But Clottes’ judgement was mixed, confirming that the art could be dated on stylistic grounds to the early Solutrean or even late Gravettian of twenty to twenty-four thousand years ago while suggesting that flooding the valley might be the best way of protecting it, since Portugal was ill-equipped to protect such widely dispersed panels from vandals!29 “There is no easy solution,” he told a reporter.
So I explained how Sebastian and I had come so far to see the Paleolithic glories that Portugal would be displaying with pride, spoke of credentials, and placed us (and our pen) in his hands. Although Bednarik was one of the earliest crusaders for Coa - calling for the EDP to stop building the dam in Nov.


Regardless of how old the Coa’s art turns out to be, it is unique in its richness above ground and astonishing in its illustrations of movement - with animals tossing their heads with the same stop-action dynamism found at Chauvet and only millennia later in photography and Futurist painting.
Yet they'd prattled to the press that they had found the art a year ago, and then more like two years ago, and now, word had it, “only” three years ago25 - when it was always somehow too late to stop the process leading up to construction, which had only started in September ’94.26 The gall!
Both” - Baptista and Gomes – “were closely involved in the rationale to submerge the rock art (to 'protect it from vandals'); in fact, on 8 November Baptista spoke of how sedimentation behind dams should protect rock art” - my italics.


Except for the absence now of bigger species, this was how Solutreans had experienced the world - with whistling, mooing, barking, roaring and trumpeting not just on the Serengeti, but to the frozen north!



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