Genovese Cave in Levanzo
The Grotta del Genovese di Levanzo is an archaeological site which documents the culture of the men of the Paleolithic and the Neolithic.
The Grotto, of karst formation, is located on the high and steep limestone walls of the north-western coast of the island and is surrounded by dense Mediterranean vegetation. The cave consists of a large entrance chamber, the ante-cave, and a lower and longer internal chamber, the back cave, which is accessed via a narrow and low tunnel. In the antegrotta there are the remains of a kiln for the manufacture of lime dating back to the late medieval age. The rear cave houses the richest Italian legacy of prehistoric figurative expressiveness.
The rear cave has remained unexplored for centuries because, although the site was known to the islanders who used it as a hunting post, no one had ever penetrated inside it. how much, in order to find the rabbits, it was enough to introduce the ferrets in the low and narrow passage. The discovery of the wall depictions of the inner chamber dates back to 1949, when the Florentine painter Francesca Minellono, who was spending a short holiday on the island, intrigued, entered the narrow passage dragging herself on her stomach.
The rock engravings. show four human representations and several large animals , it is believed to be represented of figures engaged in a ritual dance and the animals that man hoped to hunt. These engravings have been dated to the final phase of the Upper Paleolithic. The pictorial representations, strongly stylized and black, have been dated to the final phase of the Neolithic period. They show fourteen idols: six of them have a globular shape with a swollen belly and a central narrowing, the remaining eight have a cylindrical shape. All have barely hinted upper limbs.
A single painting in red, representing a man with a sinuous body and a wedge-shaped head , refers to the Paleolithic era , in fact, it presents features quite similar to the character positioned on the right in the dance scene of the rock engravings.