The Graffiti of Addaura
This is a curation on some curious petroglyphs found near Palermo, Sicily, in 1943. This rock art is dated by experts from 21,000BC to 19,000BC. It is no longer open to the public.
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It was after the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily and their arrival in Palermo that the Allies, in search of a suitable site, decided to use the grottoes for storing munitions and explosives. The accidental explosion of the arsenal at the end of the war brought about the crumbling of the main grotto walls and the collapse of a rock wall, bringing to light the graffiti covered with the patina of time. The graffiti were carefully studied by the archaeologist Jole Bovio Marconi, whose studies were published in 1953.
Since 1997 the Addaura grottoes are no longer open for visitors; the site was closed because of the danger of falling boulders, due to the instability of the rocky ridge above. As of 2012, the necessary measures to reinforce the ridge have not been implemented, and the site is in a state of decay from vandalism.
The rock carvings
In one of the grottoes is found a vast and rich complex of carvings, dated between the late Epigravettian and the Mesolithic, depicting men and animals. Amid a large group of bovids, wild horses, and deer, there is represented a scene dominated by the presence of human figures: a group of characters, arranged in a circle, surrounding two central figures with their heads covered and their bodies strongly arched back. The most conflicting hypotheses have been put forward on the question of the identity of these two characters and the significance of their position inside the group. According to some scholars, it might show acrobats caught in the act of playing games that require a particular ability. According to others there is depicted the scene of a ritual that called for the sacrifice of two persons guided by a shaman. To bear out this interpretation, there has been pointed out the presence around the necks and at the sides of the characters of cords that force their bodies into an unnatural and painful backbend. Perhaps it is a ritual that calls for self-strangulation, something that is attested in other cultures. In line with this explanation, the two masked figures around the two sacrificed characters would be shamans attending an initiation ceremony. Other scholars, including the discoverer Jole Bovio Marconi herself, have read the two male figures as a homoerotic image.
[Loka's note: What the fuck?! See references below]
The Addaura carvings represent a figurative cycle of the greatest interest because of the unusual attention dedicated to representation of the surrounding scenery, an extreme case in all of paleolithic art. The treatment of the human figure, even within the context of a stylistic trend present in the Mediterranean basin, especially on Levanzo (Grotta del Genovese), and in the Franco-Cantabrian region, and even though using the same techniques, is something absolutely new as to stylistic forms and spirit in the Addaura grotto, compared to the other finds.
References mentioned above:
5. Penczak, Christopher (2003). Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe. York Beach: Red Wheel/Weiser. p. 11. ISBN 1-57863-281-1. Retrieved 2012-11-02. They encircle two other bird-masked men, both with erect penises. Parallel lines connect the neck to the buttocks and ankles and the penis of one man to the buttocks of another. Thought by most scholars to be a sacrificial rite in which the parallel lines represent bindings, other interpreters see this as a homoerotic initiatory rite, with the lines possibly representing male energy, or even ejaculation.
6. "Queer heritage: a timeline". Archived from the original on 2020-02-18. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
7. Purpura, Giovanni (2010). "Addaura". In Saetta, Toni; Gallo, Silvio (eds.). Palermo e il mare: itinerario della memoria (.pdf). Palermo: Qanat Edizioni. pp. 174–179. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
Below is the link to an Italian article, translated to English by Yandex.
|Image translated by Yandex