acqua. Santuari e bronzi votivi della Sardegna nuragica, Sassari 2014, p. 203, fig. 319.
  • SALIS G., Arciere orante-scheda 5, in MORAVETTI A., ALBA L., FODDAI L. (a cura di), La Sardegna Nuragica. Storia e materiali, Sassari 2014, pag. 364.