Saturday, December 08, 2007

Petizione per salvare la grotta del sito di Praileaitz I - Deba (Paesi Baschi) (testo inglese)

dal sito Archaeogate, 07-12-2007
Petizione per salvare la grotta del sito di Praileaitz I - Deba (Paesi Baschi)

The actual archaeological research on the site is the result of a tradition lasting more than a century. During this period, deep transformations occurred in research objectives, methods and techniques, and these were applied for maximum achievement. The research has evolved from considering the singular object or the monument to looking on the whole of the site, and more recently to considering the territory in which it is situated. At present, the tendencies of research in Archaeology imply not only the excavation of the settlements, but also its correct conservation and consolidation. Apart from the academic objectives or the research lines, its final aim is the "socialisation" of the discoveries through their exposition or musealisation, not only of the site itself, but also of the landscape in which it is localised.

For this reason, a correct explication has to be based on three fundamental pillars:
1) Field research (excavation, collection of data).
2) Study and interpretation of the data.
3) Recreation of the site and its placement inside its closest environment.

These three pillars are even more important if we try to explain all references to the sacred world. It is here that the power of abstraction and the power of transcendence of prehistoric humanity are manifest.

It is a complex science, "ubi historia silets lapides ossaque loquuntur". The documents used as a basis for our research are very weak and lose their meaning if we abstract them from their natural context of origin. This is the reason why nowadays we cannot study the caves and their content in isolation. The landscape, considered as a catalyst for the global conjunction of daily life and the sacred, has fundamental importance for the total comprehension of the historical fact itself.

In the Autonomous community, there are not many sites in which the sacred world is manifested. For this reason, its appropriate and correct conservation is a problem that affects everyone, especially for those who decide to sign this petition, for professors and professionals of Prehistoric Sciences and Archaeology.

Destruction is too easy and typical of barbaric or fundamentalist societies. Preservation is a way of understanding our origins, in coherence with civilised and advanced societies that take care of their past and seek understanding of their present and that project themselves into the future. For all these reasons, we consider the conservation of Praileaitz I cave (Deba, Gipuzkoa) and of the hillside on which it is situated, essential for the comprehension of Basque Prehistory during the end of the Upper Pleistocene.

Javier Fernández Eraso, Full Professor of Prehistory at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU, 15791533).
José Ant. Mujika Alustiza, Professor of Prehistory at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU, 08900631)
Martina Renzi, PhD Student of Archaeology (fellowship at the Spanish Academy of Rome, X4876820S)

For this reason, with the aim of protecting the cave and its environment, we ask you to sign the attached petition. Please, forward this text with your signature to this same e-mail address (, indicating your name and surname, identity document, your position and the institution you work for.
We kindly ask you to circulate this petition among your colleagues.
The deadline for its submission is the 10th of December 2007.

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