Ancient Apulia Tour
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Have you got something to tell us? A suggestion of a lesser known megalithic wonder which you'd like us to visit? A question to ask a professional archaeologist or an expert on prehistoric monuments? Is there a photo of a remote Italian prehistoric site you'd like to see? From here you can "post" us. We will put your notice up on this board and try to find you an answer.

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10th April, 2000

Paul Griffin
Great work on Apulia. Did you know that modern koreans have discovered a simple technique to place capstones on uprights to construct dolmens. It takes all of 2 hours to achieve!! They simply biuld an earthern mound around the uprights to cover them and pull, yes pull the capstone up onto the uprights, then remove the earth underneath and seal up the openings Who said you needed complicated equipment. It is our 1st thinking that let's us assume this.This was demonstrated for an Irish visiting archaelogist, Paul Walsh, you can find it, complete with photos in Archaelogy Ireland magazine.

Thank you Paul for your message. We already know that the most-accepted theory of dolmen building involved an earthen mound to support and let slide the capstone above the uprights. What we didn't know was the time needed to complete the operation: 2 hours seems a kind of speed record!

9th April, 2000

Bill Davini
Just discovered your amazing site. It is a joy to follow your progress on this trip. Thank you for the extraordinary work involved in putting this material together as you go, and for the entertaining and informative commentary. Looking forward to following your progress. Auguri!

Thank you Bill: our holidays have always something "megalithic" in them and we're trying to share our "discoveries" with the Internet community. The Apulian dolmens and standing stones are a mistery for the Italians too, so we think it's worth talking about them and showing photos and panoramic views of these sites on the 'net.

Gaale Klein
Hi - Stumbled on your stonepages site while doing a web-search. Have really enjoyed looking around. Beautiful pictures! Thank you. Happy and Safe travels!

It's always a pleasure receiving compliments like yours: thanks a lot!

Jesper Dannisoee
Dear travellers Best wishes for the success of your tour to Apulia. As for the nice dishes you are also testing, all we need are the recipes...!

Ah-haaa!!!! Here is someone who appreciates some good dishes of Italian pasta... Regarding the recipes, unfortunately we hadn't cooked anything: our Apulian friends (Rosy in particular) have a sort of "magic touch" and they make wonders in their kitchens! Anyway, we'll send you some good recipes as soon as we'll get any!

7th April, 2000

John Emerich
Hi folks, great stuff. I didn't even know there were sites in southern Italy, very interesting. I'm learning a lot, keep up the good work.

Thank you John. As you can see, in Apulia there are dozens of prehistoric sites. Unfortunately, many of them are in a sad state of disrepair and many of them are disappearing each year... With this website and online diary we're trying to get people aware of the importance of these ancient sites.

Eric Baumann
Ciao ragazzi! Vi stiamo seguendo tutti i giorni. Complimenti. Ci state facendo scoprire un sacco di cose. Effettivamente la Puglia dev'essere bellissima. Chi avrebbe mai pensato che ci fossero tutti questi megaliti cosi' vicino a casa. Un grande abbraccio anche da parte di Miriam

La Puglia è senza dubbio una regione sorprendente: girando su rotte lontane dai soliti giri turistici si possono fare scoperte meravigliose. Speriamo solo di non annoiarvi, con questa sarabanda di pietre preistoriche...

6th April, 2000

Bill Greer
Hello again, travelers! What is the current archeological opinion of the original form of the Apulian dolmens? Do experts think that they were originally covered by earthen or stone mounds that have since been removed or eroded away (as has often been thought of their British counterparts), or were they originally uncovered as we see them now? Also, are they Neolithic or Bronze Age? What is thought about their purpose--have burial remains been found in any? I'm especially interested in the the tiny dolmen of Masseria Nuova. I've never seen one so small. What could it have been for?

A complex question; along with the help of our friend and expert Toti calò, we'll try to give you a simple but complete answer.
The original form of Bari/Taranto/Brindisi dolmens (including Montalbano and Leucaspide) comprised a covering earth or stone tumulus, now disappeared. In particular, at the end of 18th century the Leucaspide dolmen was found still covered by its mound. On the other hand, in the Salento area (that's the province of Lecce) there is no proof of the existence in the past of a tumulus covering the dolmens.
Regarding the question about the datation of these sites, there is a general accordance on a period around the second millennium BC. This date, however, was calculated by analogy with a single similar monument built in Malta: no radiocarbon dating on Apulian monuments has been made. That's mainly because very few burial remains have been found in Apulian dolmens. The only two exceptions are the Chianca and the now destroyed Salve dolmens. The human/animal burnt remains found at Chianca have been long lost, while a human lower jaw found at Salve has never been studied by the Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali (the Italian organization for the cultural heritage).
Finally, regarding the Masseria Nuova tiny dolmen, as it lies in the Salento area, and it is not associated with any burial, it was probably a sort of small altar.

Gianna, Giorgio, Eric & Miriam
Siamo qui tutti insieme seguendo il vostro meraviglioso viaggio, siamo veramente stupiti per quante cose avete scoperto. Bravi continuate cosi. un abbraccio affettuoso e buon viaggio.
ps: Non vi abbiamo dimenticati , al contrario , vi scriveremo al + presto un e-m più dettagliato sulle nostre peripezie!

Grazie ancora: e' bello condividere le nostre scoperte con gli amici più cari!

5th April, 2000

Bill Greer
Hey, Friends! Here's an idea. I just finished looking at the Chianca QTVR again. Could you sometimes make a panorama that walks us around a site looking in--giving us a view of all sides--instead of looking out? I have absolutely no understanding of this technology, so I don't even know if this is possible.

Well, it could be made, but it would be a nightmare to prepare (and photograph). All the shooting points (at least 16 for a 360-degree panoramic view) would be at the same distance from the centre of the subject and at the same relative height: a very hard task if you are on a slope... Then, you should mask (read "erase") the background, leaving only the main subject of the photo. In the past, Diego made some object movies of Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars: he worked for about 4 days to complete each object movie... So it isn't practical to prepare these movies "on the road"!

Zeli & Orfeo
Hail Paola e Diego,un saluto ed un augurio di "calma di vento e viaggio felice" per il vostro navigare in Apulia Felix alla busca di pietre fitte. Una piccola richiesta: ce lo fate vedere il volto de Il Monaco. A presto,

Grazie per gli auguri, amici: il volto del Monaco (quello in pietra, ovviamente) lo potete trovare qui

3rd April, 2000

Pete Glastonbury
Happy Hols! Great Pics! I feel like I'm hitching a ride in your rucksack! All these wonderful stones I would never get to see, thank you! Best wishes,

Thank you Pete: we need encouragement like yours, especially when it's 4 a.m. and we have to write the diary pages...

Giovanni DiMonopoli
Com'è la Puglia? Interessante? A presto. PS: avete scoperto le orecchiette?

La Puglia è veramente splendida: sia la regione che gli abitanti (ovviamente). Alle orecchiette, poi, non si scampa: buonissime!

Bill Greer
Yes, Montalbano is reminiscent of St. Lythans (which Linda & I haven't visited) but for the forecourt. Once these Apulian sites are included in Stone Pages --that is the plan, isn't it?-- I'll be very much interested in explanations and descriptions. But for what I've read of your Italian sites, I am completely ignorant of them. May the road rise to meet you...

We will surely add the Apulian sites we're visiting in our Stones of Italy section: we only need some 128-hour days (spare time is always soooo precious)!

1st April, 2000

Bill Greer
Hola! I'm glad to see that you're on the road and reporting. Chianca looks like a very interesting little dolmen, with its short avenue/forecourt. There's nothing quite like it in Britain that I can think of. I'll be interested to see, as your tour continues, if there are others of that design. Travel well, friends. I'll check the site daily.

Hello Bill, it's good to hear you again. Regarding the shape of Chianca dolmen, we've been told by a local expert (an confirmed by our guidebooks) that there are several other Apulian dolmens with the same avenue/forecourt. We will surely visit them and put their photos online. For the moment, have a look at Montalbano dolmen. Don't you think it looks very much like St.Lythans in Wales?

Gianna e Giorgio Baumann
Ciao carissimi, é semplicemente meraviglioso seguire il vostro viaggio, bravi e buona fortuna, cercheremo di seguirvi, a presto Gianna e Giorgio

Ciao Gianna e Giorgio: anche a noi piace molto l'idea di tenere un diario di viaggio online, in modo da poter condividere le nostre scoperte e le nostre impressioni con gli amiic piu' cari, quasi in tempo reale. Il rovescio della medaglia è che per ogni "puntata" del diario c'è bisogno di almeno 5 ore di lavoro... Comunque ne vale la pena! E poi la Puglia é bellissima...

Kathleen Hebald
Looking forward to "seeing" images on your website from this current trek. Good show! Luv, Kat

Dear Kathleen, now there are several images on this website: you can see them from the diary pages or from this list. Thanks for the encouragement too! Love, D&P

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