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. Young Mary Lennox is orphaned by an earthquake in India and sent to England to live with her uncle in a cold ancestral manor in Yorkshire. You are now on the page of a The Secret Garden, which includes such genres as Drama, Family, Fantasy. Elijah Wood finds his world turned upside down and inside out when he falls into the hands of a West Ham football firm. Tom "Magnum" Selleck – complete with that legendary moustache – heads out East for this cross-cultured, fish-out-of-water comedy. 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.
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Mary briefly meets him, still mourning for the wife who died ten years ago, but she is mostly left on her own.
A smash of a film with some of the greatest stars of R&B (James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles) calling in for a song, this briefcase full of blues is the ultimate feelgood road-trip with the word 'legendary' written all over it. It has top-notch performances (the oft-underrated Charlie Hunnam is here), a fine script and a compelling storyline.
Jet Li, Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman star, Luc Besson provides the script, while Louis Leterrier directs. 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. Please give us a call for more information on any place you in which you would like to know more.
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.
First she finds an overgrown secret garden, the favourite of her aunt and locked up since her death. If you're charmed by such old-school England tales as The Railway Children or The Borrowers, then this will almost certainly be your cup of tea. 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. Started in Austin in 1984 as PC's Limited by Michael Dell, the company has grown into one of the largest publicly-traded companies in the world and a leader in the personal computer and computer services industry.
Second, that she has a cousin, Colin, a sickly lad who has been told he must remain in bed out of the daylight at all times.


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.
The company employs almost 90,000 people worldwide, with over 14,000 local employees.Dell Diamond 3400 E.
Once Mary and another new friend, local lad Dickon, have brought the garden back to life they decide Colin must see it, a decision that will change several lives. 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). 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. Home of the Triple AAA Pacific Coast League Minor League, Round Rock Express baseball team. 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.
Enjoy Americas favorite national pasttime in an affordable, exciting, fun, family-friendly atmosphere in a modern, top-of-the-line stadium located in Eastern Round Rock.Historic Chisolm Trail and Round Rock - In 1851 a small community was formed on the banks of Brushy Creek, near a large round rock located in the middle of the creek. 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. 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. The first postmaster called the community Brushy Creek, but in 1854 the small settlement was renamed Round Rock in honor of this now famous rock. After the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm began to move cattle from South Texas through Round Rock, on the way to Abilene, Kansas. 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.
The route he established, which crossed Brushy Creek at the round rock became known as the Chisholm Trail.
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. Grimes were both mortally wounded during a shootout that is re-enacted each year as part of the Frontier Days Celebration in July, have been preserved and remodeled and now house fine dining restaurants, art galleries, offices, etc.Old Settlers Park 2800 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, Texas 78664 Huge 570 acre sportsplex complete with 3 miles of walking-jogging trails, 20 baseball fields, 5 softball fields, 12 tennis courts, 7 soccer fields, 2 volleyball courts, professionally designed disc-golf course, 7 playgrounds, picnic areas with BBQ grills, aquatic center, and a lake with paddleboat rentals and designated fishing areas. This safe, family-friendly park further enhances Round Rocks reputation as the Sports Capital of the World.Premium Outlet Mall 4401 N. More than 50 top stores and restaurants, all conveniently located to your home or office at La Frontera.
Contour farming, planting cover crops, building stock tanks, rotating crops and planting new seed varieties reduced wind and water erosion and kept the soil intact during periods of drought.
The mission of the Pflugerville Pfarmer's Market is to bring fresh, locally grown and prepared foods to the Pflugerville community.Vendors sell locally grown produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash, okra, garlic, melons, peaches and grapes, artisan baked goods,honey, flowers,eggs, free-range meats, jarred salsas, pickles and jams,fruits and plants. IH-35, Georgetown, Texas 78628 - Hidden for 10,000 years, this fascinating underground discovery in 1963 is one of the best preserved caves in Texas and one of the few places where remains of prehistoric animals were unearthed.
Explore this limestone cavern and discover beautiful examples of natures perfect artwork such as The Flowing Stone of Time, the mysterious Lake of the Moon and the intricate Soda Straw Balcony. Among the amazing variety of formations found within the cavern you will see beautiful helictites, ancient flowstones, and giant columns. With the assistance of the Texas Historical Commission and the dedication of preservation-minded county citizens and officials, the fifth courthouse of Williamson County has been returned to its original 1911 splendor, once again becoming a focal point of the county. The architecture of the downtown square buildings surrounding the old courthouse have been restored to its period beauty.
As you walk aroundthe town square, you can view the beautiful gingerbread features that takes us back to yesteryear.San Gabriel Park 445 E. Morrow St., Georgetown, Texas 78628 - Meandering right through the very heart of Georgetown is the San Gabriel River. San Gabriel Park is graced with Pecan trees and 200 year-old oak trees that offer the shade of their branches to family picnics, games of touch football or Frisbee, concerts, festivals, canoeing, swimming and fishing. For those with a little more energetic spirit, theres a new wooded 1-mile hike and bike trail that wanders along the North Fork of the San Gabriel River from San Gabriel Park to the new Rivery Park west of I-35. Resembling Bourbon Street in New Orleans, this older section of Sixth Street offers rows of shot bars, piano bars, biker bars, pubs, dance clubs, tattoo parlors, art galleries, and restaurants on both sides of the street in downtown Austin. Great live music of every type from well-known performers and up and coming bands alike, along with a very lively atmosphere make visiting downtown Austin a unique experience and keep .
Popular events like the Austin Mardi Gras celebration, SXSW (South By Southwest Music Festival), ROT Rally (The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally), the Old Pecan Street Festival and Sixth's Street infamous Halloween celebration all make for great times with great people. With a wide range of newer, hip, chic restaurants, and more upscale clubs with rooftop decks and outdoor seating, West Sixth Street provides for a little more relaxed, yet still lively nightclub atmosphere.Esthers Follies on 6th Street - 525 E. 6th St., Austin, Texas 78701 Esther's Follies began as a by-product of a pool parlor, called Esther's Pool, on East Sixth Street April Fool's Day, 1977. For more than a quarter-century, the folks at Esthers Pool have kept Austin rolling with laughter. Part magic show, part vaudeville review, part satire tour-de-force, Esthers Follies takes no prisoners, offering biting, hilarious satire on all the newsmakers and events fit to parody. The stage's huge windows look out over Sixth Street, so passersby unwittingly become part of the show. Go Thursday through Saturday, or book the theatre for a private party.Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown Ritz - 320 E. 6th St., Austin, Texas 78701 Although there are numerous locations now, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an innovative Austin original and still Austins only independently owned and operated movie theater, offering a unique setting for dinner and a movie all in one.
Located on Sixth Street in the newly remodeled former Ritz Theater, The Alamo Drafthouse Downtown offers two theaters seating 75, and 175 and is a hip combination of restaurant, bar, movie theatre, and events venue.
Movies include first-runs, as well as classics, and the dinner is chef-prepared and the drinks are reasonably priced. Also check out the Rolling Roadshow (giant inflatable screen that goes on the road throughout the U.S. It is a pretty cool concept and has created quite a huge following.Warehouse District - Downtown area bordered by Cesar Chavez St. A bit trendier and certainly more pricey, it caters to a slightly older crowd than the other downtown entertainment areas. True to its name, the formerly old, abandoned warehouses throughout this downtown section of Austin have been renovated into concert halls, high-end retail stores, art galleries, salons, trendy steakhouses, seafood eateries, and other chic restaurants and bars such as Qua (a dance club with a live shark tank under the see-through dance floor) and Cedar Street Bar (with outdoor patios and courtyards for live music, dancing and dining).
In the 1970s, Stubbs Restaurant became the heart of an explosive music scene and was ground zero for musicians like Joe Ely and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Other musicians who would play for their supper in those days included Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Linda Ronstadt, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The Lubbock location closed years ago, but the legend continues in Austin with great Texas Bar-B-Que, ice cold beer, and an indoor and outdoor concert venue featuring some of the most popular bands in music today. The 30-acre garden is free and open to the public most days year-round and is enjoyed by over 400,000 visitors each year, including thousands of school children from Austin and the surrounding communities. Theme gardens such as rose, herb and Japanese garden are interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds. Three acres in size, Barton Springs Pool is fed from under ground springs and is on average 68 degrees year round. Over the years, Barton Springs Pool has drawn people from all walks of life, from legislators who have concocted state laws there to free-spirited topless sunbathers who turned heads in the seventies. Even Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting his mother's relative in Austin. The pool began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River, became a resort in the 1920s, and is today a popular swimming pool operated by the City of Austin.Elizabet Ney Museum - 304 E. In this studio, Ney sculpted the great men of frontier Texas, among them, life-sized figures of Stephen F. Ney also assembled in this studio her earlier sculptures of European notables, among them, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, King George V of Hanover, Otto von Bismarck, Giuseppi Garibaldi, Justus von Liebig, Arthur Schopenhauer and Jacob Grimm, all cherished portraits Ney rendered from life as a as a young artist. By the turn of the century, Elisabet Ney's Hyde Park studio had become a gathering place for influential Texans drawn to the colorful character of "Miss Ney" and to the stimulating discussions of politics and ideas that took place there. Inspired by Ney's "revolutionary" idea that art and beauty have been and can be powerful forces in the shaping of a nation as well as in individuals, these early Texans went on to found the University of Texas Art Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Fine Arts Association and museums and art schools throughout the state.
See the rainwater harvesting system, meditate on the beauty of a Hill Country stream, visit Wild Ideas: The Store, and dine at the Wildflower Caf. Dont forget your walking shoes so you can take a short hike on one of four trails, and be sure to bring your camera to photograph the award-winning architecture and beautiful blooming displays. Weekend activities include workshops and lectures on everything from gardening with natural plants to nature photography. Few locals realize it is only a short drive of 13 miles from the capitol building, making it one of Austin's best kept secrets.Wildlife to be observed and photographed includes white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and numerous birds.
Capital Of Texas Hwy., Austin, Texas 78746 - Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was founded in 1974 to protect 227 acres of Texas Hill Country.
Come and enjoy over 3 miles of hiking trails through woodland, grassland, and streamside habitats.
Wild Basin also hosts a variety of family events, concerts, adult workshops, children's and school programs. Wild Basin's nature education programs are funded by special events, memberships, corporate donations and grants. Trail maps are available at the Environmental Education Center or at kiosks at either trailhead. A Segway Tour is an exciting and unique approach to viewing historical landmarks, local businesses, and captivating attractions. Informative guides will lead you on an intriguing journey full of facts and entertainment through downtown Austin to the Texas State Capital.Lone Star Riverboat Cruises - Located on Lady Bird Lake (formally Town Lake) in downtown Austin, Texas. Experience the exhilaration of the outdoors, the abundant waterfowl, our ever changing city skyline and the natural beauty that is Austin. Hewanted to share that beauty with the town he loved,so he openeda canoe rental business on the banks of the creek, just downstream from Barton Springs.
He and his wife, Dorothy,and their four-year-old daughter rented out theirnine canoes on weekends while Howard worked for the Texas Park and Wildlife Department.
Together they built the business to the environmentally friendly and family oriented establishment that it is today. With over100 canoes and kayaks and reasonable prices, Zilker Park Boat Rentals is the perfect place to bring friends and family to enjoy a relaxing outing on the water.
But if you're looking for a pleasant, mostly flat, walk, jog, or bike ride with several excellent views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake, then the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail may fit the bill for you.The Ann W.
Richards Congress Avenue Bridge - (formerly known simply as the Congress Avenue Bridge) crosses over Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas.
The bridge was known as the Congress Avenue Bridge from the construction of the first span across the Colorado River at that location in the late 19th century until November 16, 2006, when the Austin City Council renamed the current bridge in honor of the late Ann W.
The bridge is a concrete arch bridge, with three southbound and three northbound vehicle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the bridge.
The bridge is currently home to the world's largest urban Mexican Free-Tailed Bat colony and hosts large crowds of Austinites gathered for bat watching at sunset throughout the Spring and Summer months.Long Center for the Performing Arts - 701 W. Palmer (Municipal) Auditorium, built in 1959 on the shores of Town Lake, was recently renovated into a multi-venue community performing arts center. It is one of Austin's most vibrant and innovative arts organizations and Central Texas' oldest professional theatre.The Broken Spoke - 3201 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78704 - Texas' most definitive legendary dance hall built in 1964.
If you're ever in Austin, stop by for an ice-cold Lone Star longneck and some traditional country music by some "real" country musicians.The Spoke has some of Austin's very best local talent such as Alvin Crow, Asleep at the Wheel, Gary P. Nunn, Sam and Son, better known as The Geezinslaw Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Derailers, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Chris Wall, and Dale Watson just to name a few.
Some of the old time country music legends that have played The Spoke include Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Hank Thompson, Tex Ritter, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Grandpa Jones, Willie Nelson and George Strait.
While most of these stars are no longer around, Willie still stops in for chicken fried steak. When it was completed in 1888, it was claimed to be the seventh largest building in the world. Some 1,000 men (mostly convicts) worked every day for four years at the height of the project. It cost $3,744, 600 to build and was funded funded through an article in the state constitution, adopted February 15, 1876, which authorized the sale of public lands for the purpose. In one of the largest barter transactions in recorded history, the builders of the capitol were paid with over three-million acres of public land in the Texas panhandle. This tract later became the largest cattle ranch in the world, the XIT Ranch, covering ten counties (The XIT brand stands for 10 in Texas). The building has been renovated many times, with central air conditioning installed in 1955 and the most recent refurbishments completed in 1997. It was built in 1854, designed by prominent architect Abner Cook in Greek Revival style, and has been the home of every Texas governor since 1856.
The mansion is the oldest continuously inhabited house in Texas and fourth oldest governor's mansion in the United States that has been continuously occupied by a chief executive.
It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and further was declared a U.S. On June 8, 2008, while midway through a major renovation, the mansion was heavily damaged by a four-alarm fire believed to be arson.



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