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main index © Jeff Matthews entry Oct 2015
The Paglicci Grotto
—or "Young man, I don't care if are late for Kick the Skull practice! You
finish your porridge or I'll bludgeon you with this stone-ax! Just you try
The Paglicci Grotto has made interesting news recently.* That cave is located about 140 km/90 miles north-east of Naples within the confines of the Gargano National Park. The Gargano is in the province of Foggia in the region of Puglia and is the “spur” of the boot of Italy, jutting out into the Adriatic. The spur used to be called Capitanata and in ancient times was Daunia. It is, by any standard, an area of great beauty and variety. The cave, itself, is near the town of Rignano Garganico (the smallest town on the Gargano promontory); the cave is certainly one of the most important prehistoric sites in Italy, containing tens of thousands of individual finds such as paleolithic tools, human and animal bones, hand prints, mural wall paintings (image, right—just like the more famous sites in France and Spain) and, now, a pestle (a grinding stone) with evidence of paleolithic oat harvesting dating to 30,600 BC. Chronologically, the cave manifests evidence of human activity during both the Aurignacian and the Gravettian cultures of the Upper Paleolithic (that is, 38 to 22 thousand years ago. Those names of cultures are type sites named for places in France where they were first discovered and studied). The Paglicci cave contains the earliest such remains discovered in Italy.
The Paglicci cave was discovered in the 1950s and has had the typical roller-coaster ride of public and scholarly attention, going from enthusiasm to neglect and every stop along the way. There is apparently always danger of the cave collapsing. Need money for that. The museum is not yet open. Need money for that. August 13 of 2016 has already been set aside as the First National Paglicci Grotto Day. Really need money for that!
[related items: Early Modern Humans in Southern Italy and Roccamonfina]