Caves of Addaura

Palermo, Italy

Caves of Addaura


The Addaura cave (Italian: Grotta dell'Addaura) is a complex of three natural grottoes located on the northeast side of Mount Pellegrino in Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy. The importance of the complex is due to the presence of cave-wall engravings dated to the late Epigravettian (contemporaneous with the Magdalenian) and the Mesolithic.

On the side of Mount Pellegrino, overlooking Palermo, to the southeast of Mondello beach at 70 metres (230 ft) above sea level, there are some open grottoes and cavities where bones and tools used for hunting have been found, attesting the presence of humans who lived in them beginning in the Paleolithic and into the Mesolithic. The finds are now conserved in Palermo's Regional Archaeological Museum. Their importance is mainly due to the presence of an extraordinary complex of rock engravings that decorate the walls, constituting a unique case in the panorama of prehistoric cave art. The name Addaura comes from Arabic: الدورةal-dawrah, 'the circuit'.

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