ANDREW COLLINS REPORTS FROM SARDINIA ON A RECENT CONFERENCE ON GIANTS IN THE EARTH AND ON THE POWERFUL TRADITION OF THE ACCABADORA, THE ISLAND'S SIGNORA DELLA MORTE OR "WOMAN OF DEATH")
Andrew Collins next to the poster of the giants conference in Sardinia
Where else would you find anthropologists, archaeologists, mystery writers and alien believers arguing the case for the existence in former times of giants in the earth? Italy of course, well, actually the beautiful Island of Sardinia in this case. I have just returned from a memorable and rather strenuous stretch at the L'era dei Giganti ("the age of the giants") event, held in the heart of the Sardinian landscape at a place called Pauli Arbarei, noted for its own legends of giant graves and giant bones being discovered in the pastoral lands locally.
Held over the weekend of November 6/7, 2010, the diversity of speakers and performers, all Italian except for myself and Austrian mysteries researcher Klaus Dona, were encouraged to champion their own opinions on giants, whether as flesh and blood human beings, ancestral myths or as ancient astroanuts. There was a minute's silence, for the recently departed Zecharia Sitchin, who championed the somewhat wild notion that the Watchers and their giant offspring, the Nephilim, as well as the Annunaki of Sumerian and Babylonian tradition, were aliens from the planet Nibiru who came here 250,000 years ago to colonize earth and create the race of Adam to mine for gold in darkest Africa.
Much of this is backed up by the fact that this same region of the globe, focused on the great inland sea of Lake Van, is the traditional site of the land of Eden - mentioned on occasions in the Old Testament and famed for its noted garden, serpent and disobedient couple. It is here that the sources of the four rivers of paradise can be found, and it was here also that the first creation of wheat from the domestication of wild grasses took place around 9000 BC. Indeed, the generic origins of no less than 68 modern strains of wheat can be traced to wild grasses (einkorn and emmer) that still grow on the slopes of Karacaca Dag, an extinct volcano just 20 miles (32 km) from Gobekli Tepe.
Large vats have been found at Gobekli Tepe, which are thought to have used to make a wheat-based beer around the same time that wild grasses were first been cultivated at nearby Karacaca Dag. If correct, then beer making might well have preceded the use of wheat to make bread. It would certainly seem that the ruling elite at Gobekli Tepe got their priorities right on this one!
Tall as Trees
Personally, I have no reason to assume that descriptions of Watchers as large as trees is based on actual fact. More likely is that the indigenous peoples of the Near East were much smaller than the proposed shamanic elite that arrived on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers sometime around 10,000 BC. I suspect they were no more than six to six and a half feet (2-2.25 m) tall at the most. The Watchers' original homeland remains a mystery, although I have repeatedly proposed that it was the Upper Nile of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Here between 15,000 and 11,000 BC some of the most advanced communities anywhere in the world thrived. They possessed a sophisticated microblade technology, superior homesteads comparable with those of the later Neolithic age, and even possibly a form of proto-agriculture. This is my best bet as to where the builders of Gobekli Tepe originated.
Evidence of the global disruptions caused by a comet impact in North America c. 10,900 BC (after the work of Richard Firestone and many others including myself in GATEWAY TO ATLANTIS, 2000) can be found in Egypt. A thick carbon-rich layer caused by falling ash and debris from the intense firestorms that would have raged following this unimaginable cataclysm on the North American continent has been found all over the world. The ash would have remained in the upper atmosphere, creating a dense cloud cover that would have blocked out the sun. This would have caused a prolonged period of total darkness and bitter cold, something that is recalled in catastrophe myths worldwide. Afterwards, the ash would have gradually fallen to the ground, creating this 20 cm thick layer known as the Usselo Horizon. It is the greatest telltale sign we have of the reality of this great devastation at the end of the last Ice Age.
Evidence of this destruction is even preserved in the records of ancient Egypt. The so-called building or foundation texts at the temple of Edfu in southern Egypt speak of a time of floods and destruction following the onset of a period of darkness. This occurred after the appearance in the sky of an enemy snake known as the Great Leaping One. In my opinion, this is a memory of the comet impact, c. 10,900 BC.
The chaos and disorder that would inevitably have followed this proposed period of darkness would have included turmoil among indigenous populations worldwide, creating untold migrations into new territories. It was at this time that I believe the Watchers of Eden, the proposed builders of Gobekli Tepe and the founders of the Neolithic revolution moved from the Nile to the Near East, eager to take over the reigns here.
Through an interpreter I told this story to a capacity audience of around 500. I had to cut various corners due to the lack of time, but I think everyone understood where I was coming from.
Andrew in front of a church at Pauli Arbarei
The one point which intrigued me most is that the seemingly increased size of the craniums caused through deformation must also increase the volume capacity of the brain, espexially as some of the deformations are enormous, causing the individuals to become cone heads!
Reconstructions of some of the individuals behind these strange skulls brought out the odd appearance of these ancient ancestors, some of whom had double ridges across their scalps that really did make them look like aliens, one reason for including the skulls in the lecture.
In his second lecture, Klaus showed slides of many unusual and out-of-place artefacts from around the world, many coming from private collections in Central and South America. These have been the mainstay of his Unsolved Mysteries exhibitions since 2001. Some of the objects or collections seen are quite fascinating, while others should be treated with some caution, since they are perhaps deliberate confabulations created to exploit the modern belief in ancient astronauts visiting the earth.
was an Alien
Some of these stone tombs at Goni bear the title "Domus de Janas", meaning "house of the witch (or fairies)" in the ancient language of Sardinia. Sue and I were very much impressed by the site and amazed that we had never before seen any pictures of this beautiful and extremely important megalithic complex. It is truly amazing and well worth bringing to the world's attention (see the pictures on my facebook page).
Deliberately placed portals, windows and light slits enable the rays of the sun to cast light on the interior walls of the nuraghes at the time of the solstices and equinoxes. In some cases this creates abstract images of pure sun light that reflect symbols known to be associated with the Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of Sardinia. I doubt whether such light play inside these strange structures is without some kind of religious intent.
There would only ever be one accabadora in any one generation. Each would serve the local community until their own death, a successor having already been appointed and prepared for the role. Justification for the existence of the accabadora was offered in the fact that only a woman can bring life into the world, so only a woman can take it away.
The accabadora is portrayed as a mature woman dressed in black with a cowl-like shawl covering her head. One can imagine her approaching the house of a victim, her cudgel doubling as a walking stick. It is a sinister and very powerful image, and one made even the more haunting by the fact that this tradition is thought to have continued among some Sardinian communities until the 1970s.
A book I looked at in Sardinia's Cagliari airport contained eye-witness accounts of the last known accabadora, as well as an alleged picture of one, while a woman at the conference alerted me to the fact that an accabadora's cudgel is kept in a museum at a place called Luras in the north of the island. You can see footage of it being unwrapped and shown to a visitor by clicking here), while several web pages record what little is known about the accabadora tradition on Sardinia (see for instance http://golem.ilcannocchiale.it/?id_blogdoc=531228).
Since returning home I have discovered that the accabadora had an additional role that tells us more about her true origin. She would attempt to induce death in a dying person by encouraging the soul to depart from the mortal body. In order to achieve this she would remove all objects of religious and personal significance from the room in which the person lay awaiting death. This supposedly enabled the spirit to more easily break free of its earthly bonds. Additionally, a strange device like a miniature farm yoke, with hooks at each end, was placed beneath the person's pillow, although for what purpose I have yet to ascertain.
I saw a statue of the accabadora in the garden of a café in the village of Pauli Arbarei, where the conference was being held. Carved by a local artist, it displays the signora in archetypal form with her shawl and cudgel. It is a haunting and very compelling representation. The accabadora clearly remains strong in Sardinian popular consciousness, with the signora della morte being featured in books, plays, graphic comics, and short movies (see, for instance, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiJV3vmLdGg&feature=related).