Your excursion to Levanzo (Egadi Islands)

Excursion duration: 1 hour and 50 minutes approx

It is necessary to book in advance by calling the numbers: 0923.924032 \ 339.741 8800. Thank You!

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DEPARTURE TIMES

Everyday
10:30 - 10:45
Book the guided tour in advance!

ENGRAVING

An important example of rock art on the island of Levanzo

The engraving show mostly animals of big height, even if we can find four human representation. Every graffiti was dated back to the final phase of Late Palaeolithic. That's the period of passage from the Pleistocenic geologic age to that olocenic one, when the climatic changes due

to the regression of the continental glaciers, forced the man to adapt himself to a changed ecosystem. He adopted some cultural changes that transformed him from simple hunter to hunter, fisherman and shellfish picker.

It seems that in Levanzo, the same great expressive phenomenon that in the Late Palaeolithic happened in the French-cantabrian region verified in a smaller scale, leaving great reproductions of animals very similar to that ones in the Grotta del Genovese. Walls and vaults of the well-known Pyreneic caves, such as Altamira in Spain or Lascaux in France, keeps about ten Palaeolithic paintings, in a naturalistic style that find is greatest expression in Italy in the Levanzo's engraving.

The animals engraved in the Grotta del Genovese are Cervus Elaphus (deer), Bos Primigenius (bull), l'Equus Asinus Hidruntinus (a short horse) and maybe a cat, or an incomprehensible animal.
About every animal is represented by profile ad has not the inner particularities of the body, because it was engraved with a single stroke which traces only the outline. There's only a bull depicted frontally and an eye for an horse.

The animals of Levanzo have very naturalistic features.
Even without depicting details and chiaroscuro, the attempt to reproduce what nature shows is successful. As an example, we can look at the fawn that looks behind him, at the scene where a bull follows a cow, in the depiction of a running bull, where his bustle is perfectly shown. In the Palaeolithic, the hunt for the animals represented in the cave was surely very important for the survival of the men. Even the simple observation of animals aroused to the cavemen great suggestion, that caused adulation that found his outlet in the wall paintings.

Three anthropomorphic figures are regrouped in a scene that develops around a central character of big size, without arms, with a wedge-shaped head, a long beard and a big belt. The characters around him are smaller, and in contrast to the central figure (which is rigid and statuary) seems to be moving, maybe dancing around an high rank character. The left side character is depicted in profile, with open arms and an hat bird-shaped or horse-shaped. The right side one, instead, has got a rounded body, a wedge-shaped head with a long plume. This group is very schematic, and we can't find any particular common way of realization between this group and the more realistic representation of animals. However, the three human figures remind the anthropomorphic pictures in the French-cantabrian caves, due the anatomic imprecision which characterise them. The fourth human picture engraved in the Genovese's Cave is two running legs. It's a strong symbolic significance, which is deduced by the lack of any other anatomic detail beside the legs. In this graffito we can find a return to a more naturalistic vision and the abandon of stylization.

When the Engraving date back

La datazione delle incisioni di Levanzo è stata, se non semplice, particolarmente agevole; infatti la fortuna volle che Paolo Graziosi durante gli scavi da lui condotti nella grotta nell'estate 1953, rinvenisse in uno strato non rimaneggiato una lastrina in pietra calcarea recante l'incisione di un toro (oggi esposta al museo Salinas di Palermo), in uno stile molto simile a quello delle rappresentazioni parietali.

La datazione eseguita con la tecnica del carbonio 14 su un guscio di Patella Ferruginea ha consentito di datare lo strato, e di conseguenza le incisioni parietali, al 9680 a.C.

See all the photos in the Gallery

Art and Prehistory

The Grotta del Genovese in Levanzo, one of the most famous monuments of human art.

Paintings

The Grotta del Genovese - Levanzo

COME VISIT

Arrive at the Port of Trapani and take the ferry or hydrofoil. We are waiting for you in Levanzo!

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