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La Cueva de la Pileta en la Red

The Pileta cave on the Net

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Poems from Spain: Cueva de la Pileta. By paxphilia | July 7, 2010

Deep within this womb of stagnant time
The air smells of earth
Heavy darkness presses its hands
Against the small light of my lantern.
Looming rock formations
Ominous and protective
Elude the hazy light
Edges seep into black.
Human brains, crumpled figures,
Tongues of mangrove roots
Tiered cakes
Moon crater pocks and alien amoebas
Texture and form are torn from their normal definitions
In these twilight shapes.
New concepts birthed from minerals and erosion.
The discarded playthings of a wacky claymaker god

http://paxphilia.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/poems-from-spain/


... However, the atmosphere was really Indiana Jones like! Only without snakes and secret codes etc. Bats we saw. The cave was big, sometimes the ceilings 50 meters high and at some ponts extremely narrow passages. Small lakes were to be found, and everywhere beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formed during thousands of years. We saw Palaeolithic paintings of horses, bulls, fish, and goats from 20.000-25.000 years ago... April 9, 2010

http://vinumdiligo.blogspot.com/2010/04/andalusia-cueva-de-la-pileta.html


You’ll be just as surprised as we were: How is it possible that this cave be so incredible and yet relatively unknown? At the door a trickle of people are waiting to be astounded. Luckily the hoards of tourists haven’t made it this far. Only ten minutes from Ronda you’ll find cave drawings of bisons and fish dating from up to 20,000 years ago. The Cueva de la Pileta is a voyage into the past that will leave you with your mouth hanging wide open... By Julio Ruiz the 28 November 2009.

http://www.tertuliaandaluza.com/explora/malaga-explora/cueva-de-la-pileta/lang/en/


Ronda, Spain: Land of bridges, bandits and bullfights.
Rick Steves. Thursday, December 17, 2009.

... To really see prehistory, day-trip to the Pileta Cave, the best and most intimate look a tourist can get at prehistoric cave paintings in Spain. The farmer who owns the cave is a master at hurdling the language barrier. As you walk the cool half-mile, he'll spend an hour pointing out which are five times as old as the Egyptian pyramids. The Neolithic and Paleolithic drawings of black, ochre, and red are mostly just lines or patterns, but there are also horses, goats, cattle, and a rare giant fish, made from a mixture of clay and fat by finger-painting prehistoric hombres...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/12/17/ricksteves121709.DTL


Nerja cave vs. Pileta cave.
gray_lady on Jul 24, 2006.

The caves near Nerja and Pileta near Ronda are quite different in many ways.
1) The Nerja Cave is very highly developed; including a large theater with built-in theater seats and a stage where concerts are performed at certain times of year. You also have an opportunity to purchase a picture of yourself, which was taken in the cave, as you exit through the gift shop! Pileta is almost completely undeveloped, and because the rooms are much smaller, you are very close to the walls, and the stalactites and stalagmites. There is no Gift Shop!
2) Nerja is lighted throughout; Pileta is lighted only by the lanterns carried by the guide and a few visitors in your group. Incidentally, call ahead to get the schedule at Pileta -- groups are limited to 25.
3) Cave paintings by some of the people who inhabited the caves thousands of years ago are, in Nerja, not in parts of the cave which are open to the public. In Pileta, some very interesting primitive artwork and symbols are in view.
4) Perhaps the biggest difference to me, was that the Pileta cave is a "living" cave -- there are underground ponds and trickles of water verywhere, and you can see tiny droplets carrying bits of limestone hanging from the bottom of stalactites as they grow. Nerja was totally dry when we visited in May of this year, and many of the stalactites and stalagmites were lying broken on the floor of the cave, or missing entirely, with only stumps remaining.
5) I would think the children, as well as adults, would think Pileta is a real cave experience, from the entrance, which is a small hole in the side of the mountain, to the narrow passages (one must duck in places) to the "living" stalactites and stalagmites. The Nerja caves are inpressive for their size, but a bit too Disneyfied for my taste!

http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/pileta-caves.cfm


Father of Prehistory. The Abbe Henri Breuil: His Life and Times.
By Alan Houghton Brodrick. 1963, 90-93.
 

... Colonel Willoughby Cole Verner was a British officer
who, after retiring from the army, bought a house near
Algeciras, opposite Gibraltar across the Bay. In this home
he spent a good deal of each year not only because the
climate suited him but also because the wild, deserted
valleys and mountains northwards shelter a rich treasure
of bird life, and Verner was a keen ornithologist. To this
day the way from the sugar-cane-fringed water meadows
of the lower valleys up to the rock-ringed plateau of Ronda
runs through a country where you see hardly a sign of human life, save a goatherd here and there, and if you are lucky you may glimpse the great golden eagle swooping or gliding.

Verner spent a good deal of his time wandering about
on muleback accompanied by a single guide. While he
was prospecting one day to the west of Ronda perched
over its precipitous ravine, the guide remarked, "Over
there near Montjaque and Benoajdn there s a mysterious
cave the people call La Pileta." It seems it was as long ago
as 1902 that some peasants seeking guano for fertilizer be
gan to let themselves down with cords into a pit which at
its bottom had an opening leading into a cave. As there
were mysterious markings on the walls, the cavern got
the name of Los Letreros.

Verner, his curiosity aroused by what his guide said, went to see. He had no interest in or knowledge of prehistoric matters but he did explore the cavern (then very difficult of access) and, when he returned to England, he wrote articles (in the Saturday Review), entitled "Letters from Wilder Spain," and these attracted Breuils attention. The year was 1911.

Twelve months later Breuil, Obermaier and Verner were at La Pileta, which was to reveal some surprising things. The cavern was occupied by Man during long ages, or at any rate, for periods over a long lapse of time. There were neolithic and Bronze Age hearths and implements as well as several human skeletons, one at the bottom of a deep chasm. These looked as though they might be the remains of men and women sacrificed or, at any rate, allowed to die as offerings, maybe, to the spirits of the cave or the waters. The bones show no signs of mutilation, norwere they buried, possibly because the victims were just allowed to starve to death in the recesses of the earth; bloodless sacrifices being suitable to some religious demands.

Many years after Breuil s time at La Pileta (i.e., in 1935) the so-called "Venus of Benaojan" was found, a terra-cotta amulet about 21/2 inches high (exactly six centimeters), shaped rather like a "double axe" and with two holes at the top (making "eyes" and also holes for suspending the object), two knobs figuring breasts lower down and at the bottom a mass of dots representing the pubic hair. The object dates from the Bronze Age and so is some 3000 years old but it is evidence of the "Eye Goddess" cult.

But the paintings are the chief attraction of La Pileta. A considerable number of them are in the naturalistic style of the northern Spanish prehistoric caves and not at all like the Levantine paintings.

In addition to the animal pictures is an immense mass
of signs, some obviously stylized representations of animals together with an abundance of comb-shaped and
other patterns which occur also in much later times. The
symbolical, schematized art of these later ages has, then,
roots deep down in palaeolithic ages. Obermaier worked
out a series of designs ranging from simple but recognizable forms of men and women right up to the signs on Piettes Azilian pebbles.

La Pileta is now quite easy to reach. A road has been
made that leads nearly to the cave s entrance. Since
Breuil s time new galleries have been explored though
they do not add very much to the evidence the Abb
gathered, and La Pileta de Benoajdn (Monaco, 1915) by
Breuil, Obermaier and Verner is still the best book on the
cavern.

Of course the startling revelation of La Pileta was that
right down in the Spanish South there flourished in Late
Old Stone Age times a naturalistic art closely related to
that of southwestern France and northern Spain. Evidently
southern and northern Spain and southern France were at
some epochs linked together in culture. No doubt the lines
of communication lay around the coasts, the coastal plains
being then much wider than now...

http://www.archive.org/stream/fatherofprehisto000082mbp/
fatherofprehisto000082mbp_djvu.txt

 


Fossil Bones of Man discovered by Colonel Willoughby Verner in a Limestone Cave near Ronda, in the South of Spain.
By A. Keith. Man, 11, 1911, 154-160.

During the winters 1909-10 and 1910-11 Colonel Willoughby Verner explored a large and unknown lime-stone cave at Ronda in the south of Spain. On the walls of the cave he found drawings, some of which are similar to the crude art of the caves in North Spain. In the superficial strata of the floor he found the remains of the pig and goat with parts of human thigh bones, all coated with a thick layer of stalagmite. Fragments of a primitive type of pottery were also found. In a deeper and presumably older part of the floor he discovered the fragmentary remains of a human skeleton of a peculiar type. The bones are mineralised and were embedded in stalagmite.

An examination of the parts show that they belonged to a man of about 1480 mm. in height (4 feet 10 inches), of stout and muscular build. Although corresponding to the Bushman in stature, he differs from that race in many characters of his skeleton ; in the points wherein he differs from the Bushmen he agrees with the early Neolithic European races, but he possesses certain peculiar features which distinguish him from both of these and from all modern races. Beyond the mineralised condition of the bones, their peculiar features and the remains of an apparently extinct form of ibex found with them, there are no means of estimating the degree of antiquily of this peculiar Ronda type of man. Nothing is known of the physical characters of the artists of the Spanish caves. It is possible that the man discovered by Colonel Verner may prove to belong to the artist race.

http://www.archive.org/stream/mananth11a12royauoft/mananth11a12royauoft_djvu.txt


Cave art. Unknown animal at Cueva de la Pileta. Ver imagen
January 2009.


 

Cueva de la Pileta, by Jan Lipes.
July 2008.

... In 1975, my wife, Janet, and I traveled in Andalusia after reading a National Geographic article on the region. We sought out La Pileta, which was in the countryside outside Benaoján.
We climbed the rough-hewn stone steps cut into the mountain wall to explore the cave but found the entrance to the crypt closed with steel bars and a heavy padlock. All we could see was a sign in German, which read, “Der Fuhrer ist in der Höhle” (the leader is in the cave). “Der Fuhrer,” in this case, was not A. Hitler, but the tour guide, one of the descendants of La Pileta’s discoverer, the fourth generation to own the cave...

http://www.buckscountyherald.com/~Lipes 7-10.pdf



 

 

 
 
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