The Stele Statues
The Stele Statues represent the most ancient and precious testimony of the Lunigiana territory. They are prehistoric monuments found in great numbers in the last two centuries in Lunigiana.
Although recognised for centuries , it is only in the recent times that the statues have been scientifically studied. However, still today an aura of mystery surrounds them, creating a sense of fascination.
These stones represent both armed men and women adorned in jewels in a stylised manner and therefore give important testimony to a distant civilization. They have interested the Lunigiana area for a long time, starting from the III millenium b.C. to the VII-VI centuries b.C.
The Stele Statues of Lunigiana, created from sandstone, were extracted from quarries of the region and were sculpted with stone or metal instuments. They were then fixed vertically in the ground either in groups or alone, in particularly significant areas.
Even today the function of these Stele Statues still remains to be clarified.
The Museum of Piagnaro holds the majority of the original Stele Statues. Upstairs the exhibition is preceded by a reconstruction of the archeological dig of the Stele Statue Minucciano III and by an inductory video made in 2009. There are also numerous panels which introduce various themes and arguments important for understanding the diffusion of the Stele Statues in Europe, Italy and Lunigiana. They explain the relgious significance of the statues, the environment and the human context in which they were born, and finally the arms, ornaments and the manufacturing techniques of the statues.