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1 September 2012
Prehistoric rock art found in caves on Azores

The president of the Portuguese Association of Archeological Research (APIA), Nuno Ribeiro, claims to have found evidence on the island of Terceira supporting his belief that human occupation of the Azores predates the 15th century arrival of the Portuguese by many thousands of years.
     "We have found a rock art site with representations we believe can be dated back to the Bronze Age," Ribeiro announced at a presentation in University of the Azores on the topic of early human occupation of the islands.
     In the last three years, Ribeiro has been claiming that archeological remains of structures discovered on several of the Azores are of pre-Portuguese origin. "In some cases, we believe that there are temples and hypogea [underground chambers]. We have no doubt that there are sanctuaries," he said. Ribeiro and fellow archaeologist Anabela Joaquinino believe the temples, on Monte Brasil, Angra do Heroismo, Terceira island, were dedicated to the ancient goddess Tanit.
     Reportedly, the monuments have parallels in the Mediterranean world, in the ancient Greek and Carthaginian cultures, where they were used for burials.
     In addition, Ribeiro and Joaquinino claim to have found ancient Sunni inscriptions on Sao Miguel and Terceira islands, and dozens of pre-Christian hypogea on the islands of Terceira and Corvo. Similar findings were also reported on the islands of Santa Maria and Flores.

Edited from Portuguese American Journal (27 August 2012)

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