Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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Contact Dr Gheorghe, the coordinator, at alexis_project@yahoo.com for further information about the Alexis Project:

Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

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Peştera Polovragi - Polovragi Cave



Polovragi
Polovragi area

The Polovragi Cave is in the Carpathian Mountains, near the Paring Mountains, a short distance from the Women's Cave. It has an explored length of 27 km, but it is supposed to be much longer than that, and that it exits in Transylvania, to the north.



Photo: http://www.ici.ro/romania/en/turism/no_polovragi.html


Polovragi
Near the cave is the river Oltetzu, the Oltetzu Gorge where the two mountains are separated by only two metres, with the river between them - see the photo below. It was once used by cave bears, and bones of cave bears were discovered about 50 metres in from the entrance.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


Polovragi
There is a road between Polovragi and Transylvania, along a river called the Oltetz.

This is a photo taken in Oltetetzu's keys (in romanian Cheile Oltetului) a few kilometres to the north of Polovragi.

On the left border of the Oltetz is the entrance to the Polovragi cave and we are looking into Oltetzu's keys, a very fast river, in a deep trench, about 28 meters below the level of the road.

This is the shortest distance between two mountains in the world. To the left are the Carpathian Mountains and to the right the Parang Mountain. The distance between the two mountains is about 2 metres at 28 metres below ground level, and between them runs the Oltetzu River.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


cavecavecave
Small caves made by the Yellow (Galbenu) river in the mountains of the Polovragi area.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
The entrance to Polovragi Cave. Down to the left is the main entrance to the cave and up to the right is another entrance to Grota Liliecilor - The Cave of the Bats.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




cave
Polovragi cave entrance.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
20 metres inside Polovragi Cave, looking towards the entrance. On the roof of the cave may be seen many stones named after animal images.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
20 metres inside Polovragi Cave, looking towards the entrance. On the roof of the cave may be seen a stone in the shape of the root of the Polovraga plant, one which was used in ancient medical practice.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
The name Polovragi comes from an ancient plant, called Polovraga, in the Carpathian Mountains, used by the ancient Dacs as a panacea in their medicine.

For the last 300 years there has been a monastery nearby, and one of the Monks, Pahomie, lived there and made a few drawings on the wall.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Flow stone - the Leopard's or Cheetah's Pelt.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Image on the wall of Polovragi Cave, made by mineralised water with calcium, forming a deposit like a cheetah skin.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Stone on the walls of the cave.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Coralite si Dire din calcit imaculat.

On the walls of the cave may be seen a lot of white calcium carbonate deposited there by water.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Stone on the walls of the cave in the shape of a parrot, Papagalul .

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
The "Big Column"

Galeria Stilpului

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Part of the Alexis Project team (Alina, Alexandru and Adrian) at a fossiliferous site in Polovragi Cave. Here specialists found a lot of bones of cave bears from 20 000 years ago, as well as neolithic pottery.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
A wall painting known as "death", or in English "the grim reaper", made by the monk Pahomie in the 17th century.

Cornel Balosu, a specialist from Oltenia Museum, says that from the 5th century to the 17th century, the left side of the body was considered the devil's side, (this survives in English in the word "sinister" which derives from the latin for "left") so the image above keeps the scythe in the left hand.

This image made in white on black is painted in simple colours, because in all paintings from the middle ages in churches, the colours used were white/yellow (for the bones) on a black background, the fearsome colour of death.

Also, the painting of Pahomie's death keeps its head to the right, because the tradition is that if the left part of the body was evil, the right part was for the forces of good.

So when someone died, the head was turned to the right, with force if necessary, when the body was placed in the coffin.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Another view of the image of death above, carrying a scythe. Pahomie lived for a time in the cave about 300 years ago.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
The lowest level of the cave, a tunnel between two larger rooms.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
A group of three stones, on the right wall of Polovragi Cave, named after the greatest god of the ancient people here, the Daci. The chair (in the middle), the candle on the right and a big bottle for wine to the left all "belong" to Zalmoxis. The guide told the group touring the cave that the chair was built in the stone age and used like this.

In reality, of course, it is an artefact of the limestone cave, produced over many thousands of years by natural processes.

The cave is connected with the ancient story of Zalmoxis, (or Zalmoxes) the god or king of the Dacian people, about the beginning of the second millenium.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Another view of the Chair of Zalmoxis.

In the middle of the image is Zalmoxis' chair, to the left is a wine bottle, and on the right you can see Zalmoxis' candle! There are a lot of stones in the cave named after Zalmoxis. The cave is connected with the ancient story of Zalmoxis, (or Zalmoxes) the god or king of the Dacian people, about the beginning of the second millenium.

There are a lot of stones named after him, such as Zalmoxes' chair, table, tears and so on.

On the top of the mountain in which the cave is situated is a castle (from Dac's time) and the story was that Zalmoxes lived there and descended to the cave through a tunnel between the castle and the cave.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


From http://dml.cmnh.org/2003Oct/msg00111.html :

Zalmoxes (alternative spelling Zalmoxis) is said to have been the slave of Pythagoras who, upon being freed, travelled to Dacia (ancient Romania) and became a teacher, healer, vegetarian and high priest. He was later deified by the Dacians as a god of The Mystery, ecstasy, the underworld and immortality.

Polovragi
The cave is about 27 km long, though only about 100 metres is lit, and can be visited by tourists. It is a wild cave, with difficult access for tourists, with much water on the floor.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
Flow stone on the cave wall.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
The cave winds around under the mountain.



Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
This section shows both stalagmites and flow stone on the floor and sloping walls of the cave. The floor at this point is covered in water.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe




Polovragi
At this spot, on the right part of the tunnel about 50 metres from the cave entrance, cave bear fossils were found. Alina is a new member of the Alexis project. She is a nurse who has graduated in law, aged 30.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe








Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

in a partnership and contract with the Oltenia Museum:
Oltenia Museum Craiova/Romania
CF 4417192
Email: muzeulolteniei@yahoo.com

Because Oltenia Museum has the ability to verify the scientific importance of this information and because the specialists of Oltenia Museum have made contributions to this site, the copyrights to it are part of Oltenia Museum property.



If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am


Webmaster: Don Hitchcock

Email: don@donsmaps.com


My Archaeology website: http://donsmaps.com/