Pietro Gaietto (Genoa, 1937-2019) was an archaeologist, active in the field of the sciences of Prehistory in an absolutely original and independent way, and in parallel a talented sculptor.
His first research dates back to 1959, first in Liguria and then in many areas of Italy, Europe and Turkey. Its specialization concerns the study of the origins of art and in particular of Paleolithic anthropomorphic sculpture. Research conducted on the field for more than half a century led him to the conclusion that the art, during the entire Paleolithic, had a very precise function: that of representing religious images. For this reason he considered it essential that, in order to know the origin and the evolution of religious sculptured images, a thorough knowledge of the origin and evolution of prehistoric art was necessary, which is its keystone.
Since the early years Gaietto has joined to the field research a scientific activity of writing that over time has become more refined and deepened, finally finding outlet in an editorial series designed and directed by him, “ The evolution of the form”, which embraces not only the Art of the Paleolithic, but also various other areas of research related to the life of the man.
Promoting congresses and meetings, founding a magazine, Primeval sculpture, he has encouraged a confrontation between scholars of prehistory and related sciences to lay the foundations of a common language, promoting an effective exchange of ideas between scholars of different cultures and formation. As a result, over the years, he has been in contact with European and non-European scholars, and many in time have turned to him for guidance and teaching. He sowed many seeds, and where his word did not come directly, he spoke and continues to speak with enthusiasm and clarity through his publications and collections. In fact, his numerous scientific works were aimed above all at this purpose.
My husband, Pietro Gaietto, was a man as reserved as tenacious, devoted almost exclusively to his research work in the field of prehistoric Archaeology: an archaeologist on the field who, while he was able, continued his collection of flints, tools and sculptures in plowed fields or at the mouth of creeks or at the entrance of shelters under rock of all Europe, with a particular predilection for the Gargano (Puglia, Italy), which he considered one of the most extraordinary deposits of the Paleolithic, and that in the course of his life he visited several times. All he had to do was look through the landscape, a quick glance and immediately he could see the presence of intentionally processed flint. He worked on his writings until the very last weeks of his life, and had already formulated plans for future works. Last book, published posthumously, Happiness, is a joyful and grateful farewell to life.
His studies revolutionize the field of the Paleolithic Archaeology and open the way to further deepening about the extinct human species of which there are still no skeletal finds, filling evolutionary gaps regarding Homo. We hope that others will continue their research.
Genova, September 2019
Copyright©2000-2019 by Paleolithic Art Magazine, all rights reserved.
Copyright©2000-2017 by Paleolithic Art Magazine, all right