Porto Badisco. The cave of deers and extraterrestrials

#grottadeicervi #portobadisco #salento #extraterrestrial #pictograms #cave

Deers Cave in Porto Badisco

Porto Badisco, near Otranto, according to the myth, the first shore touched by Aeneas in his escape from Troy. Here is the Grotta dei Cervi, discovered only in 1970.

Inside speleologists found rock paintings of the first inhabitants of the area who lived there 6 millennia ago, according to archaeological ricostructions. Studies on wall lasted more than 10 years and stated these paintings as

the most important and qualitatively most impressive post-paleolithic wall painting art complex known in Europe […] enclosed in a single cave“.

The red and black paintings depict hunting scenes, deer and other signs of difficult interpretation. The place is not officially open to the public so as not to disturb the particular microclimate of the cave and thus preserve the paintings. Among the pictograms there is one that depicts a cruciform celestial body with a sort of cockpit in the center and elsewhere hominids with their weapons who destroy villages and kidnap the inhabitants.

What do these signs mean? What ancient memory do they tell? Is the closure of the cave linked to the desire to keep these paintings hidden? The speleologist Isidoro Mattioli who was among the group of discoverers returned to the cave other times to never return because, he says, during the explorations he heard the roar of rolling stones and the sound of drums.

The legend of the Shaman of Messapia

A new legend inflated by followers of extraterrestrial theories tells that 5 millenia ago, the same period of paintings, the Salento was a lush and mysterious land, rich in water and life, of immense forests with huge tall trees and a fertile undergrowth populated by wild boars, deer and magnificent moose. The planetary assembly of the gods met periodically near the sulfur springs, generated by the disintegration of the bodies of the Titans, massacred by Heracles with the help of Zeus. Every hundred years, a great multitude of picturesque deities discussed the problems and destinies of humanity. The result of each meeting of the planetary divinities was fixed on ideograms and pictograms impressed on the walls of the main caves along the coast.

During the first assembly of the fifth millennium BC they decided the fate of the weaver Aracne and the Shaman of Messapia (probably portrayed in this pictogram), who were confined into the Grotta dei Cervi. The Messapian Shaman was a beautiful and very intelligent man, who wanted to refute the methods and treatments of the god Asclepius.

He proposed to obtain healing from illness and even to guarantee the resurrection of death with the help of faithful snakes and the magical effect of the blood of the Medusa, the Gorgon, which he had exchanged for his own with the help of Athena.

Asclepius, in revenge, proposed to wall him alive in the Grotta dei Cervi . But Arachne, who loved the shaman, offered him a huge polygonal canvas as a gift, which would be used to shelter from the cold and humidity of the cave. When Asclepius learned of this, he reached the cave angry, horribly deforming the shaman’s features and fixing him like a pictogram on the cave walls; moreover, the furious divinity reduced the cloth lovingly woven by Arachne to a thousand pieces and deposited his apparently useless rags (zinzuli) in a cave to the south, which for this reason took the name of Grotta Zinzulusa.

If this seems to be only a legend, we suggest you to have a look on the many pictograms and paintings in many caves whose signs remember Ufo and spacecraft and peolple with an helmet. To be continued…

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Santa Cesarea Terme, the refuge of Hercules

santa cesarea

#ENG #santacesareaterme #salento #Puglia #myths

A village a few kilometers from Otranto, the fame of Santa cesarea Terme is linked to the sulphurous waters considered miraculous, gushing out from four natural caves: the Sulfurea, the Fetida, the Solfatara and the Gattula, recommended for treating diseases related to the respiratory tract.

The origin of these waters is disputed by two legends: one pagan and one Christian. The pagan one tells that Hercules on the advice of Pallas ran to aid Jupiter, attacked by the Titans (moved by the wrath of which goddess?).

Hercules fighting against Titans

Titans were defeated by Hercules on the Phlegraean fields, and took refuge on the coasts of Japigia, an inaccessible place full of caves in which to hide but where however Hercules overtook them, killing them all. Giants’ bodies dissolved and their rottenness penetrated the soil, transforming the underground waters of the springs into sulphurous waters.

Even the Cristian legend tells of the conversion of water into sulfur due to an evil body and supernatural factors to explain the origin of the town: Caesarea was a beautiful young local virgin who took refuge in a cave along the coast of Castro along the road to Otranto, to escape from her father’s incestuous desire. During the pursuit, her father fall into the sea that his wickedness transformed into impure and smelly waters. At the exact point of the accident the sulphurous water source originated while the girl was saved. A town was built around that cave which in honor of the girl was called Santa Cesarea.

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