Ancient Aliens Season 16, Episode 4
“The Giants of The Mediterranean”
Ancient Aliens’ Season 16, Episode 4 is entitled “Giants of the Mediterranean”. This episode focuses on a race of enormous giants whom legend says descended from the stars. These mythological beings, who are said to have stood over 100 feet tall, have been attributed with the construction of so-called “cyclopean [sigh-KLOP-ee-in] structures”- mysterious edifices found throughout the Mediterranean, built from enormous thousand-pound stones.
The shores that fringe the Mediterranean Sea have given birth to and seen the falls of some of the greatest civilizations in the history of our species. Each of these civilizations made contributions to the pool of human knowledge which still impact us today. The Ancient Romans, for example, invented the 12-month calendar. Phoenician sailors pioneered celestial navigation. And Greek philosophers established the principles of democratic government and trial by jury. In addition to their cultural legacies and geographic proximity, these civilizations all had one thing in common: artwork, poetry, and stories featuring giants.
Ancient Roman tradition maintains that a race of giants once walked the earth, only to be wiped out in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. Similarly, Classical Greek mythology tells of the Gigantomachy [jie-gann-TOM-mick-key]- a battle fought between Giants and the Olympian gods. These Giants were said to be the offspring of Gaia, the earth goddess, and Uranus, the god of the sky, two deities who also gave birth to the colossal Titans and the huge one-eyed Cyclops. The Greek hero Hercules was instrumental in the gods’ victory over the Giants. The doomed Roman city of Pompeii, built in the shadow of the volcanic Mount Vesuvius, is said to owe its name to an ancient word denoting this victory.
Tales of giants are not exclusive to Greco-Roman mythology. The Paiute [pie-YOOT] Indians of the southeastern United States, for example, tell stories about a race of red-haired cannibalistic giants who preyed on their ancestors in ancient times. Similarly, the Celtic folklore of Ireland tells of monstrous subterranean giants who terrorized Ireland’s first Gaelic settlers. And in India, the Buddha is said to have been about nine feet tall.
Despite its global pervasion, giant lore is most highly concentrated in the Mediterranean, leading anthropologists to ponder over the linkage between those mythical beings and this mysterious region. Scattered throughout the Mediterranean are ‘cyclopean structures’ – crude pieces of masonry built from enormous stones, named after the huge one-eyed Cyclops of Greek mythology, whom the Classical Greeks believed were the only creatures who possessed the strength to build such stonework. The most famous cyclopean structure is the Lion Gate, the main entrance to the Bronze Age stronghold of Mycenae [my-SEEN-nee], in southern Greece.
Malta, one of the smallest countries in the world, contains some of the largest and most mysterious structures known to mankind. Seven of these, called the Megalithic Temples of Malta, are unique architectural masterpieces composed of massive freestanding stones. One of these, estimated to be around 5,000 years old, is the second-oldest freestanding structure in the world. Maltese folklore contends that these structures were built by giants, or by men upon whom giants bestowed special technology which facilitated their creation.
In Qrendi [ah-REN-dee], Malta, there is a three-part megalithic temple complex called Hagar Qim [HAH-jar EEM], which is believed to have been built in around 39 BC. The southernmost of the three temples of which the Hagar Qim is composed appears to be connected with an ancient solar calendar. At a particular time of day, the sun’s rays enter the temple through a hole in its wall and illuminate the interior.
Of all the mysterious ancient features in Malta, among the most baffling are the so-called “cart ruts” which crisscross the limestone foundation of the ancient city of Misrah Ghar Il-Kbir [MEESS-rah arg-BEER]. Named after their resemblance to the tracks made by the wheels of a cart, these deep rocky grooves are a mystery to archaeologists. Some pairs of these tracks run straight off cliffs, while others plunge directly into the Mediterranean Sea. Similar cart ruts can be found in Tunisia and Sicily. Could these features be relics of some great transportation method used by ancient giants?
Scattered throughout the Italian island of Sardinia are about 800 megalithic tombs built by the ancient Nuragic people, referred to by both locals and archaeologists as “giants’ graves”. These structures are very similar in design to those found in Malta. Sardinia is also home to over 7,000 nuraghi, another type of mysterious ancient Nuragic structure made from stacked rocks, on the function of which the archaeological community has yet to come to a consensus.
In the spring of 1974, five thousand strange-looking stone sculptures were accidentally discovered buried in a farmer’s field in west-central Sardinia. These ancient Nuragic statues, dubbed the “Giants of Monte Prama”, measure from 2 to 2.5 metres in height, and resemble giant men with strange-looking features.
Another type of Nuragic megalithic structure discovered in Sardinia is the menhir, a giant standing stone often inscribed with strange symbols. Like the Giants of Monte Prama, these structures are believed to hold religious significance. It has been observed that some of the carvings on certain Sardinian menhirs appear to represent winged men and women descending from the sky and spreading knowledge, evocative of the legendary Anunnaki, or ancient gods, of Sumerian mythology.
The central Italian town of Ferentino and its neighbours are also connected to stories of giants. Legend has it that the towns were founded by the gods Saturn and Janus during the idyllic Golden Age in which gods walked the earth alongside men. Saturn is often conflated with the Greek Titan Cronos, Titans being the enormous progeny of Gaia and Uranus and the brethren of the Grecian Giants.
If the Mediterranean was indeed home to giants in ancient times, where did they go? Some say that the answer can be found in our own genetic coding, hinting at the possibility that humans and giants interbred in the dim recesses of prehistory.
In 1953, in Porto Torres, Sardinia, archaeologists discovered two 8-foot-tall structures near the site of an early Roman colony. It is said that, subsequent to this discovery, several enormous skeletons ranging from 8 to 12 feet in height were found in the same area. For reasons unknown, Italian authorities deliberately withheld this information from the public.
In 1892, three fragments of human leg bones were discovered in an ancient cemetery in Southern France. The bones were dated to the Neolithic period, and were estimated to have belonged to one of the largest human beings in known existence. Judging from the size of the fragments, French anthropologists estimated that the man to which they belonged stood 11 feet, six inches in height.
In 2010, scientists discovered that many people have traces of Neanderthal DNA in their genetic coding. In 2020, geneticists in Copenhagen, Denmark, discovered evidence that ancient humans also interbred with Denisovans [den-NEE-so-vins], another prehistoric hominid which once shared the planet with our ancestors.
In the Book of Genesis, mysterious beings called Nephilim are said to have interbred with human women. Described as being tall and strong, the name given these manlike creatures derives from an ancient Hebrew word which has been translated as “fallen ones”. Rabbinic scholars and Christian theologians have identified the Nephilim as either giants or fallen angels, the latter being angels expelled from heaven.
Evidence of ancient giants in Mediterranean architecture, fossil remains, tradition, and human DNA raise a number of disturbing questions. Is it possible that humans mated with giants in ancient times? Is it possible that these giants were extraterrestrial in origin? Does the true history of the human race lie in the mythological tales of our ancestors?