La Val Gargassa (Cristiano Queirolo)
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Sites of archaeological interest

The symbolic significance of the Beigua massif (in analogy with the area of Monte Bego, with which it shares the origin of its nameplace) is demonstrated by the presence of frequent graffiti. This graffiti is predominantly etched into the tenacious and not easily alterable ophiolite rocks, whose origin is lost in history, from the early Middle  Ages, to the Iron Age and finally to the Paleolith. Numerous etchings were found in the upper Orba Valley, near Piampaludo and in the areas of Alpicella and Monte Faie. As a confirmation of the primitive presence of different cultures, an iconographically different panorama was recorded along both sides of the watershed.

On the Tyrrhenian side, spindle-shaped notches called polissoir and cupels and chanels prevail, while symbology that is more articulate and stratified in time can be seen on the Padano side, where crosses, phi anthropomorphics, rayed discs and geometric figures are diffuse. The rock that is most decorated by markings is the "written Stone", which surfaces, hidden, next to a stream in the woods, near the top of Monte Beigua.

Between 4th and 2nd millennium b.C. the eclogites, glaucofanites, giadeitites and serpentinites represented the favourite lithotype  for the creation of flints to be used for deforestation by the earliest farmers' communities. It is well known that these rocks constituted a very rare resource that was present in Liguria just in the area of Beigua massif and in very few other areas in western Alps.

In the area of Beigua Geopark there is also the Rocca Due Teste shelter, one of the rare examples of a Ligurian prehistorical settlement in an environment characterised by rocks other than limestone.

The presence in the shelter starts at the beginning of the Middle Neolithic and becomes regular and lengthy in the 4th millennium b.C. with the so-called "Culture of the square-mouth vases", possibly related to the upwards movement from the coast of some populations who lived by hunting across the valleys covered by long-stemmed forests, the ideal habitat for game. The shelter kept to be used from the end of the Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age, though less and less frequently.

The rich archaeological finds of the shelter, basically represented by potteries and stone tools, are exhibited in the Alpicella Museum, an extremely important place to visit in order to understand the historical-archeological phenomena of the territory, duly presented in their geological-naturalistic context.
In the above museum the phenomenon of rock drawing is also approached, especially in the form of carvings, cupels, crosses, pictures, inscriptions, ancient and more recent channel marks that in the Alpicella and Faje territory can only be found on few rocks, while they are more frequent on the north side of Beigua, which offered more favourable conditions for agricultural and farming settlements.
The interpretation of the signs is difficult, though the fusiform carvings have been recently explained as being the marks left on the rock by sharpening the green stone flints.

Archaeological site
(foto di PR Beigua)
Ratti bridge
(foto di Monica Saettone)
Megalithic road
(foto di Monica Saettone)
Point of InterestLocation
 Megalithic wayMegalithic WayVarazze (SV)
 Riparo sotto rocciaRiparo sotto Roccia: The archaeological site of AlpicellaVarazze (SV)
 The great rockRock etchings and the written stoneSassello (SV)