Sotto la Maglianella

Work in progress


The cemetery of prehistoric elephants

Here, in the north-western suburbs of Rome, the city is still struggling to expand. It will be the unusual resistance of the Agro, but as aggressive as the construction of peripheral Rome, the landscape continues to conserve its natural strength: large green areas, ancient agricultural estates. There is a sort of primordial force that seems to oppose urbanism. In fact, the main story of this wall is older than even the very ancient roots of the Eternal City. This, in fact, is a primitive story, which connects us to the Polledrara of Cecanibbio, the cemetery of prehistoric elephants in Rome, a splendid but rather rare archaeological site in a city that has dedicated itself to its last (almost) three thousand years. But before Rome was Rome, before the emperors and legions, here in this beautiful and wild quadrant, a broad primordial river flowed placidly in a valley that, more than two hundred thousand years ago, must have looked very different from today. And like any river that respects this too has welcomed herds of prehistoric animals, hunting scenes, life and death of a very lively ecosystem even in the middle of the third millennium, even if it is extinct. Since the 1980s, a systematic excavation campaign has brought to light many remains housed right in the riverbed. They are mainly bones of oxen primigeni (Bos Primigenius) and of elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) that evidently came to die on the marshy ground of the river. Moreover, since 2001 the excavation of the river has been transformed into a real museum that covers the incredible surface of 900 square meters (the 1200 square meters all around have been investigated but not musealized) and today allows us to reconstruct a part of the history of the territory otherwise destined to oblivion in the face of other discoveries and other more famous eras. Among the museum’s treasures – which are very many – there is the perfectly preserved skeleton of a prehistoric elephant. The position is exactly that assumed at the time of death and all the bones are more or less intact except for parts that have been slaughtered on the spot by a small group of prehistoric men (Homo heidelbergensis), who must have taken advantage of the carcass for support himself. Near the corpse of the elephant, in fact, flints were found, small stone tools and other tools that surely will have been used to take parts of the animal, portions of bones and to dig the precious bone marrow, source of nourishment and strength . Along with the bones of oxen and elephants there are also remains of other less impressive animals and some predator, including the fox, the wild cat and the wolf. In addition to some human rest (like a milk molar) that tells us how much this territory was alive hundreds of thousands of years, revealing to us the sign of an existence far away in time but still enduring, on the bottom of an old gigantic river , yet forgotten.



Born in 1977 in Florence, he lives in Certaldo. After his studies in advertising graphics he began to paint in 1993, painting letterenig on walls and trains, then the inclination to do the figurative led him to work only on backgrounds and characters, painting walls all over the world. Among the latest interventions (in 2014) Scope “Miami USA; Live performance in Jersey city; Street art festival “La galleria del sale” live performance Cagliari; Street art festival “subsidence” Live performance and collective exhibition in Ravenna; Street art festival “Empty wall festival” Live performance in Cardiff UK; Street art festival “Reacto” Live performance L’Aquila; Live performance in Sculpture alive in San Benedetto del Tronto, collective exhibition in Vertical Galleri Chicago U.S.A, Hard collective exhibition NameGallery, Amsterdam. Exposition Solo Zed1, Galo Art gallery Turin; Live panting collective Street art parking Palermo; Live painting collective Day one festival, Roeselare Belgium. Live Painting Street Allarm2 St. Francis in Pelage (Fi).