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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. Chinese diplomat Wu Hongbo was sworn in as the new United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. The swearing-in ceremony was conducted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with Ban's senior management team.
Wu, born in 1952 in Shandong province in eastern China, was Chinese ambassador to Germany since 2009 and assistant foreign minister.
Development issues had a different and broader meaning, and the MDGs and sustainable development goals can integrate into each other, Wu told a group of Chinese resident UN reporters after his swearing-in ceremony. He said some developing countries may fear they will lose some of the assistance promised when the MDGs were set up.
Zhu Zhiqun, professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, said Wu is "fully qualified and competent" for this role because of his diverse background serving as ambassador to both developed nations (Germany) and developing nations (the Philippines) in addition to working at China's foreign ministry.
Wu has more than 30 years of high-level experience, including close collaboration in international conferences with multilateral organizations, and has been involved in China's contribution to the implementation of the UN Conventions on Environment and Development, as well as China's report on its progress towards the MDGs. He is expected to "play a key role in working with member states in formulating the UN Development Agenda beyond 2015", said a statement on the UN website after his appointment was announced in May. Wu said it was quite a transition for him personally to shift from being a Chinese diplomat to an international civil servant serving the UN. At least nine people in Liaoning province, five in Hubei province and one in Yunnan province were confirmed dead in floods and mudslides triggered by rainstorms on Monday. Six in Xiuyan county and three in Haicheng city were found dead, and four others remain missing after Typhoon Damrey swept through Northeast China's Liaoning during the weekend, flood control authorities said. Floods trapped 201 construction workers in a tunnel of a high-speed railway in the province's Benxi about 9:40 am on Monday, said Ban Yue, a publicity official for the city's government. Benxi rescue crews managed to transfer all of the workers to safety within four hours, said Zhang Jingqi, a firefighter. When China Daily reporters arrived at the scene, two dark-colored rivers were flowing quickly through the tunnel, and a temporary bridge was severely damaged.
Most of the construction workers returned to their tents after being rescued, while several others carried on with the construction work in safe areas. The typhoon cut off electricity, paralyzed road traffic and damaged drinking water facilities in Xiuyan, leaving more than 110,000 people homeless. Floods triggered by rainstorms in Dalian, Liaoning, retreated on Sunday night, as many residents in Chengzitan township tried to dry their clothes in the sun on Monday. In Southwest China's Yunnan, a 92-year-old woman was found dead and a 82-year-old woman was missing in Eryuan county of the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture, where a mudslide occurred on Monday morning. Forty villagers were injured by the mudslide and all were sent to hospital for treatment, Zhou Hongbing, a publicity official for Eryuan, said on Monday. The mudslide initially trapped more than 200 people in the mountainous Fengyu and Liantie townships. Li Xiangyang, a resident of Fengyu, said that the rainy weather had lasted for nearly half a month.
The mudslide caused economic losses of more than 98 million yuan ($15 million) in Eryuan, with 193 hectares of farmland destroyed, 81 houses collapsed, 488 heads of livestock killed, 17 roads and eight bridges destroyed, and three power plants damaged, according to the county government.
As of 2 pm on Monday, at least five people had been confirmed dead and one remained missing due to heavy rain in Shiyan and Xiangyang in Central China's Hubei province, according to the provincial flood control headquarters. More than 1,200 people were trapped by flood in Gucheng county of Xiangyang, said Xiao Haifeng, a firefighter.
Rescuers managed to transfer more than 830 people to safety and rescued 324 people from places surrounded by deep water by Monday afternoon.
The heavy rain collapsed 178 houses and destroyed 409 hectares of crops, the Xiangyang government said on Monday. The country is faced with a tremendous burden from floods and other disasters due to frequent typhoons since mid-July, Chen Lei, minister of water resources, said on Monday. While the country is still dealing with the impact of typhoons Saola and Damrey that caused extensive damage over the weekend, typhoon Haikui is fast approaching, said Chen, who is also deputy commander-in-chief of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. New tropical cyclones will be formed in the next two days, which may continue to challenge the country's flood control capacity. Haikui strengthened into a fierce tropical storm on Sunday and further strengthened into a typhoon on Monday afternoon. Heavy rainstorms brought by Haikui are expected to hit Shanghai and Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces in next three days, according to the China Meteorological Administration. According to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Haikui is moving northwestward at 15 kilometers an hour.
Haikui is expected to move over the central and northern coastal areas of Zhejiang between midnight on Tuesday to noon on Wednesday, wind speed may reach 108 to 119 kilometers per hour as the center of the storm moves across the coast. Shanghai is expected to be lashed by rainstorms brought by Haikui from Tuesday to Thursday, with heavy rains in some areas, said Yao Jianqun, deputy director of the Shanghai Central Meteorological Station.
Real-time weather information will be sent to residents via TV, radio, micro blogs and text messages.
The Shanghai Railway Bureau has decided to suspend the sale of train tickets of the Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou Railway along the southeast coast on Wednesday in order to ensure the safety of passengers.
Tourism authorities in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, issued a notice on its micro blog, warning tourists to evacuate, and saying all sightseeing places will be temporarily closed. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters sent four work teams on Monday to Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Jiangxi provinces to supervise flood control work.
Local authorities should step up inspections to prevent any potential typhoon inflicted damage to major facilities such as the chemical industry, nuclear power plants and railroads.
Nearly 560,000 online comments were made on the proposed amendments to the Labor Contract Law over the monthlong public suggestion period, according to the website of the National People's Congress. It is the highest number of comments that the top legislature has received on a legal revision, the second highest number received was 331,000 regarding the Budget Law. It is not the first time since drafts of laws started to be published online in 2005 that the labor contract bill has attracted wide attention due to its effect on labor rights. The draft labor contract law received nearly 190,000 public comments within a month in 2006 when the law was drafted, a record at the time. Wang Xiaolong, a consultant with the Chinese Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sport Workers' Union, said such a large number of opinions collected showed labor outsourcing is overused and it should have been regulated earlier. The law allows employment agencies to be established to provide companies with workers for temporary, supportive and substitute positions, and stipulates that outsourced workers should receive the same pay as those doing the same jobs for the same employers. Unlike people employed directly by companies, outsourced workers have labor contracts with employment agencies. There are more than 60 million outsourced workers in China, making up almost 20 percent of the urban workforce, according to a report released last year by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
State-owned enterprises and public institutions and industries, such as petrochemical, telecommunication, finance and banking companies, employ the most outsourced workers, the report said.
Wang said in many public hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and nurses are outsourced and in many universities, teachers, researchers and administrative staff are also outsourced. Ye Jingyi, a labor law expert at Peking University, said although the draft defines the three types of positions for the first time, it is not specific enough, and could still leave loopholes for employer manipulation. A draft amendment to the Budget Law, the latest attempt to shore up supervision on government spending, has apparently struck a chord with the public. During a monthlong online campaign to solicit feedback on the proposed changes, the proposal received almost 331,000 comments and suggestions from about 20,000 members of the public, as of Sunday, according to the National People's Congress, the top legislature.
This is the second-largest number of comments received by a draft law since the practice of publishing drafts online to solicit opinions was introduced in 2005.
The largest number, 560,000 comments, was received by a Labor Contract Law draft amendment. However, several analysts said such attention to the draft shows an unusual public interest in levies and expenses, as the government continues to harvest surplus revenue.
The amendment, if passed, would establish a set of requirements on budget making and enforcing, such as requiring governments to include all revenues and spending in annual budgets, making the budget public after it is approved by the people's congresses, and submitting budget adjustments for local legislature's review before making any fiscal changes.
Liu Jianwen, a financial law professor at Peking University, said the draft makes progress in outlawing undeclared incomes and sets up a system to supervise all revenues and spending.
He said the amount of undeclared income has reduced significantly in recent years, especially since a regulation requiring governments to publicize information on spending was introduced in 2008. The annual amount of undeclared funds can reach 300 to 400 billion yuan ($47 billion to $63 billion), said Yang Zhengwu, a deputy to the NPC Standing Committee, during a session to discuss the draft in June. Li Weiguang, a professor of government finance at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, approved of some of the changes proposed in the draft, but said the proposal dodged the basic principle of budget making and implementation. For instance, he said, although the draft requires government budgets and adjustments to be approved by legislatures before being carried out, it does not specify the procedures if legislatures decide not to approve the proposed budgets. The authority of legislatures in reviewing and approving budgets, Li said, is the cornerstone of other measures in the draft law to regulate government income and spending. The Budget Law, the country's fundamental law to regulate government spending, was first introduced in 1995, a year after China reformed its taxation system and drastically improved the fiscal power. As China continues to rack up gold medals in London, Beijing's fitness centers are also enjoying golden times. Gyms across the capital have seen a spike in new members, with many residents inspired to get in shape by Olympic heroes such as badminton ace Lin Dan.
However, the marketing department of another fitness club in the capital, Tera Wellness Club, said it witnessed a year-on-year increase of new members of less than 10 percent in July.
Gao Feng, a salesman at Hosa, said he signs up most new members in spring, but added the sales performance last month was "impressive". The enthusiasm of the new recruits, partly inspired by the Games, also provided inspiration for the clubs' marketing departments.
In addition to the annual membership dues during the Olympics, clubs across Beijing also come up with various promotions to attract customers. Many members came after work for a jog on the treadmill while watching the Games, said a marketing officer who gave her name as Wu at Nirvana Fitness and Spa, a high-end gym chain. Jia Nan, 27, a Beijing resident, comes to the gym with his wife when time allows, to keep fit after his wedding. The increasing membership at the gym and growing popularity of the fitness clubs is not a short-term effect of the London Games alone, said Zhang at Hosa. According to the marketing department of Hosa, to welcome the upcoming National Fitness Day on Aug 8, it will also come up with various promotion activities like free experience and lottery draws. Sports events can always spark enthusiasm for fitness among the public, and it is necessary to seize the opportunity of the Olympics, as well as the National Games next year in Shenyang, Liaoning province, to further encourage more of the public to exercise, he said.
More than 30 mothers breast-feed their babies for one and a half minutes to promote World Breastfeeding Week in a shopping mall in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Saturday. The bodies of four workers were pulled from a well on Saturday after the men were allegedly poisoned to death by toxic gas while working at a landfill in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
Zhang Lei, director of the Dawukou Landfill in the city of Shizuishan, conducted a routine check about noon on Saturday at an observation well. Three people died and four others were injured in an explosion in Fengyang county, East China's Anhui province, on Saturday, local authorities said. One person was killed after the blast occurred at 4 pm in a farmer's house, in Lingquan village of Fengyang county, on Saturday. A rescue team was sent to the village on Saturday and four slightly wounded were sent to No 123 hospital in Bengbu city, Anhui province.
A discipline official in Zhongshan city of South China's Guangdong province has been suspended from his post for his role in a public servant exam fraud, the city's commission for discipline inspection said on Sunday. Liang Guoying, a discipline official with Zhongshan Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, is accused of helping his son change the score he received on a writing test for a public servant exam so his son would get the post, according to a statement from the city's commission for discipline inspection. The statement said Liang's post was suspended and relevant officials will be punished for the fraud.
A chemical container on an 80,000-ton cargo ship parked at Yantian Port in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, leaked toxic gas at around 8:38 am on Sunday, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
Ten fire engines and 75 firemen were sent to the port and dropped 800 kg of dry ice to lower the temperature of the container from 70 C to 30 C.
The report said the cargo ship's registered country is Panama, and the goods belong to a trade company in Kunshan of Jiangsu province. Ownership of about 78 percent of China's collectively-owned rural land had been clarified by the end of June in a government campaign to protect farmers' land rights, the country's land watchdog said on Sunday. Local authorities should step up their efforts to certify ownership of all collectively-owned land in the countryside by the end of 2012 as planned, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a statement on its website. Vice-Minister Hu Cunzhi warned that authorities should not approve the expropriation or transfer of collectively-owned rural land that remains unidentified as of the end of this year. A 38-year-old man in Shanghai's Qingpu district has been arrested for allegedly killing his housing agent, Shanghai Evening Post reported on Sunday. The man killed his agent because he regretted selling his house years ago when the price was only about one-sixth of current price, according to the report.
In 2004, the man, whose name was not revealed, sold his house for 450,000 yuan ($71,000) to a man who operated a precision instrument enterprise through an agent. A nurse who run away after she failed to pay back a 365 million yuan ($57 million) loan was arrested in Shanghai in July, local media Modern Express reported on Sunday. The nurse, surnamed Wang, previously worked at Taixing People's Hospital in Jiangsu province and became involved with an automobile decoration business and real estate investment. She borrowed money at an extremely high interest rate to invest in real estate, but failed to pay back the loan in full, police said.
The mother of a forced prostitution victim in Central China's Hunan province was sentenced to 18 months of re-education through labor on Thursday for disrupting public order, police said on Sunday.
Two criminals were sentenced to death, four received life imprisonment and another received 15 years in jail, according to the ruling made by Hunan High People's Court on June 5. Tang Hui, the girl's mother, protested the sentences, saying all of the convicts should be executed. Identified only as Luo, the boy died on July 23 in the city's Nanfang Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for a malignant brain tumor.
Luo is the 91st person to donate organs in Guangdong province since the province began taking part in a trial of a national organ donation system in April 2010, said Li Jindong, deputy director of the organ donation office of the Guangdong branch of the Red Cross Society of China. To bring the supply of organs closer to meet the demand for them, the RCSC and the Ministry of Health started a trial donation program in 10 provinces and municipalities in March 2010 and later expanded it to include 16 places. In the long run, the system is meant to establish a national system through which information on organ donations can be shared and donated organs can be allocated in a transparent manner. Data from the RCSC show the system helped to arrange 343 donations from March 2010 to July 15, leading to transplants of 924 large organs such as hearts, livers, kidneys and lungs.
A staff worker at the organization, who declined to be identified, said Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces and Tianjin municipality had the largest number of donations among the 16 places in the system by June 30. Guangdong, Zhejiang and Tianjin have also seen increases in donations in the past three years, according to their respective branches of the RCSC.
Cao Yanfang, who works for the organ donation office of the Zhejiang branch, said 44 people in Zhejiang have donated their organs since the start of the system. He said Tianjin worked with a television station last year to broadcast an advertisement encouraging organ donations. Zhai Xiaomei, a professor at Peking Union Medical College's bioethics center, praised the work, saying: "Organ donation is noble and altruistic. Zhai said the trial program is progressing well and believed that the country will have a fair and transparent national system for organ donations in the near future.
Even so, the more than 300 donations that have taken place since the start of the system are still far from adequate to meet the demand for organs, Zhai said. Experts called on Sunday for authorities to improve hospital supervision to prevent the trade and trafficking of human organs. Police announced on Saturday that 137 suspects had been caught in the latest crackdown on human organ trafficking.
The investigation was conducted around the end of July by 18 provincial authorities who rescued 127 potential organ suppliers, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Security. In April, police in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, uncovered a gang suspected of organizing and trafficking in human organs with other "black agencies" in Beijing, Shandong and Anhui provinces, the statement said. The gangs coordinated with each other and formed a large network for human organ sales, the ministry said. The suspects illegally recruited suppliers over the Internet, facilitated the deals and made huge profits from the transactions, which endangered the health of the suppliers and placed a heavy financial burden on the recipients, the ministry added. The 2011 amendments to China's Criminal Law introduced three clauses related to the illegal organ trade.
Criminals convicted of "forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles" could face homicide charges under the law. According to the Ministry of Health, about 1.5 million Chinese need organ transplants every year, but only around 10,000 transplants are performed annually due to a lack of donors. The huge gap has led to a thriving illegal market for human organs, although the government has repeatedly pledged to improve regulations on organ transplants and increase the supply.
China's central government issued its first national level regulations on human organ transplants in 2007, banning organizations and individuals from trading human organs. Liu said hospitals urgently need to establish a nationwide online database to share information on organ receivers and providers. To increase the supply of legally harvested organs, Chinese health authorities are building an official network to facilitate organ donations. Huang Jiefu, vice-minister of health, said in late March that because of a shortage of organ donations from the public, the majority of organs came from prisoners - with their consent - who had been executed. Huang promised to change the situation in three to five years by promoting a reliable donor system and encouraging donations from the public. Police have arrested more than 1,900 people suspected of making and selling fake medicine in a series of raids on underground production bases, the Ministry of Public Security said on Sunday.
The nationwide operation, which started on July 25 and involved 18,000 police officers in 31 provincial-level regions, has crushed 24 networks manufacturing counterfeit medical products worth 1.16 billion yuan ($182 million).


Police seized 205 million tablets designed to look like brand-name products for treating hypertension, diabetes, skin diseases and cancer, the ministry said. Some medicines contained sibutramine, a chemical used to treat obesity that was banned by the State Food and Drug Administration in 2010 due to fears that it increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. The suspects also put sedative and hallucinogenic chemicals into the tablets to deceive consumers into believing that the fake drugs had an effect. The ministry said it has destroyed a large number of production sites and trade channels in the past two years.
However, the crime is "far from being rooted out, as such criminals have come up with new methods", the ministry said in its online statement. The ministry also said it had found sham promotions of fake products on the Internet, television and magazines during the crackdown. A ministry spokesperson warned that people should purchase medicines in hospitals and pharmacies who are trusted vendors of genuine products, and advised against buying medicines that do not have approved names and numbers distributed by the SFDA.
Li Zhongdong, a pharmacist at the Air Force General Hospital in Beijing, said the crime is likely to continue because of "the huge profits" it brings. Li suggested buyers check with the online inquiry system at the SFDA to ensure the medicines they bought are genuine. The system provides information such as the name and approval number of medicines whose production has been approved by the SFDA. Six-year-old gorilla Feijie (center), dressed as an Olympic athlete on Thursday, is seen with other gorillas in Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong province. The death toll from a gas blast on Thursday in Southwest China's Sichuan province rose to two after an injured person died in a hospital, local authorities said on Friday. A 30-year-old man died at 8:50 pm on Thursday, following the death of a 44-year-old woman earlier that day, according to a statement issued by the Nanjiang county government. The 24 injured were still receiving treatment at two local hospitals, and two of them were in critical condition. The accident occurred at around 3 pm on Thursday on the second floor of an eight-story building belonging to the China Mobile branch in the county.
An initial investigation indicated that the blast was caused by a natural-gas leak in a kitchen.
A prolific robber who stole 88 motorbikes in five months had bad luck when he was stealing his 89th bike, the Chengdu Business Daily reported on Friday.
The alleged thief surnamed Zhang was caught red-handed in Pengzhou, Sichuan province, when he offered a tricycle driver five yuan (78 US cents) to help him carry away a locked motorcycle. The paper said that when police searched Zhang's home, they also found an unusual diary where he had recorded a history of all the 88 motorbikes he had stolen and the prices he had sold them for. Zoologists at a Northeast China breeding center announced on Friday the beginning of a wilderness training program for Siberian tigers.
Seven Siberian tigers are participating in the program and the figure is expected to rise to 11 by the end of the year, said sources with the Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Garden, the world's largest breeding center for Siberian tigers.
Participating tigers must be cubs born within the breeding center, said chief engineer Liu Dan, adding that they will be sent to demarcated areas within the center's reserve accompanied by their mothers. Authorities in Hunan province have suspended the production licenses of more than 200 coal-mine pits for safety reasons. At a conference on preventing coal-mine gas outburst accidents held on Thursday, the provincial coal industry bureau released a list of 216 coal-mine pits, which failed to pass the inspection on gas outburst prevention. All these pits are small in production scale, with annual production capacities of less than 90,000 tons each. The bureau requested its lower-level branches to withhold licenses of relevant collieries by Aug 15 and supervise them on their correctional measures. The inspection was put forward following two gas outburst accidents in early July in the province's Lianyuan city and Jiahe county that killed 10 people.
Three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, who successfully completed China's first manned space docking mission, will arrive in Hong Kong next Friday for a four-day visit at the invitation of Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung. The 40-member delegation comprises key commanders and designers of the manned space program, who contributed to the success of the docking mission between the Shenzhou IX spacecraft and the Tiangong-1 lab module. Rice of different colors that creates text and graphics in the fields has attracted the attention of many in the farmland of the Xiangjiadang provincial agriculture zone on Aug 2, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. The multicolored rice was successfully planted by the agricultural sciences authority of Xiuzhou district, Jiaxing city. Ye Tongxin, 50, can easily hit any close-range target, quick and hard, with a playing card. Ye, who works at a bus company in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, has spent 10 years practicing his card-throwing skills. A 21-year-old motorcycle driver surnamed Tan was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve - a penalty usually reduced to life in jail - for rapes at a local court in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, on Thursday, local media reported on Friday. Tan drove female passengers to remote areas or followed women who were walking alone, the paper said.
Chinese scientists started on Friday a research program on the country's largest freshwater lake to boost economic development in the region. The program, the second in three decades, will bring scientists together from 30 institutes around the country to conduct research on the ecological, environmental and hydrological systems of Poyang Lake in East China's Jiangxi province, said Hu Zhenpeng, director of the program.
The three-year program at a cost of 10 million yuan ($1.59 million) will also look into the social economy of the lake region, Hu said. Video: London's green spaces are being called into use as campsites, where international communities are developing. Culture: Find the Peach Blossom Valley described by poet Tao Yuanming of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420), a mountain-encircled land laced with crystal-clear rivers and girded with bridges, whose inhabitants live a carefree life of peace and prosperity. A woman picks up her belongings from the debris of a makeshift house destroyed in a typhoon in Ganyu, Jiangsu province, on Friday. More than 2 million residents in East China's coastal regions were affected by two typhoons on Friday, and one person died in Shandong province, even as the tempests weakened to tropical storms after making landfall.
As of 10 am on Friday, Saola and Damrey had forced the evacuation of about 124,000 residents in Jiangsu province, 180,000 in Shandong province, 237,000 in Zhejiang province, and 173,000 in Fujian province, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The two typhoons landed less than 10 hours apart on Thursday evening and Friday morning, according to the National Meteorological Center. The storms brought torrential rain to Jiangsu and the southern coastal areas of Shandong early on Friday morning after Damrey landed in Jiangsu at about 9:30 pm on Thursday, the center said. Similar weather hit Fujian and its neighboring provinces on Friday morning after Saola made landfall in Fuding city at 6:50 am, it said.
The 21-year-old student told China Daily on Friday that he went to bed as usual on Thursday night because the rain was not very heavy. Since Wednesday, five people in Taiwan have died, two remain missing and more than 16 have suffered injuries because of Typhoon Saola, according to the island's emergency operation center.
The Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits sent a letter of condolence to the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation on Friday over the devastation wrought by the typhoon.
The letter said the ARATS was "deeply concerned" about the death and injuries as well as property losses caused by the floods and mudslides on the island, and it asked SEF to convey its "sincere sympathy" to relevant authorities and affected people, Xinhua News Agency reported. Premier Wen Jiabao called for intensifying flood-control efforts and ensuring the safety of the public amid recent severe flooding in several areas. Wen made the remarks during a two-day tour of Henan and Hubei provinces, where he inspected local flood-control facilities and water-control projects, including Three Gorges Dam, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.
He urged local authorities to ensure safety and conduct evacuations in a timely manner, adding that observatories and hydrologic monitoring stations should enhance monitoring and guard against possible disasters. Local authorities need to improve the construction of infrastructure such as flood-control facilities and sewage networks, which he said have been overlooked in many cities. He ordered local officials to draw up emergency response plans to minimize losses in the event of severe flooding. The National Meteorological Center alerted local authorities to gear up their preparations for natural disasters such as floods, mudslides and landslides since heavy rainfall will lash more than 10 provinces and municipalities in coming days. Chen Weifeng, mayor of Qinyu in Fujian province, said that although the typhoon has made landfall, the town will still be geared up to tackle the downpour and prevent marine staff and fishermen from going back to sea to ensure safety.
The command center of Fuzhou airport said 28 flights have been canceled because of strong winds. Tourism in Fujian also took a toll, as individual tourists and tour groups have dropped because of Saola, said a manager surnamed Chen with Fujian Comfort Travel Co.
But Gulangyu, a popular tourist destination in Xiamen, remained open on Friday afternoon as the city was barely affected, said an official with Gulangyu Management Committee.
The combined impact of Saola and Damrey will continue to dump rain on Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hebei, Liaoning, and Tianjin in the next two days, with the highest rainfall reaching 300 mm in parts of coastal regions in Fujian and Zhejiang, according to the China Meteorological Administration on Friday.
In Tianjin, a city that has rarely seen flooding in the past decade, self-protection became a hot topic among local residents since it was hit by the heavy rainfalls in July that flooded many downtown streets, vehicles and even houses.
Meanwhile, the death toll from Beijing's devastating downpour on July 21 rose to 78 after another body was discovered, government authorities said on Friday. The body of a 65-year-old man from neighboring Hebei province was retrieved from a pond near Dongguan village of Fangshan district, according to a statement issued by the Beijing municipal government on its official Sina Weibo micro blog, citing the city's floods control and drought relief office. The statement also said one of the 11 unidentified bodies previously discovered had been identified. Despite the increasing number of tourists from abroad that Beijing received in the first half of the year, the growth is slowing down.
However, the growth has slowed since the second quarter of the year and is expected to continue slowing down, according to the Beijing Tourism Development Committee. Places of historical interest and scenic beauty have long been attractive for overseas tourists, according to the committee. An official with the marketing office of the Badaling section of the Great Wall said that Badaling received about 320,000 overseas tourists in the first six months, up 6.7 percent over the same period of last year. However, even though inbound tourism has seen a year-on-year growth of 9.1 percent in the first quarter, the growth for the second quarter slowed to 1 percent, partly due to the slow recovery of the global economy and the budget deficit, debt and unemployment problems that are hitting many developed countries, the committee said in a report on Friday. The committee said that the deceleration of inbound tourism might continue until the second half of the year. To further boost the capital's inbound tourism, the city is likely to introduce a 72-hour window to explore the city without a visa, and other policies, according to the committee.
Kajiya Yoichi, an accountant now living in his native Japan, has always wanted to come back to China, where he spent years studying in Tsinghua University, to explore the ancient city again with his family. A coordination group has been set up to facilitate the implementation of the policy, said the committee. The committee will also carry out more market promotion abroad to attract inbound tourists and make the capital known worldwide, especially in the emerging markets of Africa and the Middle East. It was revealed that South Korea's Jeju Island has signed a memorandum in May with the Beijing Badaling section of the Great Wall to boost tourism development. Zhao Baige, the executive vice-president of the Red Cross Society of China, at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. In a bid to regain diminished public trust, the Red Cross Society of China has promised a series of reforms, including an online donation tracking system that is expected to be in place by year-end. Zhao Baige, the society's executive vice-president, outlined the plans at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. The news conference follows the State Council's Tuesday release of guidelines on developing the country's Red Cross missions.
The guideline recognized the Red Cross as an indispensable auxiliary to the government in the humanitarian field, and as such, one that requires a favorable environment of law, policy, and public opinion. The Red Cross faced such questions of its credibility last year after Guo Meimei, who claimed to be a manager of a Red Cross-related organization, flaunted a lavish lifestyle over the Internet. The Red Cross Society at various levels must provide information related to fundraising, financial management, tenders, procurement and distribution of donations. To facilitate that, an efficient, transparent and normative system of management, information and supervision, including a donation-tracking system, will be established within three to five years, Zhao said. Furthermore, the system will be expanded to 80 percent of the provincial branches of the RCSC by the end of 2013 and later to more than 50 percent of the Red Cross organizations at the county level by the end of 2014, she added.
The costs for carrying out humanitarian tasks supported by donations can be disbursed but must be publicly publicized, the guidelines said. A spokesman system will be introduced to better communicate with the public and help secure transparency, she added. Deng, the Tsinghua University professor, praised the reforms but expressed concerns about their implementation.
Wang Rupeng, the society's secretary-general, said that in some areas, there is too much government interference into the local Red Cross's organizing mechanism, internal governance, and routine operation.
At more than 40 percent of the Chinese counties across the mainland, the Red Cross remains under local health departments, he said. He expected that such a document issued by the State Council would help propel the new reforms, particularly at the local level. Zhao Baige, the executive vice-president of the Red Cross Society of China, pointed out at a news conference on Thursday that it was unreasonable and unacceptable for the Red Cross branch in Beijing to charge the families of flood victims to move corpses.
Chinese Internet users revealed that emergency buses from an RCSC-affiliated rescue center charged 620 yuan ($100) to help transfer the bodies of people who died during a severe rainstorm in Beijing on July 21, the heaviest rainstorm in six decades that left at least 77 residents dead in the capital. The incident briefly stirred up heated public discussions on the Sina micro blog, with most of the netizens saying that the RCSC's behavior was hurting people's feelings. Another writer who claimed to be lawyer said the charge was against humanity and the values of the Red Cross. Rescue centers should focus on boosting rescue capabilities and service levels rather than charging citizens during emergency situations, said Zhao, adding that the money has been refunded to the families. The National Audit Office's report, released on Thursday, concluded China has "basically" established a social security management system from 2005 to 2011. The report inspected the operation of 18 security funds in 2,790 counties, 404 cities and 37 province-level regions over that period. It also detected flaws in the management system and found 132 cases of malpractice concerning 300 suspects. Since 2005, the central government has injected nearly 80 percent of its social security investment into central and western parts of China - where 53.8 percent of the Chinese population lives. At the same time, the investment in social security funds for farmers has grown substantially as well, the report said.
Financial subsidies for the new rural pension system increased from just over 1 billion yuan in 2009 to 35.2 billion yuan in 2011.
Meanwhile, subsidies for the new rural cooperative medical system surged from 542 million yuan in 2005 to 80.1 billion yuan in 2011. Monthly allowances for low-income families in rural areas also grew 87 percent over the period. Lu Quan, an expert with the social security research center at Renmin University of China, said taxation, which subsidizes the security funds, varies in places and therefore leads to security gaps regionally. Officials from the top audit authority said the audit aims to assess whether China's economic boom has been shared by its people and if the security system serves the people well.
Citing the report, Chen Taihui, head of the office's social security audit division, said China's social security system made a "historical breakthrough and has built itself a network that covers the largest number of people in the world". Despite the strong financial standing and extensive coverage, the network has flaws too, as the report revealed. The audit found local governments appropriated or illegally operated 1.73 billion yuan of the funds for other ends such as building stadiums, office buildings and buying cars.
A total of 1.85 billion yuan had been handed out to ineligible recipients or compensation claims.
Less standardized management of the funds in 392 counties, 96 cities and 13 province-level regions resulted in 42.7 billion yuan not being managed directly under designated fiscal accounts. Officials of the National Audit Office added that in the wake of some high-profile court sentences on fund grafts, the funds have become a "high-tension line" that few dare to cross.
A court meted out a death sentence in July to Liu Baolu, former director of a social security fund in Gansu province, for embezzling 28 million yuan over 10 years. Another official, Zhang Xun'an in Huainan, Anhui province, was put behind bars for 10 years for keeping pensions and subsidies that were paid to more than 50 pensioners who had died. Chen Hang, an officer of the Mawei district border defense brigade in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, shows local primary students how to update a micro blog. Public security authorities are most influential of all the government departments with micro blogs on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like website, according to an analysis. Authorities nationwide began signing up for Sina accounts two years ago, and there are now 25,866 official micro blogs, 8,583 of them administered by police authorities. According to a new report by Sina, four public security micro blogs are on the list of the 10 government micro blogs with the most followers. During the heavy rainstorm and subsequent floods on July 21, Beijing police published constant updates on its micro blog about dangerous roads and the rescue efforts. Zhao Feng, a publicity official at the city's public security bureau who manages the account, said he received hundreds of thousands messages from residents asking the police for help, as well as with tips about the places hardest hit by the downpour.
But it was the micro blog that was able to send important information out and was not affected by the rain, helping residents and the police, Zhao said.
Five police officers currently work on the bureau's micro blog, which was launched in August 2010 and now has almost 3.5 million followers.
Public security departments in other cities have also created their own ways to improve communication with residents and their effectiveness.
Sun Haidong, an officer responsible for the micro blog of the Jinan public security bureau in Shandong province, said the bureau has established a team of officers specialized in various fields to address followers' varying problems.
Unlike the Beijing and Jinan police micro blogs, which are run by police publicity officials, the Guangzhou police micro blog is operated by police officers in the central control room, through which it can directly mobilize officers to respond.
Meanwhile, 4,973 police officers nationwide use their private Sina Weibo accounts to interact with residents of their jurisdictions - these are about a quarter of the micro blogs used by Chinese public servants in their own names, the report said.
Luo Jian, 38, a police officer in Beijing's Fengtai district, has nearly 7,500 followers on the micro blog he began on Jan 8.
However, Wang Yibo, a police officer who operates the Shanghai railway police's micro blog, said there is insufficient investment in the micro blog and sometimes updates have to wait until the next day because of a personnel shortage. While police micro blogs are booming, some government departments have also been diversifying their micro blogs to attract and serve residents.
The Ministry of Railways has been developing the interactive "Summer Holiday on Railways" via its micro blog. Meanwhile, the high people's court in Henan province gives live text reports about the judges' work and what is going on in the court.
Fishermen in Hainan and Guangdong provinces have resumed operation after the annual fishing ban in the northern part of the South China Sea was lifted on Wednesday, said local fishery authorities. In Yangjiang, a port city in western Guangdong province, more than 1,000 fishing boats headed out to sea on Wednesday for the first time since their forced two-and-a-half-month break, after Liu Kun, a deputy governor of Guangdong, announced the opening of the province's fishing festival.
From Wednesday, more than 14,000 fishing boats registered in Guangdong province will start their journey to the South China Sea to fish, Liu said.
In Hainan province, about 9,000 ships holding 35,611 fishermen affected by the ban are going to fish in the South China Sea, according to Hainan provincial fishery authorities. Lin Lijin, captain of Qiong Sanya 11181, plans to start fishing offshore from a port in Sanya, Hainan, on Saturday.
Lin's ship had just finished an ocean fishing operation in the Nansha Islands from July 12 to July 29 as part of a trial to develop the industry in Nansha, which has abundant fishing resources. According to fishery authorities in Hainan, the 18-day operation to Nansha marked the beginning of the province gradually moving from offshore fishing to ocean fishing. Chen Yiping, who owns a 110-ton ship Qionghai 03889, started his ocean fishing operation on Wednesday afternoon in waters off the Xisha Islands from Tanmen port in Hainan province.
Popular sea products like lobsters and sea snails could be easily found in the Xisha Islands, and fish in the area are much larger than those in offshore areas, the captain said.
Chen said with more ships fishing because the ban is lifted, the price of sea products will drop in the short term. With the establishment of Sansha city in July, Chen hopes more processing factories will be established in the new city, which could save fishermen time and money. The fishing ban in the South China Sea, which has been in place since 1999, has been imposed for two and a half months since 2009, and covers areas north of the 12th parallel north, including Huangyan Island but excluding most of the Nansha Islands.
Fishermen who ignore the ban will face punishments such as fines, license revocations, confiscations and possible criminal charges, according to a statement issued by the fishery bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to Zheng Weiyi, director of Guangdong Administration of Ocean and Fisheries, none of the fishing boats in Guangdong broke any rules during the ban period. And more than 20,000 law enforcement personnel and 4,000 enforcement vessels patrolled the Guangdong waters to prevent local fishermen from violating the fishing ban, Zheng said. In East China's Fujian province, a fishing ban was also expected to end on Wednesday, but as the coast is expected to be battered by gales and rainstorms brought about by typhoon Saola from Wednesday to Sunday, the ban was extended in order to protect local fishermen, the fishery authorities of Fujian said.
Harrow will open its fourth international school in China's southwest city of Chengdu, while Juilliard has decided to open a branch of its music and arts focused school in the north coastal city of Tianjin. Huang said the admission process will require prospective students to take an exam, and both students and parents will be interviewed and quizzed on Harrow's traditions.
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. He graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University and pursued his master's degree from Victoria University in New Zealand from 1978 to 1980. Effectively dealing with issues will help build a better world for our future generations," he added. Sha recently chaired the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, where more than 190 countries agreed on a plan to achieve a set of sustainable development goals and to promote global "green economy". It changes from serving my country to serving the international community, which of course includes protecting the interests of China. The rescuers managed to save more than 80 as of Monday afternoon and authorities are still working to free the remaining trapped people, Zhou said.
Those organizations pay the workers' wages and, in return for supplying the workers, charge employers commission and management fees. A proposed amendment that would slash the tax burden levied on personal incomes elicited more than 230,000 comments last year. Many of the proposed requirements are unprecedented, and others improve existing obligations.
He believes the fitness craze will keep its momentum and bring considerable prospects to the business.
He reportedly discovered that something was wrong with a gas valve and entered the well with another worker to repair it, according to a statement from the city government issued on Sunday. Years later, the price of the house quintupled or sextupled, which made the man extremely upset, the report said.
Her protests severely disrupted public order and court proceedings, the Yongzhou public security bureau said in a statement on Sunday. An employee with the municipality's Red Cross, who declined to be named, said six donations took place there from March to December 2010.
Convicted offenders face prison terms of more than five years and fines, said Zeng Xinhua, a researcher in criminal law at Beijing Normal University. The crew succeeded in the first manual space docking between an airship and a space laboratory, and had the first female astronaut in a China space mission", Leung said.
For the first time, more than 30,000 square meters of experimental fields were cultivated at the agriculture zone.
After years of practice, his cards can easily hit an apple three meters away and slice 16 cucumbers in one minute, the Yangtze Evening News reported on Friday. Typhoon Damrey made landfall in the province late on Thursday night, bringing heavy rains and gales, and causing damages.
Zhang Chang'an, deputy director of the typhoon and marine meteorology center of the China Meteorological Administration, said on Thursday that in 2006, Typhoon Bopha and Typhoon Saomai caused severe losses.
I never thought my house would collapse before my eyes,"said Shen Kaixuan, from Jufeng township of Rizhao, 347 kilometers away from Jinan, the capital of Shandong province.
When the heavy rain comes, I would rather stay at home for safety than drive outside to make money," Wang Yongqiang, a 43-year-old taxi driver, said on Friday.
Average precipitation hit 170 mm, while a township in the suburban district of Fangshan recorded 460 mm of rainfall. The RCSC should be a life-saving model, not to extract harsh terms under emergency conditions," said an online writer using the name "Chengzhongcun 007". Shan is a researcher at the website of People's Daily, the Communist Party of China's flagship newspaper. In cooperation with local museums and tourist attractions, it tells followers about outings they can make on their travels.
The initiative is intended to give the public a glance at law practitioners' work and put the court under tighter scrutiny. The ban is part of ongoing efforts to protect marine resources and promote environmental awareness among fishermen, Huang Zuoping, an official from the South China Sea fishery bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture, told China Daily. As the voyage is about one month long, we also stored enough vegetables and food," Chen said. 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 center of Haikui was in the ocean, about 580 kilometers southeast of Shanghai by 3 pm on Monday. In 2011, the number increased to 11, and 13 donations took place in Tianjin in the first half of this year. After September, we will fish near Beibu Gulf of Guangxi, and then go to the Xisha Islands in Sansha city," Lin told China Daily on Wednesday.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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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