Le Statue Stele Lunigianesi
All the stele statues found in Lunigiana have been shaped out of sandstone : a compact stone belonging to the “macigno” formation , a sedimentary rock of the higher Oligocene . This type of sandstone is very common in the Magra river valley , usually as stratiform boulders that have been more or less rounded by the action of the violent mountain streams . The carefully chosen sandstone boulder was chipped on all its sides so as to give it a geometrical shape before engraving it .
Once the shape had been obtained , the image was sculpted in low relief , that is chipping away the surface except in those areas that were to represent parts of the body ( arms , hands , breasts ) and ornaments ( weapons , jewelry ) . To do so , the figured elements were first traced and then joined with a groove ; once the engraved shape was finished the low relief was done . The tools used were probably stone . Striking the boulder with stone tools gave it the overall shape and set in relief the anatomical details and the accoutrements ; with a small flint blade , used as a saw , the contour of the shapes was smoothed and details like the fingers of a hand were added . A gimlet , made out of a flint point mounted on a small stick , was used to make the holes of the eyes , rolling it between the hands . Silica sand or sandstone gravel were used to smooth the hammered surfaces . The inscriptions on the stele statues of the most recent group were obtained using iron pointed tools .