Two judokas accidentally discover 4,000-year-old cave paintings in France

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More than one hundred 4,000-year-old cave paintings, made in the Neolithic period, have been discovered in southeastern France, an “important” find, according to the president of the Institute of Prehistory and Archeology of the Alps-Mediterranean (IPAAM) and which is was discovered almost “by chance” by a judoka father and son who live near the site.

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The 120 cave paintings, representing warriors and “scenes of combat, chaos or funerals” have been elaborated 2.000 years before the Christian eraduring the “Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age,” explained a AFP extension Claude Salicis, president of the IPAAM, confirming the information published in the regional newspaper Nice-Matin.

The Valdeblore site, located about 20 kilometers from the thousands of engravings in the “Valley of Wonders” in southeastern France, is “an important find in the region, as only two paintings of this type have so far been identified” in the area Salicis insisted.

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“Now, the challenge is to classify these paintings and therefore be able to protect them‘ said the manager.

As reported good morning, the pigments used show no trace of modernity. Cargneule, a rock aggregate that forms the base of Valdeblore, is being broken up.

It is there, between Tinée and Vésubie, that the frescoes were discovered. Thanks to the passion of judokas Marcel and Loïc Pietri. The find authenticated by the Institute of Prehistory and Archeology of the Mediterranean Alps, which underlines the exceptional nature of this discovery.

One of the most important places in all of Provence “20 kilometers as the crow flies from Mont Bego and its famous engravings. Only this time it’s cave paintings. But only two had been identified in the entire department. Here we find 120 at a time. What makes this site one of the most important in all of Provence”, insists the president of the IPAAM, Claude Salicis.

Yet it went unnoticed when, a few years ago, climbing routes were installed on these cliffs overlooking the village of La Roche, in Valdeblore.

The wall was then partially torn off, damaging some representations. Classic Neolithic motifs that seem to bear witness to the violence of this postglacial age.

Two judokas living near the site discovered the paintings in the summer of 2022.

“With my son we usually walk on these mountains and we often passed in front of the cliff, without seeing the paintings,” explained Marcel Pietri, 64, former European judo runner-up.

“One summer day, my son decided to shoot the cliff with a drone and that’s when we saw the first painting, and then others”, added Pietri, “history and archeology enthusiast”.

The paintings are found in some rock shelters, on a cliff that has been approved for climbing since 2017.

The history of judokas

Marcel and Loïc Pietri wrote it for the first time on tatami mats. Judo champions, from father to son.

According to what he said good morning, Marcel was in the first class of sports studies at the Parc-Imperial high school in Nice, in 1974. Loïc, in turn, put on his kimono there, thirty years later. Even before the discovery of the Valdeblore rock paintings, his achievements were a source of pride for the Provence region.

Marcel finished second in France and second in Europe, winner of the Paris Tournament (the equivalent of a tennis grand slam).

His son Loïc surpassed the master, crowning himself French and world champion in 2013. He was already at the Rio Olympics and wants to relive them. An 81 kg muscular prodigy who has always followed in his father’s footsteps, paving his own way.

Source: Clarin

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