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Photographer's Note

The walls of this canyon in old Matera are riddled with these cave dwellings ("sassi"). It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site; some of the sassi are preserved as museums and some are privately owned and actually undergoing reconstruction for rehabitation.
This is the most outstanding, intact example of a prehistoric settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem. The first inhabited zone dates from the Palaeolithic, while later settlements illustrate a number of significant stages in human history, up to the 20th century when tens of thousands of people lived in poverty in these caves. In the 1950's, authorities forced the inhabitants out of these primitive dwellings into modern housing.

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Additional Photos by david r' (trip) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 121] (860)
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