Based on stylistic comparisons such as striations inside body contours and the presentation of horns in twisted perspective, several Paleolithic art experts, including the first curator of the Chauvet Cave, Jean Clottes, have accredited the Portuguese friezes to the early Solutrean of about 20,000 years ago3.
In Portugal, the government did the opposite a€“ plunging ahead with a project destined to destroy the nationa€™s oldest cultural heritage by completing a 300-million-dollar dam whose reservoir will flood a valley packed with dozens of art sites spread over at least 17 kilometers. Yet construction continues - even on holidays - and the water is about to rise another hundred meters. A male ibex with his head shown in two positions, as if he were turning to watch the female behind him.
As we drove up to a sentry box perched on the lip of a road into the vast, unnatural gashing of mountains at Foz CA?a, it was hard to tell if the young guard blocking us in a crisp red and gray uniform represented a well-heeled security service or an elite military unit - but it was plain that bluff and sweet talk wouldn't get us far.
The next time the car eased over the knuckles of a road crisscrossed by up-ended strata, past empty huts built just of stacked slabs, and jostled between overhanging and plunging cliffs until an avalanche of tailings from an old quarry almost blocked the path.
Here was one of the places of grandeur where our ancestors had first grasped visions and then concretized them by hewing - and sometimes painting - images into rock panels. As I pushed forward and the river grew shallower, turtles became so numerous that their stacks toppled like circus acts from the brinks of submerged cliffs. As a draftsman, I could feel empathy for the beast flowing into the hands that had etched her.
This first frieze stood at a fitting point, practically where the reservoir yielded to the original rapids and long pools of the virgin river. Far away across the moonscape of rutted ramps, knots of men stood before tunnels as fleets of dump trucks, made so tiny by distance that they only gave away their magnitude by over-sized wheels, eased to the brink of platforms, and added avalanches to tailings. Above us, the titanium-white cleanliness of the cement plant's towers stood in bold contrast to the devastation, like a phalanx of gigantic chess-rooks bunched for the kill.
According to press articles, the dam-builders had recognized him as the true discoverer of Portugal's first reported Paleolithic engravings, at nearby Mazouco, even though the doctoral student's mentor, Professor Vitor Oliviera Jorge, had stolen his thunder.7 They had given Rebanda a job as their obligatory salvage archaeologist when the new doctor somehow couldn't get a position on a faculty. In return, all he'd had to do was wait till their concrete curtain had gone up and its reservoir had risen into a sea so voluminous and costly that its drainage would have been unthinkable. My goateed interlocutor smirked as he told me I could try looking for the doctor at the complex built for the previous dam, 15A kilometers downstream. But I'd hit pay dirt: the fact that I might hear Rebanda's mea culpa was more than Ia€™d hoped for. Sebastian elected to wait outside and embarked on Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth as I knocked at the locked door. Still, I complimented her on her English, sympathized with them for having to put up with this hierarchical bother, and kept spinning innocuous questions, while she kept waiting for me to go.
When Rebanda's secretary came out again, to see if she could get either me a€“ or her boss - to give up as the wait grew embarrassingly long, I asked her what the round silos with tipped roofs on the hills had been used for. But the next time, after they had gotten used to my rounds, I stepped inside and admired a sequence of two eight-foot-tall maps full of pins. Something was wrong: in addition to the constellations of pins extending for 17 kilometers upstream from the construction site, there were dozens downstream, along the reservoir behind the dam just outside! Finally, so many hours had passed, and she'd informed the doctor so many times that I was still hanging around, that I was forced by the sheer need for new scenery to vary my route, and drifted through empty rooms. The only thing the reports agreed on was that Rebanda had somehow discovered the flooded portion of Canada do Inferno by the previous autumn22 a€“ asking the EDP to lower the Pocinho reservoir by just 3 meters in November 1994 so he could study the engravings.23 a€?They told me it was too expensive,a€? Rebanda had told the New York Times.
So who had shot these photographs, which looked like they had been taken when the sites were dry vegetated hillsides instead of among the muck and bare banks below a fallen waterline?
I realized that the photos of the dry sites might have been taken before the Pocinho Dam, which had flooded them, had even been completed a€“ over 12 years before! UNESCO had suggested Clottes, who, in an uncanny convergence of good and bad karma, was taken on a whirlwind tour of the tip of the iceberg at Canada do Inferno, then immediately whisked to a press conference in Vila Nova do Foz CA?a on Dec 16th, 199428 a€“ just two days before the discovery of the Chauvet Cave that catapulted him, as its first interpreter and protector, from the summit of the French archaeological establishment to world fame. But Clottesa€™ judgement was mixed, confirming that the art could be dated on stylistic grounds to the early Solutrean or even late Gravettian of twenty to twenty-four thousand years ago while suggesting that flooding the valley might be the best way of protecting it, since Portugal was ill-equipped to protect such widely dispersed panels from vandals!29 a€?There is no easy solution,a€? he told a reporter.
What the press forgot to emphasize with quite as much fervor was the fact that Clottes had prefaced his Solomonic verdict by saying, a€?Whatever happens, the engravings must be preserved and not be damaged.a€? Clottes might have felt that he could safely pass the buck because no art conservationist could honestly guarantee the engravingsa€™ fate once they were subjected to currents carrying abrasives, burial under the petrifying alluvia that accumulates behind dams,33 and the worlda€™s most destructive solvent a€“ water, which would dissolve pigments and destabilize rock that had proven its resistance to aerial conditions over tens of millennia. While chatting up the gaunt fellow traveller at the construction site, Ia€™d pretended to make small talk by asking engineering questions, including one about the depth of the sediment that had accumulated behind the Pocinho dam. The irony of it was that Clottesa€™ efforts to be honest without irritating his hosts had been the spark that the French diplomats had dreaded. Despite the fact that the great prehistoriana€™s reputation would remain largely intact, and with good reason, in much of the rest of the world,34 the Portuguese intelligentsia began to shun him. A€ propos of CA?a, two Portuguese rock art researchers, who couldna€™t stomach Clottes after his press conference, ironically echoed him by telling me, confidentially, that flooding the engravings could still be a blessing since it would save them from graffiti and those boogeymen of archaeologistsa€™ dreams, prowling collectors. My guess is that he was so beleaguered by advisers that he was just trying to get out of an awkward situation as quickly, judiciously and diplomatically as possible. I mentioned to Rebanda that I had just attended the lecture on Chauvet, that I even had a videotape of it right there in my camera.
So it's true, I thought, drowning the site was Rebanda's solution to the problem of ownership of photographic rights. But then, what about Rebanda's self-serving talk of photo credits, not to mention the engravings already submerged by the dam at the doorstep a€“ and his belief that the engravings were doomed to be flooded? Strangely enough, I could again see it being both ways, since the roots of tragedy are self-deception and entwined motives. He must have realized that I was rooting for him to pull himself out of his tailspin, because suddenly he decided. Upon leaving, Sebastian asked to check out the Pocinho dam, so I drove round an interchange into an empty parking lot with planters.
As the sun slanted over the plateau into the wilderness of the CA?a valley, I decided to sneak into a side-valley to the north of our campsite that Rebanda's map had cluttered with pins.
Then, after breaching a wall of rushes, we broke to the reservoir's edge - and were met by a horned skull stuck on a stake.
Suddenly, I remembered what Rebanda had said about the engravings' association with witchcraft.
Being obstinate (or perhaps because of the prehistoric setting), I started whittling stone, knapping a microlithic surgeon's kit, and then bent single-mindedly to my task - failing till I was disgusted with myself and worried for my victim (which I had bizarrely associated with Rebanda).
This time there were two guards behind an overhanging military fence crested by barbed wire. The guard who beckoned us in was rearing a guard-dog puppy, which scampered around, tumbling over ledges and using its chin to lever itself over steps. Our guide was a decent young man who couldn't help feeling uneasy blocking access to these bold masterpieces at the source of all our arts. Still, these guards were actually tame as the locals poured down to catch a glimpse of the animals through the fence. After he'd hastened to take up his time-clock again, I wandered if there might not be even more testimonials of man's attraction to this classical Eden with its islets and fords in the flowery river, and browsed through a plowed orchard, along a contour which I judged would have been the valley floor half a million years ago. We knew the next dawn would be our last, so we broke camp in blue light to explore the teeming side-valley beyond the first auroch.
Not Portugal's - OURS - because this art is so old, despite its elegance, that we share the blood and genius of those distant ancestors who awoke to the universe, whether our cavalcade of ancestors migrated around the Old World or came across the Bering Straits 14,000 years ago. Footnotes have been added to the internet version of the article to provide historical perspective and more detail about sources than the versions that were published & distributed in 1995. 1 The three discoverers of the Chauvet Cave were Eliette Brunel Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet. 2 The IPPAR announced the existence of the valleya€™s engravings on November 19, 1994 but a video was made of them in 1993.
10 Bahn 1995 for a re-capitulation of the same accusations against the IPPAR & Rebanda.
33 Bednarik & Jaffe have been the most outspoken spokesmen about delusions concerning the protective qualities of reservoirs a€“ which not only inundate art panels with water but deep alluvial deposits that make their later recovery dangerous and impractical. 34 Interestingly, a few years after this appeal was written, Clottes came under fierce attack and even ridicule by many representatives of the French intelligentsia, including some of the countrya€™s most prominent prehistorians, after he and David Lewis-Williams published a€?The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and magic in the painted cavesa€? in 1996. As soon as their results indicating that the art might be only 3,000 to 6,500 years old (if not even younger) were announced a€“ which actually made the engravings even more astonishing, potentially rewriting the history of rock art or even making Portugal the last bastion of the Paleolithic tradition a€“ the most important Portuguese right-wing weekly screamed that the direct-dating results proved that stylistic daters like Clottes had perpetrated a a€?FRAUDa€? (O Independente, 7 July 1995).
It should also be noted that the individuals who participated in the debate were often somewhat unwittingly drawn into playing secondary or tertiary roles in a struggle between the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Industry. 40 In November 1995 - six months after this call-toa€“arms was published and circulated to Prehistoric Art Emergencya€™s volunteers (who Ia€™m glad to report included a young actor, Yann Montelle, who went on to earn a doctorate in prehistory) - a book edited by Jorge called a€?Dossier CA?aa€? appeared with 20 contributions by him or his wife. 44 After writing this article in May 1995, it occurred to me that I might have missed one of the main reasons for eliminating Rebanda from Portugala€™s archaeological milieu a€“ the fact that he was so effective at finding rock art that drew international attention, first to Mazouco, then to CA?a.
49 When I wrote the article, I assumed that the two young men were Rebandaa€™s subordinates and referred to them as a€?draftsmena€?.
50 After initially denigrating both the art and the idea of extracting it, the EDP later adopted the idea as one of its three strategies for overcoming opposition to the dam project. We arose later than usual, read the paper over breakfast and then finished packing for our trip. As we entered the brand new Buffalo and Niagara International Airport Terminal, I was impressed with the gracefulness of the sweeping lines of the building. We had a last cup of coffee with Joanne and Jack and then checked into the Continental counter with our bags. We had some time to kill,so we strolled the terminal wondering as always at the many stories evident around us.
Ironically, I was reading a book on the early years of the Italian mafia, titled a€?Capoa€?.
On the way into Italy, we could look down and see the hard granite peaks of the French and Italian Alps.They were snow covered and uninviting, a reef of sky-born peaks waiting to hull out the careless and low flying aircraft.
We were gathered up by Lucio Levi, our tour guide, and escorted to the Central Holidays bus for the I hour ride up into the Lake Lugano region of Switzerland. The Alpine scenery is pleasant and interesting.Everything seemed well ordered and in its place.
Lake Lugano hove into view as the sun came out and we were impressed at the well ordered splendor. The Sun was shining and we could see diverse Alpine landscapes reflected in the depths of the Lake.It was an impressive start to the tour.
Lucio brought us to the Hotel Admiral where we checked in to room #415, unpacked and took a short nap.We were tired from the flight. After our conference with Ozzie Nelson(nap),Mary and I walked along the pedestrian shopping mall, thea€?Via Nassa,a€? to watch the crowds.It was sunny, cool and in the 50a€™s. Next, we sat in an open square overlooking the lake and had a panini and cappuccino at the Ristorante Vanini.
We sat frequently , at various stops along the lake side, to admire the Alpine visage.It is picture postcard pretty.
The dinner and company were very nice but we were tiring.The bus took us for a brief night ride around the lake and then returned us to the hotel. The bus let us off near the venerable a€? La Scalaa€? Opera House, named after the daughter of the powerful Scala Family in nearby Verona.
From LaScala, we walked to the a€?Galleriaa€? shopping complex, the fore runner of our covered malls.
The Cathedral was the first for us in a series of such masterful granite and marble epiphanies throughout Italia.
It was rainy and cool .We reboarded our bus and crawled for 45 minutes through heavy traffic to the expressway East to Verona. For the next hour we drove through the Po river valley and admired the vineyards and verdant agriculture of the region. From Verona, we drove Eastward for an hour to the Adriatic Coast and the fabled Republic of the Doges, Venice. We walked the narrow pedestrian alley ways and delighted in the architecture and charm of this magical city. The immense square is populated by throngs of tourists and locals feeding an enormous army of the aerial rats that we call pigeons. On the corner of the square, near the Church, sits the former seat of the Venetian Republic, The Palazza Ducale. As we walked along the polished marble looking floors, our guide explained their unique construction. Next, we walked the path of the condemned over the famous a€?Bridge of Sighsa€? and down into the dungeons of the palace. From the Palazza Ducale, we walked a few streets away and toured the showroom for the a€?Muranoa€? glass works. We strolled the streets and alleys of Venice buying some postcards and stamps for friends and window shopping. After our gondola ride we strolled the Piazza San Marco and bought some Panini vegetarian and Mineral water from a small stand (14k).We ate our lunch in the square, like the Venetians, and dodged the dive bombing aerial rats that were the delight of squealing children. Next, we entered the charming Correr Museo, a repository of Venetian art and history from 1300 onward. After this wonderful dinner we walked back towards the hotel, stopping briefly at the Piazza San Marco. We returned to the hotel, packed our bags for tomorrowa€™s departure and read for a while before sleep took us. At 8:30, a water taxi picked us up from the rear door of the hotel and we had a last twenty minute ride along the canals of Venice. We entered the church and again appreciated the statuary and art work that these churches are a repository for. We stopped for a cappuccino (36k), at a nearby cafe with the Meads, and admired the church and its surroundings. We reboarded our motor chariot and drove for 90 minutes into the foothills of the Appenines towards Bologna.The Po River valley here is lush and grows abundant quantities of sugar beets, corn, wheat and rice. We walked into the venerable courtyard of the University of Bologna School of Medicine, founded in 1088. We settled in for some antipasto, pasta with mushrooms, salad, omelet & potato(for me), and peach torte all washed down with sparkling Lambrusco wine and mineral water. After lunch Mary & I briefly strolled the area looking in on the pricey shops like Gucci and Fratelli Rosetti. We rejoined our bus and set out over the Appenines towards the Toscanna region of Italy and the cradle of the European Renaissance , Florence. At 8:30, we called for a taxi and rode across town to the a€?Alle Muratea€? restaurant on the Via Ghibellini. After dinner Arthur and Reneea€™ gave us a ride back to the hotel negotiating the winding and narrow streets of Florence. We met up with a€?Nedoa€? our guide and stood in line for forty minutes to get inside the Museum. There are works by Michelangelo and others in the building, but the focus of the shrine is correctly placed upon a€?David.a€? Michelangelo had carved this 20 ft statue from a single block of marble when he was only 27. The guide told us that David, as well as depicting the biblical slaying of goliath, was sculpted as a metaphor for the Venetian republic that had recently thrown off the shackles of the ruling Medicia€™s. As I viewed this majestic work, I admired the graceful lines of the physically powerful man depicted.
Next, Nedo led us through the winding and narrow streets to the Piazza Signorini, the original site of David.
From the Piazza Signorini, we walked more winding alleys to the most famous church in Florence, Santa Croce or Church of the Holy Cross. Started in 1300, this Romanesque beauty hold the tombs of Nicolo Machiavelli, Rosinni and Galileo with memorials to Dante and DaVinci (who is buried in Ravenna).
We admired as before the artwork, religious icons and soaring vaulted beauty of these churches, repositories of art and culture and learning.
The high water mark, from the horrendous flooding of the mid 1960a€™s , is still visible on the walls. We waited in line for 45 minutes and then, for a 12K Lire entrance fee, we ascended the three flights of stone stairs to the famous gallery. Tiring, we stopped for cappuccino at the small cafe (12K) and watched the swirl of tourists and art lovers drifting by. As with most Galleries after a few hours, the a€?glaze a€? descends upon us and we know it is time to leave.
We left the Uffizzi and walked along the Arno to another fabled site in Florence, The Ponte Veccio.
We stopped at a stand on the far side of the river for pizza and watched the scene as if in a movie. Most of the gang was mildly lit from the eveninga€™s revels and the bus ride back to the hotel was happily raucous and enjoyable. We ambled along the narrow lanes and found and stopped in another old Church, that of St.Rita.
Next, we found the a€?Nuovo Mercadoa€? a pedestrian area of exclusive shops and wandering tourists. From the new market, we walked along the Arno to the Uffizzi Gallery and mingled with the throngs that gathered there daily in the small square next to the gallery.
Further along the Arno we stopped at a small cafea€™ and bought spinach and cheese panini and mineral water for 15K.We stood in the sun along the Arno and ate our lunch while watching the daily drama played out on the Ponte Veccio. The Arno valley here is lush and green.Scores of nurseries and tree farms furnish Italy and much of Europe with trees and shrubs.
Finally, we approached the Romanesque complex of the Church of Santa Maria.The Duomo, or main church, had been built in 1063 and the adjacent Bell tower in 1173. We reboarded our bus and set off through the Tuscan hills for Florence, passing by the small town of Vinci from whence Leonardo came. At 7:30, we joined the Meads and the Martenisa€™s for dinner in the hotel dining room of the Anglo American. We were heading through rural Umbria to the historic mountaintop village of Asissi, home of St Francis. The massive bulk of a 50,000 man Roman Legion had been deployed in the wide valley just behind us. After Mass and communion, we met a€? Marcellaa€? our guide.She began a brief explanation of the significance of the church and the history of St.
We wandered up the curved and winding alleys of the upper town admiring the substantial brown, fieldstone structures with red-tile roofs. After lunch, we walked around for a brief time admiring the valley scape and the well ordered Town of St.Francis of Asissi. We boarded our bus and continued on through the hills near Perugia, stopping at the small mountain town of TORGIANO, noted for its vineyards and wine making . Tiring with the day, we climbed aboard our motorized chariot and drove the final 100 miles along the Po river valley to the Eternal City, Roma There are flocks of sheep, vineyards and villas on every hilltop along the way to Roma.We were expectant and chatty with anticipation at arriving in so fabled a city. The sun was still with us and we were in Rome, so we set out with the Meads for a walk to Navona Square across the Tiber River. The two grand series of steps surround a wonderful floral garden .At the top of the very long steps stands the outline of the Villa Medici with its twin Byzantine towers. Interestingly, the stadium had a canvas awning that could be erected over the entire structure by a team of 400 sailors using nautical ropes and pulleys. Hydraulic engineers could also flood the first level and stage mock sea battles for the entertainment of the nobility. And now here it stood, a heap of interesting rubble stripped by scavengers for centuries of all its former beauty.
From the Arch of Constantine, we walked along the narrow a€?Via Sacraa€? over the same cobblestones trod upon by the Romans. The Forum itself was entered through the smaller Arch of Titus, built to commemorate the subjugation of Judea in 70 A.D. Still, standing there beneath the quiet blue sky of a Roman afternoon, one could imagine the triumphs and intrigues of a powerful empire that must have played out here daily.
As we left the forum and walked back over the Via Sacra, we passed by the grassy and treed remains of the Palatine hill where Rome was founded, in the 8th century B.C,. The ruins of the Palace of the Flavian Emperors stands forlornly on the hill overlooking an empty oval of grass that had once been the Circus Maximus. From the Palatine and Capitol Hills, our bus took us for a brief ride across the Tiber to the living and breathing heart of Rome, Vatican City. We stopped first at a religious store for rosaries, icons and all such necessary souvenirs. Next, we marched across the street to stand in what is perhaps one of the three most noted squares in the world, that of St.Petera€™s. We made our way past the fountains and chairs, with thousands of others, to the very center of world wide Catholicism, the Church of St.Peter. Words are poor descriptors for the tiled mosaic friezes, bronze castings of various popes and shrines to many of the saints and holy family.
A tour of the catacombs and the Appian Way was scheduled for the afternoon, but Mary & I decided we had toured enough for the day. After this refreshing stop we followed the winding streets and the conveniently posted signs to another Roman tourist favorite, Berninia€™s a€?Trevi Fountain.a€? Dutifully, we threw coins over our shoulders into the fountain and hoped it meant we would return to Rome again. We stood for a while watching many others, young and old, throw coins into the fountain and take pictures of each other.Everyone seemed festive and happy to be here, perhaps reflective of the legendary sunny Roman temperament.
From the Trevi Fountain, we retraced our path to the Spanish Steps and then up the Via Condotti and across the Tiber to our hotel to take a breather before dinner.
We crowded all 45 of us into a small back room and were served family style by sweating waiters. As we walked the length of the ornately decorated hallways of the Vatican Museum, Nora pointed out the array of wall-sized painted arras completed by Raphael and his students.
Next, we entered the quiet precincts of the Sala Immaculata Conceptione,an intimate little chapel adorned with grand murals honoring the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a primary tenet of church dogma. The third level is an evenly spaced depiction of a series of Popes, perhaps a sop to the financiers of the chapel.Lastly, in small triangles and created in a special paint by Michelangelo that is a collage of vivid oranges, blues,reds and peaches,are the prophets of the old testament like Daniel and Ezekiel. Finally, we come to the most prized of artworks, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.Starting in 1508, under the stern direction of Pope Julius II,Michelangelo painted, in four years, a series of ceiling wide panels depicting Goda€™s creation of the universe ,the original sin in the garden of eden,Noah and the flood. We left the chapel appreciative of the experience and sat for a while in an outdoor alcove, near the Vatican post office and in view of the high relief of the Vatican Dome of St.Petera€™s.
The group had the option to stay and visit the many thousands of exhibits, but we werea€? museumed out.a€? We elected to take the bus back to the hotel. From the hotel, we walked with the Meads across the Tiber and wandered the back streets, on our way to the Pantheon. From the Pantheon we traversed the narrow streets to the Piazza Navona and again admired Berninia€™s fountain of the four rivers. We walked along the narrow lanes to the Tiber River and past the massive fortification of Castle San Angelo with its wide moat. Tonight was to be the last evening in Italy for about half of our tour group,so a special dinner was planned.They were being replaced by 12 new arrivals who had joined us in Rome two days previously. Upon arrival, we descended a flight of masonry stairs into the ancient cellar of a very old restaurant. Mary and I decide to take a 15 minute walk to the Piazza Cavour to clear our heads before retiring. We retired to our room, finished packing for the morning departure and slept like the dead. As we negotiated the morning traffic out of Rome, Lucio pointed out to us the remaining lengths of the old city wall.Stretching for some eleven miles, it rises over 20 feet in height. The ride South was uneventful.We were driving through the narrow valley that stretches from Rome to Naples. The Allies drew heavy casualties here in their advance.The New Zealand Commander, attached to the British Eight Army, insisted that the Abbe be bombed.
To the East, the Appenines were snow covered.The mountains here are tall and can reach over 14,000 feet in height. At the Southern end of the valley, sitting along the beautiful bay of Naples like a large and tiered amphi-theater, sits the City of Naples. The traffic was heavy and a small demonstration of some sort was closing the downtown area.Our capable wheel man Fabrizio reversed course in the crowded street and threaded our way along the waterfront heading south along the coast. Our next destination was the small town of Torre Del Greco, where we stopped at a small company of artisans(Giovanni Apa) who carve cameo broaches from sea shells. Our guide for the day, a€?Enzoa€?, met us outside the ristorante and shepherded us through the turnstiles and up the stairs and hill to the fabled ruins of Pompei. Some few a€?bodiesa€? were discovered in the ash, completely encased in volcanic material, yet retaining their human shape. Enzo took us to the towna€™s central forum where we viewed the remains of the curia, basilica,which served as a financial center at the time, and other municipal buildings.Most had been constructed of brick and faced with marble. We viewed a remarkably well preserved public bath with its steam rooms and lounging areas.It gave you a sense of the ancients as not so different from us.
We were up early, wakened by the thunder and lightning flashing across the surface of the bay. We showered,dressed and had breakfast with the Lynches in the upper dining room, a€?Re Artua€?(King Arthur). We boarded the jet foil and for twenty five minutes had a ride worthy of Disney.The boat slalomed through the four foot rollers like a hog in a wallow.
We wandered by the quaint shops to the scenic overlook park named a€?Giardino Augusta,a€? after the emperor Augustus.It had been financed and constructed by the Krupp armaments family.
Mary and I wandered the alleys admiring the shops and stopped at a small cafe for panini and cappuccino. There,we wandered for a time the upscale shops on the narrow pedestrian lanes and admired the even better view, of the bay, from the top of the mountain that is the Isle of Capri. While the girls were in browsing a shop, I noticed that Bill and I were left standing on a street corner. We walked slowly through town and up the hill to the Sorrento Palace where we sat on the terrace and admired for a time the lovely view as the sun set over the Bay of Naples. After dinner, we stopped by the lobby and listened to some music and chatted with each other for a while.
First ,we stopped in town at the a€?Lucky Cuomo Store.a€? It is a display show room for an industry that provides work for a large portion of the town,wood working and furniture construction. As we approached the small tourist town of Amalfi, the traffic thickened like molasses in January.
It started to sprinkle soon after we arrived, so most of us took Lucioa€™s advice and stopped for lunch at the a€?Pizzeria Di Marie.a€? We had wonderful Minestrone soup and vegetable pizzas, with panne and mineral water, as we watched Mama Maria and her family work the old fashioned pizza ovens,smiling at the sudden onrush of business form the crazy Americans. After lunch,we walked along the narrow and crowded main street and stopped for a cappuccino at the a€?Cafe Royal.a€? (5k) Then, as the splatter of rain began, we stopped into the lovely Chiesa San Andrea perched at the head of a precipitous flight of steps.
We waited until all of the soggy stragglers had made it back aboard and then slowly inched our way out of town through the tangled snarl of traffic.Frabizio, our sunny tempered wheel man was at his best along these narrow and crowded lanes . We were served tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese on toast, vegetables(for me) bruscetta for the others, salad, pasta crepes with cheese and the house specialty for desert, the a€?Deliciouso Limonea€?, a lemon angel-food cake that is wonderful. The bus returned us to the hotel, where we sat again in the lobby listening to music and chatting with each other.We were leaving these gentle surroundings tomorrow morning and heading North to Rome. We were up early, enjoying the scent of lemons and oranges and the sounds of birds chirping happily in the hotel garden.It seemed like every available patch of green space in the area has its own lemon or sour orange grove along this narrow coast.
A light rain fell as we motored Northward along the scenic coastline.Our fellow passengers on the bus were subdued and thoughtful, perhaps mindful of their imminent departure and the real life that lay waiting for us just beyond the ocean.
We stopped for cappuccino and a break at a roadside rest stop.Lucio warned us about being approached by Gypsies with bogus items for sale. Another hour up the road and we approached the towering spur of Mt.Cairo that holds the hilltop Abbe of Monte Cassino. As the wind swirled around us we passed into the first of the a€?four open courtsa€? of the monastery.
The next level and open stone courtyard features another statue of St.Benedict and one of his twin sister Scholastica, a rather interesting woman who had helped found the order. The next court, at the head of a small stairs and open to the sky, is the a€?court of the protectors.a€? Displayed in it, is a series of figures and small monuments to the lay members of the order who had become Kings and Popes. Lucio had told us to look for one of the twenty remaining elderly monks, survivors of the WWII bombing.
We left the Abbe amidst the splatter of rain.One of our group, an elderly woman, was experiencing a brief reunion with local residents that she had not seen in fifty years. Descending the winding roads from the Abbe, we could see off in the distance the floral cross and quiet grounds of the Polish Military Cemetery A 1200 man Battalion of these gallant lads had been attached to the British Eight Army during the final siege and storming of the MonteCassino.These brave men had led the charge and been virtually annihilated to a man by the superior German forces entrenched in the rubble of the Abbe high above them. Lucio narrated for us a tale of the many daily practices that the life of so important an Abbe had influenced among the local populace. A Benedictine monk, by the name of a€?Fra Guidoa€?, had also given us our system of musical notes and scales.
We stopped again, about an hour along the highway North, for some excellent Minestrone zuppe, panne and mineral water at a a€?RistoAgipa€? stop.The food was both good and welcome, but the waiter skinned us with a bogus tale of included charges. As we approached the Eternal City , we could see many bright yellow mustard fields, flocks of sheep and abundant agriculture in the rolling hills outside of Rome.We threaded our way through the city traffic and arrived again at the Visconti Palace for our last night in Rome. The walk along the Tiber and past the massive old and circular fortress of Castle San Angelo was pleasant.
The area around the Vatican was a swirl of people as we again admired St.Petera€™s square. A curate was singing mass near the main altar and the multi lingual confessionals all had lines of the faithful waiting penitently, signs of an older and different church from the one that we now know in America. We gazed, interested, upon the many marble statues and tile frescoes along the various walls of the enormous church. I was rather taken with a small and innocuous bronze plaque on a wall near a museum, at the side of the church. Glazing over form the impressive reliquary and art treasures, we left St.Petera€™s, a mental portrait fixed forever in our minds of so fascinating a place of worship, power and beauty. We walked back along the Tiber River to our hotel and ` relaxed before dinner, our last one in Rome and Italy. The staff of the restaurant was inordinately gracious, even when one character in our group pulled the Maitrea€™D aside and began to offer him suggestions on how to better run the place.
We watched, for a last time, the walls of the ancient city pass by us and thought wistfully of the many people and places that we had seen in these last two weeks.
We had a last Cappuccino, changed over some lire at larcenous rates and sat waiting for our flight. We boarded Alitalia flight #640 and had a pleasant, if long , nine-hour, marathon flight back to Newark International Airport.We passed through customs and rechecked our bags with Continental Airlines for the flight to Buffalo. Newark was fast becoming a madhouse as teeming thousands were returning from everywhere on their Easter Vacations.


Not only were frescoes of rhinos, horses and lions over 30,000 years old found in a cave in the Ardeche on Dec. Although theya€™re probably right, ita€™s worth noting that these same specialists used similar criteria to ascribe the animals of Chauvet to the same period - until carbon 14 results pushed their age back over 10,000 years, shattering the notion that prehistoric art had evolved linearly, like technologies. In France, the Ministry of Culture placed its new treasure under the most draconian protection, despite the fact that the country already has the lion's share of Paleolithic art. Standing right in front of some of the most spectacular engravings, the Secretary of State for Culture dismissed them as being nothing more than a€?childrena€™s doodlesa€? a€“ whereupon the students from Foz CA?aa€™s high school turned the official into a laughing-stock by presenting him with a schist slab covered with their own scribblings4. It's now or never, the author of the following article decided in April 1995, as he set out to evaluate the engravings, find out the truth, and propose solutions. My 13-year old son and I had flown to Porto in Portugal and driven far up the Douro valley into the northeastern mountains, prepared to maneuver around obstructions whether by negotiation or hiking through the back door.
Still, here was our first encounter with the powers that be, so I took this opportunity to probe, and get a first step up the hierarchical ladder.
So I explained how Sebastian and I had come so far to see the Paleolithic glories that Portugal would be displaying with pride, spoke of credentials, and placed us (and our pen) in his hands. Still, we had our bearings, and drove off into the late afternoon to penetrate the heart of the forbidden zone. We were getting closer, very close now, and could spy loops of a trail among the folds of a distant ridge. And here too was the arena where one of the greatest feuds between discoverers and custodians of the past had exploded since the conflict between Othniel Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope over the fossils of extinct giants in Sioux territory during Custer's battles. With swifts swirling in up-drafts around our heads, we scrambled and picked our way among sheer precipices and ledges.
Its tight horseshoe of cliffs and rubble made the perfect hiding place for our car and tent from the gray guards roaming the surrounding crests with binoculars.
Sebastian snuggled tighter into his sleeping bag, so I set out to reconnoiter alone, systematically working quadrants and contours between our quarry at Fariseu and Piscos brook.
Somewhere among the jumble of a thousand rock faces would be an ancient image - perhaps masked by lichen or so faint one had to trace its parts before seeing it whole.
The numbed waters suddenly spangled upstream with glitter and so many flowery white tresses of water plants that the currents looked like sudsy pastures.
After all the noisy demonstrations against the dam in Lisbon, how were they to know how much clout a nosy prehistorian might have?
Whatever was going to happen to him afterwards in the backwater of Portuguese archaeology had surely been inconsequential, since experience proved that nobody made much fuss over sites that were out-of-sight and out-of-mind - especially with archaeologists beholding to dam-builders and political appointees for access and records. According to the insinuations, he could have continued his documentation right up to the headwaters as his masters worked their way upstream step by step. I sensed that this crowd felt their doctor deserved to be the one to tell fellow archaeologists that they might as well ask to visit Atlantis. Sure enough, there was the 12 year-old Pocinho dam sweeping the valley with a clean curtain.14 But the silos of this former construction site's cement plant were speckled with rust, the ranks of its offices and dormitories were deserted and almost every window was broken. Fortunately, Sebastian was becoming ever more engrossed in Verne's book, spelunking towards the planet's core, so I began to gravitate down halls for exercise and companionship, coming to the door of the room where the secretary was braiding the blind's cord while two laconic draftsmen labored over tracings of horses, ibexes and aurochs. It has been insinuated that Rebanda probably discovered Rock 1 at Canada do Inferno as early as November 1991.18 In Dec. So, quixotically, he had proposed building a dry-dock around the outcropping, and, failing that, underwater exploration. If so, the power utility may have known of incredibly rich sites years before the first blueprint for the new dam!
Clottes was the worlda€™s reigning prehistorian a€“ the man who had risen to the pinnacle of the French archaeological establishment and held the only keys to the holy grail of art caves - the unbelievably strong and ancient Grotte Chauvet. After inspecting the 15% of the art that remained above water at the site in the rising dama€™s shadow, because the EDP had hardly felt it necessary to lower the water for the visit of the foreigner sent by the now antagonistic IPPAR, Clottes stepped before a highly polarized press corps. The dam-builders and their government backers felt vindicated while much of Portuguese public was crestfallen or furious. The dam had become a poisonous political issue in a national election with the President and his fellow Socialists attacking the center-right Prime Minister for its willingness to sacrifice both the nationa€™s patrimony and vineyards to a flaky building scheme. As if the owners of villas built around the new lake would really allow it to be drained 100 meters to its bottom - where almost all of the known panels would soon be drowned a€“ once every decade! Suddenly, the Portuguese public felt that the dam-builders were not only destroying the nationa€™s most ancient claim to world grandeur and civilization, but that they were in league with a man who would never have been so cavalier with Paleolithic masterpieces in his own country! When I later asked Portuguese archaeologists if they were going to attend an up-coming conference organized by Clottes, they recoiled. First, because Clottesa€™ retinue of hosts, diplomats and reporters was rushing him and putting him in a bind a€“ even if his stature, pride, and role as UNESCOa€™s expert on rock art had led him into it. They even echoed his faith in getting dam operators to regularly empty the vast lake a€“ despite the glaring evidence of the EDPa€™s behavior at CA?a itself. No sooner had Clottes triggered a public outcry, than he began to explain away his tepid defense of the CA?aa€™s importance by saying that he had not been shown enough art to form a true idea of the valleya€™s richness.35 But the truth is, he was shown Rebandaa€™s trove of drawings from submerged sections and sites upstream36 and could have been more demanding. After all it was a lot of money, the government was inflexible, the controversy had become a campaign issue a€“ which meant that his advice would seem like foreign meddling - and the elections were still far off.
When, in fact, the long-term rights for the cave in France would belong to its Ministry of Culture a€“ which was already attacking its discoverer, Chauvet, for the pittance hea€™d received for his pictures. But I could hardly hold my tongue: why on earth had he invited people from this caste of academics back into his life - and the valley - when at least one of them had apparently abused him? The picture was compelling: SimAµes and her husband angelically insisting that the world must be told, while the hireling screamed demonically over the fire, accusing university archaeologists of trying to hog the credit yet again.
If Rebanda had known SimAµes and Jaffe were going to paint him into a corner, wouldn't he have raced for the exit?
Both Rebanda and SimAµes de Abreu could have been traitors and saviors at once, and as long as I was with this archaeologist, I felt bound to encourage the savior in him. It must have seemed like an insult to him after all his efforts, so with an anarchic gesture, he announced, what the hell, he'd photocopy their fax when it came, so we could enter a second.
Huge black derricks hulked atop the dam beside a row of gate-lifting pistons that looked like Big Berthas. We bagged the warning or omen, caught and released a giant water beetle - the kind that injects deliquescing enzymes into living frogs, then sucks out their juice - and worked our way along what was actually the upper tier of a disappearing cliff. When art panels are located in the CA?aa€™s side valleys, they are apparently concentrated on northern slopes. I was a willing guide as we skewered corn kernels on hooks, lashed lines around a log and threw the lethal leashes into the dark. They were a hundred yards apart, making perpetual rounds as they kept time clocks happy by cranking them every few paces with keys chained to the fence. It was probably his first job after military service, but he was intelligent enough to realize that hea€™d been hired as a pawn in a vast conspiracy to keep Portugal's greatest cultural wonders out of sight and out of mind, till they could be obliterated. One, because any plan to remove the friezes not only meant assigning a value to them, but keeping the controversy alive. The mountainous dirt road forked, meandered and even skirted an imposing castle,51 but several classes of children were making the long dusty pilgrimage on foot while carloads of adults in their Sunday best made the excursion to see the only engravings to have escaped the censors - either because the site at Penascosa was so far from Lima Montiero's spyglass or because the valley was gentler here and had always been farmed. I hadn't passed the first olive tree when I happened upon a well-knapped hand-axe, and then another! On-line commentary entitled a€?Some corrections about the CA?a petroglyphsa€? in TRACCE no.
While Chauveta€™s name was given to the cave itself, the names of his co-discoverers were given to two of its large chambers.
Mila SimAµes de Abreu and Ludwig Jaffe were the founders of the APAAR (AssociaA§ao Portuguesa de Arte e Arqueologia Rupestre), which has been a member of IFRAO (International Federation of Rock Art Organisations) since Sept. In an on-line commentary, Jaffe denounced what he perceived as a continuation of the scandal under new management: a€?In December 1994 IPPAR passed the responsibility for the rock art in the Coa valley to Mario Varela Gomes and Antonio Martinho Baptista. Their critics often subscribe to the doctrine that modern ethnographic evidence cannot be used to interpret ancient cultures.
Although Bednarik was one of the earliest crusaders for CA?a - calling for the EDP to stop building the dam in Nov. The leftist press and Portuguese archaeological milieu reacted with just as much reflection, ignoring both Bednarika€™s qualifiers and his pioneering role in organizing the world campaign to fight for the whole valleya€™s salvation (see Dossier CA?a p.
Of the 66 contributions written by individuals, not one is by Nelson Rebanda, whose ghost a€“ to anyone interested in intellectual property a€“ haunts every line. After the CA?a scandal served its purpose as an electoral issue that helped the Socialists to win power, the new government kept its campaign promise by protecting the CA?a Valley but used the goodwill engendered by the decision to blunt criticism while flooding other huge assemblages of rock art. 3; Catherine Vincent, writing in Le Monde on March 11, 1995, goes into much more detail about one particular vineyard, Ervamoira, that would have been lost, along with its exceptional Port wine.
The first was to prove that the engravings were not Paleolithic a€“ an effort that entrapped researchers who wanted to apply experimental direct-dating techniques. Marya€™s sister Joanne and husband Jack were going to take us to the airport at Noon.We had a definite sense of anticipation for our long awaited Italian adventure. We read our books and passed the time as well as we could for the 7 hours that it took us to reach Milana€™s Malpensa Airport. Next, we set out in search of the Central Holidays Tour guide who was scheduled to meet us. Off in the distance you could see the snow covered Alps.Garlands of dirty gray clouds, pregnant with rain, ringed the mountain peaks like ringers tossed in a carnival game. From the towering mountains nature had gouged out , like the four fingers of a hand, a deep and scenic glacial lake. We stopped by the famous Swiss Jeweler Bucherer and admired their pricey wares.The jeweler gave us a silver spoon as a memento. We noticed a sign for the pool(Piscina) and headed down to the basement for a relaxing swim.The water was heated and we luxuriated in its warmth. Night had fallen and the lake shore was atwinkle with illumination beneath the ponderous shadows of the towering mountains around us. Inside, Emmanuella our guide gave us a narrated tour of the opera house and accompanying museum. The shops lined a cross shaped and tiled arcade that was covered high above by a peaked glass roof.The four corners of the cross were open to the air and a fountain gurgled at the join of the cross arms. The roof line is a series of spires each topped by a small statue, perhaps a wealthy patron or friend of the Viscontia€™s. Along the way, we stopped at an a€?Autogrilla€? for Zuppe, panne and mineral water (26K-L). He had apparently formed a rather strong dislike for the famous Operatic Tenor Pavarotti and referred to him often as a€?The barking dog.a€? The Streets of Verona are narrow and picturesque. You must first cross a paved causeway, stretching from the mainland for a mile, to reach this island city. Mahogany bannisters and woodwork, Venetian glass fixtures and fabric print wall paper give the hotel an ambiance of quiet elegance.
Like most tours and cruises, meals are the less harried periods of the day and the time to share impressions and experiences of the day before.
Arched pedestrian bridges crossed the many small canals as we made our way to the center of Venice,The Piazza San Marco.
This building and all of Venice is built upon pilings sunk into the bottom of the lagoon.Minor tremors and other earth movements often shift the surface below. After a brief demonstration in glass blowing, an army of sales people descended upon us to show us the many colored and world famous Venetian glassware. At 12 Noon, we met up with our group for a Gondola ride down the many small canals of Venice. Later that afternoon we set out along the narrow alleyways to find the Academia Art Museum.
We had eggplant with grilled tomato and vegetables, pasta with clams, sole, insalata, and tiramisu all washed down with Soave Bolla and Mineral Water.
Then, we had a quick breakfast with the Meads and browsed the streets near the hotel one last time. The taxi dropped us off at the head of the causeway where we boarded our Central Holidays bus and set off for the one hour drive to Padua.
The School was hundreds of years ahead of the rest of Europe in dissecting cadavers for research purposes.
Groves of olive trees are clustered everywhere along the hillsides.No arable land appears to be wasted.
The brick buildings here are more of an a€?ochera€? color.Each city appears to have a distinct and uniform a€?colora€? to the brick buildings in its area We skirted the city center and drove past many splendid Tuscan villas to reach a€?Michelangelo Squarea€?. Allora, we did our a€?Chevy Chasea€? look and remounted the bus for the ride into Florence.
The streets were impossibly narrow and lined with cars and the ever present and annoying motor bikes. There stood another wonderfully sculpted water fountain, a casting of David and a few other Greco Roman figures and a covered portico of sorts with a large array of statuary including the famous a€?Rape of the Sabine Women.a€?. We learned later that hundreds of international volunteers, affectionately dubbed a€?mud peoplea€? by the locals, had come to Italy after the flood to help restore the frescos and objects da€™art.
The windows are open to the light and you can look out, from one end of the upper gallery, to the Arno River below. The Europeans seem to consciously expose their children to art and literature and culture on a much greater scale than we do. We ordered(16K) and chatted with the bar tender in our best Italian and enjoyed the ambiance of the place. The Villa is a pale- yellow, two -story Italianate mansion sitting amidst sculpted floral gardens and overlooking the Tuscan countryside. The waiters served us courses of Insalata, Risotto, pasta con mushrooms, Potatoes with cheese and peas and a lemon torte for desert.
It always seemed like a carnival and it was enjoyable just to stop and watch the swirl of people and events. After a quick shower, we met the Meads and the Lyncha€™s in the hotel dining room for breakfast, before our 8 A.M.
As we passed the beautiful shore of Lake Trebbiano, Lucio explained the significance of this sight in Roman History.
Hannibal and his Carthaginian invaders sat undiscovered at the head of the narrow defile along the lake that we now traversed.
Two mighty armies and peoples had pounded upon the granite slate of history with waxen mallets,their impressions all too soon faded and worn by the fibrous and scouring sands of time. We and hundreds of others listened to the Mass in Italian and sat respectfully in this historic old church.
We saw Berninia€™s famous a€?four riversa€? fountain and the many swirls of tourists that gather here nightly. We sought Cena(dinner) at a place nearby that Lucio had recommended .It was one of the few restaurants open on Easter Night. As we wandered around and tried to imagine the cheering throngs that once sat here, I could hear in my minda€™s ear the savage cries and the roar of the crowd.
It was here that the victorious Roman Generals marched in triumph to the Forum, to receives accolades from the Roman Senate. The store offered various packages of reliquary that could be sent over to the Vatican to be blessed and delivered later to your hotel room.
Hundreds of times I have seen this square on television, as a Papal address was given or more dramatically, when a new pope is elected. Mass was being said at the main altar and priests from many nations were giving confession in a dozen languages. You could feel the hurt in her eyes and sense the forlorn helplessness of a mother whose child had been taken from her. We walked from the hotel, across the Tiber, up the Via Corso and across the Via Condotti to the Spanish Steps. Most seemed to be Italian families out for the day on a€? Pasquitaa€? or a€?little Eastera€? holiday.
Built by Pope Sixtus IV as a private Chapel, the church was divided into an inner and outer chapel, separated by a 12 foot, ornate, wrought-iron screen. The first fifteen feet are painted as purple velvet curtains.The texture of the work leads you, from a distance, to watch the curtains lest they move. Marie saw a nice leather coat in a small store and bought it The shop owner formerly had a girl friend that lived in Buffalo.He had even visited once,small world.
Pagan, Christian or other, it is a place designed for quiet contemplation and harmony with the elements of nature.
It had been at various times the tomb of an emperor, a fortification,a prison and is now a museum. As we sat in anticipation, the strolling minstrels played the Mandolin,.picollo, and folk guitar in nostalgic Italian folk songs. It was pleasant to walk amidst the Roman night and remember all that we had seen and done in one of the most ancient of European capitols. It is the avenue North from Naples and the major reason the Allies had landed at Sorrento in WW II.
It is named for the Spanish Ambassador at a time when the Kingdom of Naples was a part of Spain. We watched the trained artisans etch and carve the medallions, rings and various pieces of jewelry from the shells. The weight of the ash had collapsed all of the ceilings and the effect looked like a scene from a WWII movie after an aerial bombardment. They and the mural in the vestibule, with the outsized priasmic phallus, drew the most snickers from the tourists. Soon we came to the small coastal town of Sorrento, where we were to stay for the next three nights. The bus carried us back to the hotel where we read ,caught up with journal entries and surrendered to a conversation with ozzie nelson. The lemon and orange trees were swaying gently and the birds were singing happily in the rain.
The topic of conversation was whether or not the jet foil trip to Capri was still a go for today. We rolled side to side and jumped the occasional roller.If you werena€™t holding on tight, you would go rolling down the aisle of the sleek jet-boat like a tumbleweed in the wind. Roberta shepherded us to the funicular that would take us up the hillside to the lower village of Capri. We gazed out across the deep blue Mediterranean, admiring the two massive rock formations in the harbor. The sun was shining and we had a gorgeous view of the bay and mountains along the shoreline.
We stopped for ice cream at a small stand and watched the shoppers come and go.It was one of those sunny Mediterranean afternoons that give the area its magic and allure.
After a shower and breakfast in a€?Re Artu.a€? we boarded our bus for the daya€™s excursion, the main feature of which was to be a drive along the scenic Amalfi Coast.
The sales rep gave us a demo of the various types of woods used and the process involved in making the elaborately in-laid and finely crafted furniture.
Mussolini had first built the original stretch in the 1930a€™s.It had since been widened but is still a narrow two lanes, traversed by a monstrous crush of tour buses and traffic. We were lucky too have so able a pilot steering us safely over roads as potenially treacherous as these. Tour buses were only allowed in the Southbound direction along the Amalfi drive, because of the hairpin turns and narrow passageways.
We followed a series of five miles of winding and heart stopping switch backs, rising some 1200 feet from the valley floor,.to this magnificently reconstructed white limestone edifice.
Here, a central green space is dominated by statuary depicting the dying St.Benedict, upheld by two monks supporting the sainta€™s lifeless form. It was she who had started the custom, followed to date, of including a library and chapel in every Benedictine monastery. Each in his own way had looked after the interests of the order, perhaps in a time of great need for the brothers. It is covered with lustrous marble and trimmed in gold.The bronze candelabra sparkled in the dim light and I could feel one of those time-warping mind blinks forming. They were the last twenty or so remaining monks in the complex, an unbroken monastic chain stretching from antiquity. Like most Monestaries during the dark ages , the Abbes were centers of learning and repositories for artwork .Perhaps it explains why they were so often sacked by the marauding barbarians.
It was sunny, cool and in the 50a€™s out.The Via Condotti and environs were as crowded as usual, with their weekend visitors. We ran into Bill and Marie Mead along the way and decided o take a last look at St .Petera€™s and the Vatican.
It seemed like we had the known the Meads for a very long time and were casually comfortable in their presence.
We stopped for a time and said a prayer at one of the small altars, thinking ourselves privileged to do so.
Inscribed upon it is the lineal array of the Popes form Peter, in the upper left hand corner, to Jean Paulus I in the lower right hand corner.It is an unbroken chain of some of the most important and powerful men in History. The room was circular with a high and vaulted ceiling Fluted doric columns supported the walls and the large floor to ceiling windows gave the aura of a private garden in a Roman Villa.
At times like these, you can only pretend not to know the person involved and run for the door.
Unlike many other peoples in the world, the Italians rarely boast of their nationa€™s many accomplishments in Literature, the arts, sciences and a dozen other fields of study. We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right. 18th1, but Europea€™s biggest open-air gallery of Paleolithic animals was reported just a month earlier in the CA?a Valley of northeastern Portugal2.
Regardless of how old the CA?aa€™s art turns out to be, it is unique in its richness above ground and astonishing in its illustrations of movement - with animals tossing their heads with the same stop-action dynamism found at Chauvet and only millennia later in photography and Futurist painting.
The Chauvet Cavea€™s prehistoric bestiary was proudly splashed across magazines around the world. Soon, the guard turned into a regular lad, wrote down the chief engineer's name and pointed beyond the ramp-laced moonscape - into the wilderness.
In this walled garden, the conflicting passions of archaeologists had exploded around a campfire, set a president and prime minister against each other, and cowed the emissaries of UNESCO. Lizards skidded into fissures, a rusty blade wedged in a nook beside a sliver of cliff garden spoke of an emigrant who had never returned, but the walls seemed barren. Over and over again, the scene seemed set, the rock stretched, but its lines were just fractals.
I yanked myself up to a platform less than a step wide and a ten-foot long cow - an auroch! By holding the animal's form and movement vividly in mind, the maker had poured himself into its body and experienced a power beyond abstraction, beyond even tool-making, to thrill to the new power of passing through the looking-glass into another being. A stream, running pure as its springs over crisp cresses between alternating bull rushes and crags, almost made it to the river unaltered, but met it just below the threshold and sank into an estuary. We had arrived at Pandemonium and would try to insinuate ourselves into an audience with the Chief Engineer himself. Only one was so spotless and redolent of perks, though, with its rolled lawn incongruous in the desert, that we knew right where to head among forking roads.
I was hardly surprised when these well-fed pros passed the buck to the only gaunt and partially toothless fellow traveler among them. So they decided to play it safe by dumping me on their pet nemesis, the organizationa€™s own archaeological a€?hirelinga€?, Dr. He could have added to his hoard of exclusive photos and measurements, imposed interpretations, and generally lorded it over his peers - for who could have naysayed him with his treasures locked a hundred meters deep in so many great watery safes?10 And to think that all the dam-builders' pet archaeologist and his accommodating superiors at the Portuguese Institute for Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (IPPAR)11 in Lisbon - to whom Rebanda had reported his discoveries at least twice12 - had had to do to pull off this economically patriotic (not to say mutually beneficial) stunt was keep their mouths shut!
After having suffered at the hands of his mentor, Professor Jorge, why had Rebanda put himself at the mercy of two similar academics and representatives of an international body to boot - Mila SimAµes de Abreu and her archaeologist husband, Ludwig Jaffe, who represented the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO)? At least such nuisances would keep him from getting up to more mischief by turning up new discoveries.
But, finally, a secretary answered my summons and let me into a vestibule empty except for a display of postcard-sized photographs of some of the engravings, and a cartoon caricaturing the scandal - which I reckoned had been knowingly posted to co-opt criticism. I couldn't quite make out the man's features through the crack, but it was obvious he was gushing recriminations - and no wonder: the entire archaeological profession had ganged up on the pariah. We all knew I had crossed a threshold, but, after all, I had paid my dues, and in any case, I padded off to the foyer again.
Yet they'd prattled to the press that they had found the art a year ago, and then more like two years ago, and now, word had it, a€?onlya€? three years ago25 - when it was always somehow too late to stop the process leading up to construction, which had only started in September a€™94.26 The gall!
Instantly, I whipped out paper and scribbled the fastest copy of the main map that my hand could draw.
After SimAµes de Abreu and Jaffe had unleashed the scandal by revealing the conspiracy to flood Europea€™s richest assemblage of open-air Paleolithic art, the IPPAR and Portuguese Ministry of Culture had scrambled to get their own expert witness a€“ and, in a further twist, had asked UNESCO to recommend an expert to challenge the power companya€™s growing efforts to prove the art wasna€™t Paleolithic but recent27 a€“ in which case, the EDP seemed to think that the public would drop the subject as being the relatively recent work of peasants drawing their cows. For all their heightened sensitivity to having CA?aa€™s fate evaluated by a foreigner, the Portuguese press viewed Clottes as a referee and expected a verdict.
Then, as fate would have it, Clottes was back in the headlines within the week, announcing drastic measures to protect Francea€™s new crown jewel, Chauvet. And as if anyone could even find new art during the two weeks a lake might be emptied (every hundred years) while everything was coated with algae and grime! Opposition editorialists had a field day with Clottesa€™ apparent hypocrisy and dismissiveness towards Portugal - and demonstrators flooded the streets. Two, because people are often driven to produce their greatest work and worst mistakes by similar drives. Rebanda was even fooling himself on this score, I thought - after all, the Foz CA?a photographs would probably end up belonging to Portugala€™s own ministry or even the EDP.
Scientists - like lawyers - ply an adversarial trade, but the chance to put Portugal into the archaeological heavens a€“ and to boost their own reputations with it - had given many researchers more ulterior motives than usual. Personally, I couldn't see anybody bedding down for the night and traipsing out the next morning with people who had announced that they were going to expose him. In essence, my heart a€“ if not my mind - had taken his side for the moment; he was the underdog, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and I was concerned that he might even attempt suicide. If I didn't mind coming back at 9 the next morning, he apologized, the approval should be there.
But basically the dam was a streamlined machine without much need for local intervention or maintenance.
My unequivocal certification of their global importance only made him uneasier, as he didn't know whether to feel flattered or upset. We peered into a dovecot, a squat white tower lined inside with empty compartments like a city after a plague. Suddenly, a deeply hammered auroch on the rock stood out boldly as a road sign - alerting us to an entire herd. The geology, erosion, & silica skins protecting engravings all seem similar on both slopes, so I theorize that this positioning is not simply a taphonomic illusion created by the disappearance of engravings on the southern slopes.
I wasn't expecting anything when I ambled down at dawn, but there it was: a big mound under the bank!
From what I could tell, even his draftsmen had decided to take the day off 49, once they realized the coast was clear. By God, I thought, if the flooders don't save them, I hope the townspeople storm the valley!
If the guards hadn't been under strict orders not to sell admissions, they'd have made a killing; but then any financial association with the art is anathema to the dammers: the next thing they knew, they'd have a revolt on their hands!
And like the first guard, when he realized that I had somehow gotten authorization despite my evident opposition to the reservoir, he let out his pent-up indignation - for we were insiders. As we passed the threshold between the deadened depths and virgin current with its billowing water-foliage, we had to skirt and climb over a sheer wall blocking the side-valleya€™s entrance. The intertwined couple, spanning the length of a single real horse, was still necking in Eden after twenty millennia. Rock Art and the CA?a Valley Archaeological Park: A case study in the preservation of Portugal's prehistoric parietal heritage. Although it is true that one must be extremely circumspect about doing so, such evidence often opens new perspectives that have more in common with the subsistence systems of ancient cultures than does our own, and the two authors showed considerable originality and courage in exploring it.
1994 - most Portuguese archaeologists with access to the CA?a sites now shun him as thoroughly as they do Clottes and Rebanda.
539, for a resolution, written in defense of CA?a, by Bednarik, in a book filled with vitriole against him).
These retractions confirmed that some of ZilhA?oa€™s criticisms of the direct dating attempts were well founded, but dona€™t necessarily reflect on other matters raised in his disputes with Bednarik and Jaffe. In the English sections, Jorge generously credits numerous associates and generations of Portuguese prehistorians by full name, while studiously avoiding any mention of Rebanda except where it is unavoidable, and then only with his last name between brackets. The second was to make casts of panels for a museum a€“ which may have damaged some panels.
The new European Community is in the process of dismantling all of the cumbersome customs checks between its member states.
We walked along the Lake promenade and noted with interest the statues of George Washington and the Swiss hero, William Tell.
It was too high for me.The last few hundred yards of the journey looked almost vertical in its ascent. We settled in with Bill and Marie Mead for courses of pasta, salad, omelet(for me) and finally a Torte with cafea€™ for desert. We saw musical scores and various mementos from operas created by the Italian masters Puccini,Verdi and Donizetti. It was rebuilt according to original specifications, by the Italian Government, after the War. The imposing Soave Castle could be seen far off in the distance, dominating a hilltop and commanding the region. We walked them and admired the architecture.Off one small lane we entered a courtyard,that of the Capuletti (small hat) family. From the terminus of the causeway we boarded motor launches, for the 20 minute ride along the picturesque Grand Canal, to a landing area near our hotel, the 800 year old a€?Saturnia.a€? Another motor launch had been hired to carry our luggage to the hotel. Alessandro informed us that on 100 days of the year the square is entirely submerged in the waters of the nearby Adriatic.
In this way, the Venetians insured a reasonable turnover in their chief executives.The average Doge ruled for 9 years.
The Venetians had developed the techniques for making transparent glass in the 16th century and later the technique for making glass mirrors by adding silver to one side of transparent glass.


These vessels are sleek, ebony, highly -decorated canoe -like structures that operate with one large oar working off a stern mounted fulcrum and a hearty gondolier to propel them. After some exploring, we came upon the Museum but did not want to fight the hordes of students and tourists already occupying the place.We continued walking along the quaint back alleys and passed by the renowned a€?Peggy Guggenheima€? Museum of Modern Art. How were we going to get across without retracing our steps to the nearest bridge far behind us?
Mariea€™s nephew Michael and girlfriend Jennifer were able to join us for dinner and we enjoyed their company.
Around his altar and tomb are pictures, letters and mementos from people who had their prayers answered by St. Many of its streets are lined with a colonade-type of walkway created by an overhanging second story of the buildings. My own brother Mike had attended this Universitya€™s Perugia Campus, so we took a few pictures for him. It is a wonderful old trattoria that is a favorite of students and revelers.We descended into a basement that could well have been found in Bavaria.
We checked into room # 334, unpacked, wrote some journal entries and tried to relax before dinner.
It is faced with green marble and trimmed in both red and white marble.Next to it and somewhat asymmetrical is the Agiotto bell tower, faced in the same marble motif. Along the hallways, almost casually placed, are scores of Greco Roman statuary salvaged from private villas, public buildings and many other sources throughout the empire. The Florentines had ordered all of the gold merchants to center here in the middle ages.They and many jewelers still plied their trades along this venerable bridge over the Arno. Even the rain could not dampen the splendor of the place.Three fire places were ablaze as we entered the cozy villa. We washed down this magnificent repast with both red and white wine and mineral water as a musical group played Italian folk songs. We had breakfast with Tom and Nancy Martenis, from Vermont , and then set off walking the narrow streets of Florence. The Piazza Duomo was, as always, awash in tourists.We briefly admired the church, bell tower and Baptistry before continuing on.
The sidewalk vendors performed a continual ballet of cat and mouse with the Carabinieri who shooed them away whenever they came upon them.The Ponte Veccio was similarly awash in people. It stands 8 levels high and has that delightful a€?wedding cake a€? appearance so prominent in the Romanesque style. The baptistry is similarly styled and the three building are harmoniously attractive architecturally as a grouping.The a€?leana€? of the bell tower makes a delightful photograph against the granite solidity of the other two structures.
The Romans, thinking perhaps to catch the Carthaginians unawares, started their march in the predawn hours into the narrow defile. Curiously, scores of tourists still filed down the side aisles headed for the tomb of St.Francis on the lower level, economics I suppose. The storied and very expensive Hotel Hassler stands at the top of the stairs awaiting the well heeled. It was properly titled as a€?La Vigna dei Papia€? or the Vineyard of the Pope, but to us, it became the a€?Popea€™s Deli.a€? We had a wonderful minestrone zuppa, insalata, vegetables with desert, mineral water and several flagons of a tasty red wine, all for the modest sum of 75k Lire( for 2). Made of brown brick and originally faced with white marble, it now stands as a crumbling reminder to the glory that was Rome. Much like our own football and baseball stadia, the fans scurried to their seats cursing the traffic and hoping not to miss the thrill of the first contact and the approving roar of the mob. Nuns and priests from the far flung regions of the world wide church walked respectfully and purposefully amidst the sprawl of tourists from as many countries. Even were it not religious, this carved block of marble would inspire awe and appreciation. It was sunny and warm out and the area was a throng of people.We sat by the fountain and watched the ebb and flow of the tourists as they took pictures, drank from the fountain(ugh) and milled about, not realizing that the principle activity was to sit and watch the others.
A nice desert and all washed down with mineral water and liberal quantities of Abruzzi wine . We had an early 7:15 bus to see one of the worlda€™s most renowned masterpieces, The Sistine Chapel. She told us that the normal wait could be up to two hours with a line winding back a mile or so into St.Petera€™s square. Trump La€™oeil paintings along the ceiling gave us the impression of three dimensional sculptures hovering above us. It seems Michailangelo wasna€™t above a fit of pique ,depicting a troublesome Vatican secretary as a horned devil in hell. It was windy and cool out as we returned to the hotel to pack for our departure tomorrow morning and prepare for dinner.
The area Commander, American Mark Clark, resisted at destroying an Italian National Monument.
Italy long ago must have been a pyrotechnic land shaking with continuous earth tremors , the skies covered with ash from the erupting volcanoes.
It certainly puts everyone on notice to consider well what others will find and view in your home after your passing.
The mind blink was warping in and out as images of ancient people inter phased with the modern tourists walking the lanes. It faces the bay with two wings of four stories of rooms.Five outdoor pools empty into one another on a second and lower terrace A Grand central lobby, with bars and restaurant to the sides, faces out onto a broad patio that overlooks the Bay of Naples. Still who could complain?The lemon and sour orange trees abounded in the hotel garden, the sweeping bay was gorgeous and the warm air wafted over us with the scent of lemon and orange.It worked for me. Traversing roads that were higher and narrower than those around a€?Big Sur.a€? in California. We stopped for pictures at a scenic overlook and fruit stand in Positano, the birth place of Sophia Loren. It was a delightful repast .The restauranta€™s hard earned reputation for great food and pleasant surroundings is well justified .
We returned to our rooms to pack for departure and sleep, tired with the long and busy day.
Finally, a massive earthquake had leveled the place in the 1300a€™s Now here it stood, pristine and formidable, a monument to the staying power of a remarkable and at times very powerful order of Monks.
The real estate here abouts is consecrated in the blood of many fine young men from lands far and near. On the whole we had found Italian merchants to be uniformly pleasant, inordinately honest and genuinely helpful and patient especially with the exasperating antics of the army of multi lingual tourists. We milled for a time amidst the crowd, enjoying as always people watching and the diversity of the crowd We did not know when we would walk this way again.
We viewed and admired again Michaelangeloa€™s Pieta by ourselves and then walked slowly and respectfully around the floor of the most famous and spectacular church in Christendom. Then, we had a lighting 12 minute breakfast with the Meads and ran to catch the bus for the airport. While the paintings in the French cave, which became known as the Grotte Chauvet, often have engraved contours, the Portuguese menagerie may also have been painted, but, being outdoors, their pigments have usually weathered away. As shadows welled from the valley, we turned from the scarps and trundled downwards into the cleavage, till the road turned into a path to the water through a profusion of poppies. Finally, I discerned a flock ambling down through dry brush, then a shirt flashed a white dot, and we converged within hailing distance on opposite banks. Even ideal panels on either side of a fig tree bulging titanically from a small cave were barren.
A stand of poplar trees crackled like Chinese New Year with small birds, abundant as leaves.
It was a good thing we had his name, Lima Monteiro, because the Securitas guard on this side meant business. Our compact car slid in among Mercedes and I stepped into glare, drawing cool stares from fleshy faces. My interlocutor explained that the Chief Engineer was powerless to help me, so he couldn't be bothered to give me an audience. Of course, the stories went, the honorable witnesses had refused to become accomplices and had immediately denounced the whole plot a€“ writing open letters to the Portuguese President, Vice President and Director of IPPAR - with carbon copies for the press.13 If only his employers had known that Rebanda was so naive! She announced that it was no use disturbing the doctor, who I could see through a jarred door talking to someone over the phone with peevish vehemence. Finally, I suggested that she didn't need to keep me company while I waited for the good doctor to get off the phone.
That's strange, I thought as I wandered off again, mulling over a mental photograph of the site distribution. And here were others, even closer to the construction site, at "RA?go de Vide", which had been submerged by the same old dam! Still, she caught me; whereupon I went on elaborating it, asking questions, and then padded back to the foyer again to continue my vigil.
After all, the archaeologists and reporters had allowed the Tagus petrogylphs to be drowned with hardly a whimper. Not only did the contrast with his actions in Portugal now smack of a double standard, but there was a piquant irony. With stakes this high, both parties unleashed their opinion-making machines, making hash of Clottesa€™ carefully weighed words as quickly as theya€™d vilified Rebanda. Clottesa€™ words may have been earnest, but with stakes this high and politicized they were about as reasonable as Pontius Pilatea€™s attempts to keep the peace. I prefer to think the latter, and that his only mistake was thinking that people on both sides were lucid and reflective enough to interpret his verdict correctly. In Rebanda's place, I'd have calmed down and let the traitors fall to sleep, but then I'd have snuck away - trekking fast through the dark, picking myself up when I fell, but getting out - bloody knees and all - and calling that alarm first! Furthermore, I had no doubt - whatever pacts he'd struck - that he would make up for them if only approached constructively. After we'd faxed it, I was sorry to see him having to still recall and refax, as he nudged the request repeatedly through the unyielding bureaucracy. Sebastian and I scrambled and tacked among the carious cliffs, till there was nothing left but rock overhanging the water itself. But a huge horse, leaning over the depths, was both more graceful and cryptic, for someone had wedged a rusty horseshoe into a crack between its hooves. No sooner had I chipped the thin device and steadily shoved each curve straight, than the hook slipped smoothly free. Only Rebanda's long-suffering secretary had to keep her post and occupied herself by taking up the relay of calling and faxing. These red and gray devices were not only customized to match the guards' uniforms, but showed off the latest in high-tech materials and molding. As we wound our way down towards the reservoir among towering red cliffs, he took quiet pride in pointing out the hidden elements of scattered engravings. But then Piscos Brook ran between trees, pastures and cane-groves, with cliffs full of shelters and stone panels at each bend.
La Pintura, The Official Newsletter of the American Rock Art Research Association (Member of IFRAO) Volume 21, Number 3, Winter. In the same book, which Jorge compiled to record the campaign he was spear-heading to save CA?a a€“ a laudatory effort, if there ever was one, that made Jorge synonymous with yet another of Rebandaa€™s finds - Bednarik is repeatedly dismissed as a a€?charlatana€? (pp.
Jaffe accused the trio, who had taken over responsibility for the archaeological resources of the valley, of endangering art panels and refusing to allow qualified foreign researchers or even Dr.
Whatever the case may be, the problem of rock art conservation is still as far from resolution in Portugal as it is in most other places in the world. The plane, a wide-bodied monster, was packed to the gunwales with passengers of all types.We spotted a few Central Holidays carry on bags and wondered if these folks would be on the tour with us. Lucio pointed out the a€?CHa€? designation on the license plates of the Swiss automobiles.It stands for Confederation Helveticorum, the Roman and official name of Switzerland.
It has a wonderful pedestrian promenade lined with sycamores and Cherry trees that were just starting to bloom. In the performance hall, the audience seating is constructed in a a€?Ua€? shape facing the enormous stage.
Historians credit Marini for making popular the use of macadam for the roads surrounding the facility.The soft material quieted somewhat the noise made by the metal wheels of the many carriages passing by and enhanced the acoustical enjoyment of the house.
There, on the second level, is what is thought to be the balcony featured so prominently in Shakespearea€™s a€?Romeo and Juliet.a€? If it isna€™t the real one, it should be.
The Gondoliers and their gondolas competed for space with the water taxis and work boats along the many narrow side canals. Fettucini with Tuna, salad, Dover sole,risotto with cockles and shrimp,ice cream and coffee, accompanied by red wine and mineral water presented us with a memorable repast. The fourth side is the wonderful Byzantine Masterpiece,the Church of St.Mark , from which the area takes its name. We had a new appreciation for the ornate glassware that we previously thought somewhat tacky. The effect is a vaulted and arched colonnade lined with shops, and safe form the elements.
Off in the distance we could see the distinctive shapes of the Duomo with its majestic bell tower and the Chiesa Santa Croce (Church of the Holy Cross) Mark Twain was a frequent visitor to the area and once remarked that the Arno would a€?be a credible river if someone would pump some water into it .a€? It wasna€™t Twaina€™s Mississippi but it was scenic and pastoral.
The hands are brutish and large and I wondered at the contrast to the graceful lines of the whole.The eyes look unfocused and stare off into the distance. Opposite both of these structures is the domelike a€?Baptistrya€? with its fabled 15 foot high doors of gold.The golden portals had been replaced by bronze ones, the originals placed in a museum. A massive swirl of tourists, from everywhere, window-shopped for gold and jewelry along both sides of the the bridge.
We had Campari and soda and chatted with our fellow travelers while admiring the casual splendor of the formerly private Villa. We found the Via Turnabuoni and window-shopped the many pricey stores like Gucci, Bvlgari and Cartier.
We walked by the a€?Church of the Medicia€™sa€?.It is now surrounded by what is called the a€?straw marketa€?, rows of vendors and merchants selling cheap leather goods and souvenirs. The tower leans about 14 feet off center and is now counter balanced with steel cables and 900 tons of concrete.
We took a last walk to the Arno River sensing that it would be a long time before we walked this way again.
As they marched into the rising sun they could see only the swirling lake and mountain mists above them.They marched confidently and unknowingly into the grinding maw of a killing machine waiting on the slopes above them.
We sat for a time thawing out and awaiting the luncheon that the hotel was putting on for us. We surveyed, for a time, the swarm of people walking and sitting along the length of the stairs and decided it was time to head back.
We laughed heartily about the two sets of Spanish steps and enjoyed the camaraderie and the enjoyment of being in the Eternal City.The heavens opened while we were inside and we felt grateful to the elements for holding off until we were undercover. I could look above to the Papal balcony, now draped in flowers for the Easter address in 48 languages.
Nora shepherded us through the entrance way and via the elegantly paneled elevators, to the second floor level of the Vatican Museum. Three are the works of the master, Botticelli, the others by Perugino and his school, depicting biblical scenes and medieval Italy. His Intelligence section had informed him that the Germans were not occupying the Abbe or using it as a defensive position.Churchill intervened with Eisenhower, who acceded to the New Zealandera€™s plea.
One wonders, like Thornton Wildera€™s a€?Bridge of San Luis Reya€?, what quirk of fate brought these people to this unfortunate time and place. We read for a while and then, to the faint odor of lemon and orange blossoms, drifted off to sleep. Our tour company had been thoughtful enough to get one, so we inched into the sea side parking area where some forty other tour buses sat in rows awaiting their camera clicking occupants. The Moorish arches in the colonnade, along the front vestibule, were visually pleasing and a nice adaptation of another integrated architectural style. There were 5 star resort hotels like the a€?Grotto Emeraldaa€? and the a€?Santa Caterinaa€? along the way, but they passed in a swirl of mist.Without so daring and capable a wheel man we may well have been sitting in a cafe someplace waiting for the weather to clear. There was even a sign, posted outside the rest stop in Italian, warning of shady characters offering items for sale, with cartoon like bad guys depicted.
The Abbe, and the La Scala opera house in Milan, had been the two national monuments reconstructed by the Italian Government immediately following the war. There should be a novel in here some place.It was cold and windy out with a light rain spattering around us, as we approached the rising entrance of this fortesslike Abbe. A short hallway behind the main chapel leads to a grotto of sorts below the main altar.I could see light reflecting from a rather magnificent chamber tiled in deep blue and gold ceramic tiles. They too had hammered upon the granite slate of history, but with a more hardened mallet whose imprint still remains, alive and vital.Only time and winsome fate will determine the duration of its impression. It was a meal worthy of a Roman Senator and a fitting finalea€™ to a gustatory onslaught that would be long remembered by all of us.
For hundreds of years they were a bellicose and fearsome people who dominated, civilized and even terrorized the known world. All that remains, where jagged outcroppings of schist jut from brushy slopes - exposing terminal facets perfect for murals - are hauntingly sinuous outlines of deer, horses, ibexes, and wild cattle called aurochs. The first flurry of press articles had mentioned that many of the engravings were already submerged by the cofferdam holding the river back for the more monstrous wall rising downstream from it. I sent greetings and the shepherd expostulated and gestured animatedly upstream towards towering slabs. For me, all of mankind's later accomplishments, all our later experience of good and evil only become possible after such art. The irrelevant exchange had sparked sympathy as we both waited - and waited, in similar irrelevance to someone too consumed to give us heed. I would have to go to Lisbon, and no, it wouldn't do any good for him to fax; he didn't have an iota of authority. Despite all the insinuations about Rebanda and IPPAR, they were actually the first to try blocking the philistines with the clout of an institution as important as UNESCO. About thirty years before, Francea€™s equivalent to the EDP had taken the entire Ardeche Gorge, where the Chauvet Cave had just been found, from its entrance at Sauze to a rainbow-huge, natural arch - Vallon Pont da€™Arc, next to Chauvet - by eminent domain, to build a dam. These conscientious people know that theya€™re barely tolerated by the forces of Mammon - scraping crumbs from the tables of vast enterprises armed with dynamite and bulldozers - and make compacts all the time with them, telling themselves, for instance, that the alluvial strata that cement plants exploit are always too tumbled to contain intact Acheulian hearths. If only he'd announced the discovery, co-opted his employers, and splashed masterpieces across magazine covers while the art's existence was still fresh, he might have won honor, fame, a very small fortune (and maybe even kept his job). Within weeks, local academics had begun signing their names to Rebandaa€™s discoveries, tracings, and interpretations while forgetting to cite him. I'd have been the one to announce the existence of the largest gathering of open-air Paleolithic engravings in Europe to the world. Slate slabs, thoughtfully laid into a wall as steps, led down through a canopy of fig trees into a cavernous wallow between cliffs.
I woke Sebastian in time to see the beast lumber over the bank and glide away, and then it was high time we checked out our other line at the doctor's office. Noon passed as we still waited together like an old couple, talking about the doctor's misery, Australian rock art, translations; whatever.
The guards stiffened as Sebastian and I had the gumption to breach a forbidden zone and stride blithely forward. There were so many warblers piping and whistling, there must have been a dozen species with overlapping territories.
Botha€? - Baptista and Gomes a€“ a€?were closely involved in the rationale to submerge the rock art (to 'protect it from vandals'); in fact, on 8 November Baptista spoke of how sedimentation behind dams should protect rock arta€? - my italics. After our departure, Bednarik and three other researchers (Alan Watchman from Canada, plus Fred Phillips and Ronald Dorn from the USA), who believed that they had found ways to date rock art directly, studied some of the CA?aa€™s engravings during separate visits. 1995 that was led by Mounir Bouchenaki, the IPPAR formed a scientific committee consisting of Antonio BeltrA?n, Emmanuel Anati and Jean Clottes, who came back for a second round. It appeared to us that the majority of the flight was filled with Italian nationals returning home from a visit to the United States. The trees were first planted by the Romans and named a€?Cherrya€? after the Roman word a€?Cherazza.a€? The term is a truncation of a region in Turkey where the Romans had found the tree in abundance.
It was delicious and set well the stage for the ensuing caloric tide that was to pleasantly engulf us over the next two weeks.The food here is wonderful.
Private boxes rise six levels along the a€?U.a€? The interior floor level of the a€?Ua€? is filled with seating as well.
Regions like the Po river valley make up the remainder and are heavily involved in agriculture and grape production. This marble covered and gilded apparition is an architectural delight.The soaring bell tower next to it dominates Venice. I had never experienced Varonese or Tintoretto on such a grand scale before and enjoyed immensely the sweeping saga in oil that lay before us. When dried,it is saturated with vegetable oil three times yearly and buffed to a high finish.The result is marble in appearance, yet vibrant and giving to the various strains of the building.
How they manage to steer these fragile craft around the narrow turns and in and out of the crowded boat traffic is a mystery to me, but they did. We saw some energetic young men oaring a sleek black gondola across the choppy waters of the Grand Canal.
We sat for a while in the Piazza to watch the crowds swirl and then Mary and I headed back to the Piazza Signorini to enter one of the worlda€™s more renowned art museums,The a€?Uffizzia€? Gallery. The municipal workers were sweeping the sidewalks with old fashioned besom-style brooms.Then the modern street sweeper and sprinkler would come by and finish the process. I am not sure the haughty Medicis would have approved, but then maybe that was the point of it all.
Unable to maneuver in the narrow valley and outmatched by superior cavalry, the Roman legion was ground to pieces against the Carthaginian phalanx. In a bright and high- windowed room, over looking the valley below,we were served Pasta, vegetables(for me) ,cream puffs, white wine, mineral water and cafea€™latte. We walked on in the night admiring the lighted splendor of the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument, through the Piazza Venezia and along the busy Via Corso to the upscale Via Condotti and finally to the most famous gathering point in Rome, The Spanish Steps , named after the former residence of the Spanish Ambassador. It was a family outing in ancient Rome.The language had evolved to English for us, but the thirst for blood and the animal frenzy of the crowd remain with us even today. The victorious general, driven in an ornate and ceremonial chariot ,nodded approvingly at the tumultuous cheers from the Roman people. My minda€™s ear heard the cheer of the teeming throngs who often packed the square to hear the Papal address a€?il Papaa€? they chanted. Nora was taking us directly to the Sistine Chapel, bypassing the rest of the museum in order to give us time to better enjoy the chapel unhurriedly. There are more interior Corinthian columns, along the circular walls and supporting the circular and convex dome whose center is open to the elements.
Toasts of a€?Arrivederci Romaa€? and a€?Salutea€? passed back and forth.It was a wonderful farewell party for those leaving Italy tomorrow.
The Abbe was bombed and completely leveled, much to the anger of the Italians then and now.
Outside, we got a delicious Italian treat from a small pushcart vendor,lemon ice(2k) .It was delicious.
In front of the 5 star Hotel Quisianna, playground of the well heeled, Roberta cut us loose for a few hours to have lunch and do some shopping. Someone actually did approach me, but unknownst to him I hadna€™t a clue as to what he was saying in his staccato burst of Italian. Yet today, they are a gentle, good-hearted and decent nation who love family and the quiet enjoyments of food, wine and music. And so, forgive me, but in comparison to these ancient windows, cathedrals seem to have anti-climatic and overwrought power. Except for the absence now of bigger species, this was how Solutreans had experienced the world - with whistling, mooing, barking, roaring and trumpeting not just on the Serengeti, but to the frozen north!
So much will go unrecorded because of all this fuss.a€? a€“ So, Rebanda is resigned to the inevitability of the flooding, I thought.
If the dam had been built, a dozen known art caves would have been flooded or affected by rising water tables.
So rather than condemn Clottes, perhaps the Portuguese should simply admit his diplomacy opened the debate, even if one might wish that hea€™d been a crusader. From Chauveta€™s pinnacle, its gatekeeper was probably right to dismiss the scratchings, which I too thought could have been the kneading of bears, but the contrast between the levels of encouragement was striking. Although they granted him the discovery of Hella€™s Canyon (in footnotes), other sites that Rebanda had already noted were soon claimed by competitors as Rebanda was effectively silenced. And Vitor and his wife, Susanaa€? - was it my imagination or did her name stick in his craw? Their stingy hypocrisy and philistinism revolted me: they wouldn't spend a penny on protecting such discoveries, but they'd drown the world up to its headwaters to keep driving Mercedes.
Goldfinches sparked into the air, a crested hoopoo flashed orange and black, and the shaggy canes were a tumult of avian chatter.
Jaffe was also the IFRAO representative of the SocietA  Cooperativa Archaeologica, Le Orme della€™Uomo, Italy (Bednarik 1994).
But not before signing controversial non-disclosure agreements with the EDP, which was hoping that their techniques would yield dates so recent that they could be used to ridicule stylistic daters who had identified the engravings as Paleolithic (Baptista & Fernandes 2007, p.
Generations of tourists had rubbed her right breast for luck and it sparkled in contrast to the dull sheen of bronze covering the rest of the statue. Similarly, the floor joists and timbers between floors are constructed all of wood so that thebuilding will give with the stress and strain of frequent movement. Ten panels on the bronze doors ,framed in black marble, depicted various biblical scenes.
As we left the Villa Viviani, the skies cleared and a full moon shined over the Tuscan hills.It was the stuff of which tourist brochures are made. Broken swords and bodies littered the scenic landscape for years afterwards.A few of the local village are named a€?pile of bonesa€? or a€?bloody fieldsa€? to memorialize the slaughter.
Behind him, in the chariot, stood a slave with a laurel wreath of gold , held over the generala€™s head, whispering in his ear an admonition, the phrase a€?Sic transit gloria.a€? Fame is fleeting. A roseate marble glimmered in the filtered light from the polished walls.There are several small shrines to San Guiseppe and other saints.
The irony of the situation is that the Germans took over the rubble of the abbe and made an excellent defensive position of it for the coming battle of Monte Cassino, which I will describe later when we visit the abbe. We arrived uneventfully at the hotel around 4:30 and retired to our rooms to read and relax before dinner. From the mini to the heavy, the QcK series offers something for every gamer regardless of their space and set-up. Intermittent splashes smacked echoes off the walls, a frog croaked and some beast keened a cry we had never heard.
When I asked if they could intercede on our behalf, she said one had to apply in person, in Lisbon, and have connections.
In fact, paw prints indicated that we had missed cornering another feral dog or fox in its lair. Surgically, it was a nightmare: I'd have to pry its head out, keep its neck extended, wedge open its powerful beak and finally thrust the treble barbs down its throat, so as to carefully extract their burr, without snagging them again! Finally, they agreed that one of them would walk parallel to us, down the fence-line, to let us in the distant gate. At our feet, frogs skipped like pebbles and painted turtles rowed earnestly in tangled water blossoms - all for the taking.
Unless you and I and all of us together add our voices to those of the Portuguese citizenry trekking down for a last look, and reclaim what is OURS! The story of the denunciation is from Bednarik (1994) and Simons in the New York Times (1994). We drove by the 600 year old Visconti Palace, with its imposing tower and battlements.The fortress had once had 132 drawbridges across its formidable moat. The walls of the stone courtyard are covered with hundred of linked initials in heart shapes, a curious graffiti memorial to young love. An enterprising photographer took snaps of us in the gondolas when we left and had them developed upon our return. In a mind blink I had traveled across the centuries and now sat looking at a beautiful lake scape where so much death had once occurred. In any case we much enjoyed our stay as guests in this beautiful land amidst a people that we found both warm and charming.We hope often to return and visit them.
Even the Chauvet Cave, which was unknown, might have been threatened by the changing water table! Unfortunately, Bednarik, who is one of the worlda€™s most encyclopedically informed, accomplished, and bold prehistorians, walked right into the trap. Jorgea€™s utter dismissal of Bednarik was clearly motivated by the lattera€™s implicit condemnation of the way that Jorge had appropriated Rebandaa€™s earlier discovery at Mazouco, instigating Rebandaa€™s secrecy that was one component of the CA?a a€?cover-upa€? (Bednarik 1994, p. Getting a ticket to a performance here is difficult at best,even though the place is enormous. Later, Bednarik spear-headed another campaign to save a Portuguese rock-art assemblage from inundation a€“ this time behind a dam in the Guadiana Valley - and noted that a€?None of this helps the rock art of the Guadiana, condemned to inundation under billions of tonnes of lake sediment as the reservoir silts up over the next 70 yearsa€? a€“ again, my italics. We could well visualize a hearty rendition of a€?Carmena€? or a€?Aidaa€? performed before enthusiastic and cheering crowds.
Do you think I'm such a fool as to invite the man who deprived me of the credit for my first discovery, to come see my greatest wonders if it wasn't because I needed all the allies I could get; if it wasn't because I even needed the universities to help save them.
Ironically, the mandarin in Porto would come out smelling like roses for his campaign while the roles of several well-meaning prehistorians, if I may insist upon the word, were simplified so as to make them better scapegoats. For the first time, I could picture myself chanting a€?Bravoa€? during a performance and not looking pretentious. First, because his dating system, which was based on determining the degree of micro-erosion undergone by a rock face, had been developed in Australia, where climate and geological conditions are different from Portugala€™s. This odd statement flies in the face of Bednarika€™s consistent defense of both the CA?aa€™s art and other assemblages, suggesting that it was a ploy to get the EDP to allow them to test their methods. Even though both men concluded that their observations proved that the art was no older than the Neolithic, Bednarik did not repeat the notion, when announcing his results, that a relatively recent vintage diminished the arta€™s importance or the need to protect it a€“ quite the contrary.



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