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History of researches

The areas included in the Rock Art Natural Reserve of Ceto, Cimbergo, Paspardo have been object of explorations and publications since the early 1930s. The protagonists of the first studies were Italian anthropologists Giovanni Marro and Raffaello Battaglia, who discovered and published several engravings, especially in the areas of Naquane, Campanine (called at that time “Scale di Cimbergo”), Zurla, and Paspardo – the latter having most of its carvings along the still existing path, locally known as Biàl do Le Scale (lit., “Downstairs way”, also known as Scale di Paspardo).

After a brief period dominated by the work of the German researchers Franz Altheim (historian) and Erika Trautmann (photographer) during the Second World War, the researches had new impulse in the ’50s thanks to the efforts of Emanuele Süss and, especially, of Emmanuel Anati, the first to draw the scholars’ attention to the area of Foppe di Nadro (1956).

However, systematic documentation campaigns were led in this area only starting in the early ’70s. Later, in 1983, the Rock Art Natural Reserve of Ceto, Cimbergo, Paspardo was founded, a decision that was encouraged by the Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici (CCSP), led by Anati, aiming at extending the researches also to Campanine di Cimbergo and to several sites in Paspardo. At the end of the ‘80s, the recently formed associations of CCSP (Valcamonica and Lombardy Department) and the Archaeological Cooperative “Le Orme dell’Uomo” (lit., “Footsteps of Man”) inherited the studying efforts made on these sites (focusing respectively on Campanine, Zurla and I Verdi the first, and Paspardo the latter).

Researches and discoveries in these areas have followed one another with no interruption since then, producing several studies and scientific contributions. The first complete publication about a rock art area inside the Reserve has been finally accomplished only recently, consisting in the volume about Campanine di Cimbergo (102 carved rocks) .