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The Fanes' Saga - Researches on the legend

What remains to be done


All my propositions in this site must clearly be considered as absolutely provisional, because they might be quickly confuted by the appearance of new data or new arguments: obviously I can’t but hope that this may happen, leading to new elements of knowledge.

One can’t completely discard the chance that an old man in some remote ila of the Badia or Marebbe valleys still remembers some detail of the Fanes’ saga that his grandfather used to tell and that differs from or integrates Wolff’s text; however it seems highly improbable that this may really happen, both because the tradition-preserving community was almost extinct already at Wolff’s times, and because the existence of a written text, therefore “official”, certainly has had, over time, the side effect to silence all possible conflicting voices.

It seems likewise impossible that, after Ulrike Kindl’s accurate research in Wolff’s papers and notebooks, a passage may still be found in them that never appeared in the published texts beforehand, and that might lead to new clues or clarifications.

Therefore it is hard to believe that new direct pieces of information on the legend may surface tomorrow. We cannot exclude, on the contrary, that new data may emerge from further ethnological researches, even on neighbouring populations, or even better, from archaeological excavations eventually carried on in the places suggested by the tradition.

I hope that my effort may offer an useful reference point to those who will, in the future, investigate the matter on a scientific basis, with a competence easily greater than my own. In detail, I would like to indicate a number of activities that I believe to be important:

- location and archaeological investigation of a wide ledge high on the Cunturines’ walls, maybe connected with the entrance of a cave, that might correspond to the Fanes’ “castle”;
- id. for a wide and easy to defend cave opening located high above the val Popena, which might correspond to the Landrines’ “castle”;
- quest for possible “Brandopferplatz” sites both at the Dlija dla Santa Crusc and maybe at Plan de Corones;
- excavation of the marsh at the springs of the Ru de ras Virgines;
- palaeoclimatological researches on lake sediments or spelothems on the Fanes/Sennes plateaus;
- archaeometallurgical researches to determine out of which mines the ore was extracted, that was used to cast the final Bronze objects found in the Dolomites.

I would like to conclude with a joke which is not only a joke and somehow epitomizes the meaning of my contribution:

“A legend is like the voluntary confession of a mafia criminal: it constitutes no evidence by itself, but it’s well worth looking for an independent confirmation”.