Among many other colourful characters, Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments
include two protectionist and anti-China hardliners, Robert Lighthizer
and Peter Navarro, who sit at the helm of US trade and industry policy.
That decision confirms a belligerent change of tack in Sino–American
economic relations. But what are the implications for Australia?
A number of monetary economists, including
Saul Eslake, have warned that a potential escalation to a full-blown
China–US trade war poses the single biggest economic threat to Australia.
That position argues that the already struggling global economy can’t
face a superpower trade war, likely to be triggered by the Trump
administration at the monetary level, when the RMB/USD exchange rate
will reach the unprecedented level of 7 to 1 (it’s currently sitting at
around 6.9). Furthermore, a falling Chinese currency combined with
protectionist measures in the US will dampen the Chinese economy by way
of reduced volumes of exports and higher interest rates that will
spread across the Asia–Pacific. According to such reasoning, that could
have negative impacts for Australia’s economy; prices for iron ore,
coal and natural gas could possibly drop—we’ll know by the middle of
However, it’s questionable that such crisis would be
detrimental to Australia. In fact, focusing on monetary dynamics alone
fails to capture the role of industrial production and regulatory
arrangements in the global supply chain.
On the contrary, after triangulating the trade and
industrial data of the US, China and Australia and considering the
current trade regulatory framework, there are substantial reasons to
argue that Australia is well placed to fill the gaps left by a wrecked
US–China trade relationship at the best of its industrial capacity.
Australia is indeed one of a handful of countries to have solid free
trade agreements in place with both the US and China.
Australia’s rocks and crops economy—in particular the
growing productivity potential of its agricultural and mining sectors—is strong enough to
rise above global monetary tensions and falling commodity prices,
thanks to rising export volumes to both the US and China. It appears
that the harder the two superpowers use their trade relations as
leverage in their strategic competition, the harder they’ll need to
look for other sources to sustain their industrial production levels
and corporate supply chain.
In a trade war scenario, the possible initial hiccups in the
global supply chain will likely be short-lived. In fact, let’s consider
that about half of US imports are estimated to be made of intra-firm trade, and that
protectionist measures from abroad tend to have insignificant effects
on the production input of Chinese State-owned firms.
Thus, multinational corporations are proven to be particularly adept at
quickly replacing the flows of
their industrial production and distribution, as is shown by history.
In other words, in the event of a Sino–American crisis, the
major trading actors in both countries will be able and willing to
promptly move their business somewhere else.
Thanks to the existing spaghetti bowl of international
economic partnerships, Australia is in prime position to be this
“somewhere else” for both countries. In fact, Australia is the second
largest economy and Sino–American trading partner of the only six
countries that have in place free trade agreements with both the US and China, including South Korea,
Singapore, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.
The LNG example clearly shows that Australia’s economy would
benefit from a contained US–China trade crisis. Nevertheless, should
that trade crisis escalate beyond the economy, Australia’s luck may run
The Chinese leadership doesn’t hide the fact that promoting
international economic integration outside of the US control serves the
purpose of carving greater geopolitical autonomy and
flexibility in the global decision-making processes. Beside
Trump’s trade policy, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic strategy may also speed
up the end of the US–China detente initiated by Nixon and Kissinger in
the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether China will also
pursue hard-line policies to push the US outside of the Asia–Pacific.
In that instance, Australia would be caught between a rock and
a hard place.
If the US–China trade war were to escalate to the
geopolitical level, the American order in the Asia–Pacific would enter
uncharted waters. For one thing, such an unsavoury development may
compel Australia to make a clear choice between trading with China and
preserving America’s security patronage.
Giovanni Di Lieto lectures International Trade Law
at Monash University.
One of the most interesting things about all this is that
while Australia is going to be compelled to make that choice, the
choice has essentially already been made through the pattern
of trade relationships which Australian politicians have chosen to
The only way that Australia would choose the United States in
that scenario, would be if Australians decided that they would like to
deliberately take a massive economic dive so that they can ‘Make
America Great Again’ even though that is not their country, and so that
they can avoid being called ‘anti-White’ by the legions of anonymous
Alt-Right trolls roaming around on Twitter using Robert Whitacker’s
‘mantra’ on anyone who won’t support the geostrategic and geoeconomic
intertests of the United States, the Russian Federation, and Exxonmobil
Given that we know that Australians don’t care about America
or Russia more than they care about the economic prosperity of their
own country, the outcome is already baked into the cake. AFR
carried an article last year which can be used to forecast what is
likely to happen, and I’ll quote it in full here now:
It has lifted living standards, grown Australia’s economy
and created thousands of jobs.
While it is becoming more popular to denounce globalisation
and flirt with protectionism, we cannot turn our back on free trade.
Australia’s economy has withstood global challenges and
recorded 25 years of continuous growth because we’re open to the world.
Since Australia’s trade barriers came down, we’ve
reaped the rewards.
Trade liberalisation has lifted the income of
households by around $4500 a year and boosted the country’s gross
domestic product by 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, creating thousands of
One in five jobs now involve trade-related activities. This
will grow as liberalised trade gives our producers, manufacturers and
services providers better access to billions of consumers across the
globe, not just the 24 million who call Australia home.
However, not everyone sees the value of free trade. Some see
it, and the forces of globalisation, as a threat to their standard of
living, rather than an opportunity to improve it.
When it comes to free trade, we often hear about the bad but
not the good.
The nature of news means the factory closing gets more
coverage than the one opening.
Chances are you heard about the Ford plant closing, but not
the $800 million Boeing has invested in Australia and the 1200 people
who work at their Port Melbourne facility.
You may have heard about Cubbie Station, but not heard that
its purchase staved off bankruptcy, and has since seen millions of
dollars invested in upgrades of water-saving infrastructure, a doubling
of contractors, more workers, and of course, money put into the local
economy supporting jobs and local businesses.
Key to attracting investment, jobs
The free trade agreements the Coalition
concluded with the North Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and
Korea are key to attracting investment and creating more local jobs.
The Weilong Grape Wine Company has said the China-Australia
Free Trade Agreement is the reason it’s planning to build a new plant
This is a story being played out across the country.
Businesses large and small, rural and urban,
are taking advantage of the preferential market access the FTAs offer
Aussie businesses into the giant, growing markets of North Asia.
Australian Honey Products is building a new factory in
Tasmania to meet the demand the trifecta of FTAs has created.
Owner Lindsay Bourke says the free trade agreements have
been “wonderful” for his business. “We know that we are going
to grow and it’s enabled us to employ more people, more local
people,” he said.
It is the same story for NSW skincare manufacturer Cherub
Rubs, who will have to double the size of their factory. “The free
trade agreements with China and Korea really mean an expansion, which
means new Australian jobs manufacturing high-quality products,” said
Cherub CEO John Lamont.
It is easy to see why the three North Asian FTAs are
forecast to create 7,900 jobs this year, according to modelling
conducted by the Centre for International Economics.
Australia has a good story when it comes to free trade. In
the past three years, net exports accounted for more than half of
Australia’s GDP growth.
Exports remain central to sustaining growth
and economic prosperity. Last year exports delivered $316 billion to
our economy, representing around 19 per cent of GDP.
This underscores the importance of free trade
and why it is a key element of the Turnbull Government’s national
The Coalition is pursuing an ambitious trade
agenda, and more free trade agreements, to ensure our economy keeps
growing and creating new jobs.
On Friday I arrive in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.
Free trade will be at front of everyone’s mind.
With the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
looking grim, my ministerial counterparts and I will work to conclude a
study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which sets
out agreed actions towards a future free trade zone.
We will also work to finalise a services road map, which
will help grow Australian services exports in key markets including
education, finance and logistics.
More to be done
The Coalition has achieved a lot when it comes to free
trade, but there is more to do.
Momentum is building for concluding a free trade agreement
with Indonesia, work towards launching free trade agreement
negotiations with the European Union continues, we’ve
established a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out
the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA
and we’re continuing to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP), which brings together 16 countries that account for
almost half of the world’s population.
The Turnbull government will continue to pursue an ambitious
free trade agenda to keep our economy growing and creating more jobs.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues to build
the case for Labor’s embrace of more protectionist policies, claiming
he will learn the lessons of the US election where it featured heavily.
What Labor doesn’t say though is that by adopting a closed
economy mindset, they will close off the investment and jobs flowing
from free trade. They’re saying no to Boeing’s $800 million investment
in Australia and the Cubbie Station improvements; they’re saying no to
businesses like Cherub Rubs and Australian Honey Products building new
factories and the many local jobs they will create.
Steven Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism
What’s not to love about all this?
I really think I love Anglo-Saxons. This is going to be fun,
When Mr. Ciobo spoke of ‘a working group with the
United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious
and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA’, he was not joking. That
is happening and it is likely going to be another
window that the UK will have into the formation of both RCEP and FTAAP,
even though technically the UK is not physically in the Indo-Asian
I have also written an article today called, ‘US
Government to build American competitiveness atop socio-economic
retrogression and misery.’ It’s crucial to understand that
time is of the essence, since the Americans are at the present moment
in relative disarray compared to the rest of us. The Americans have not
yet tamed and pacified the various economic actors in their own
country, they are still working on that, and they also have yet to form
a coherent internationalist counter-narrative to the one that is being
enunciated by the governments of Britain, Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and so on.
Some of you may be mystified by that statement. What do I mean
that the Americans don’t have a coherent ‘internationalist
counter-narrative’? I mean that while they are capable of explaining
and rationalising their own position as a narrowly ‘America first’
position in a way that is pleasing to Americans,
they are not able to export that view to regular
people anywhere else in a way that would induce
any other European-demography country to comply with America’s
After all, if the Alt-Right people are going to careen all
over the internet essentially screaming, “put America first ahead of
your own country’s interests or be accused of White genocide”, and
alternately equally absurdly, “you’re an evil Russophobe who supports
White genocide if you invested in BP instead of Exxon”, then they
should not expect that they are going to win the sympathy of anyone who
is neither American nor Russian.
I want to say to British people, to Australians, to New
Zealanders, to Canadians, Commonwealth citizens in general, that you
know, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken your own side.
This coming phase is going to be a time when it will become possible to
do precisely that.
The time is fast approaching when it will be possible to
choose neither America nor Russia. You’ll be able
to finally choose yourselves and your own geoeconomic interests, and
you’ll be able to choose to trade and associate with whoever else in
the world you want to trade and associate with.
Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.
Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:46.
I may have sold Gauguin short in terms of his ethnographic conscientiousness. I’d been citing him as an example of the “artistic genius” who wasn’t worth it for his moral failing. There is still a good measure of truth to that, but he may not have been quite as heinous and without effort to be considerate as I had thought in terms of concern for what is important to other people - at least those of Tahiti and their culture. My line had been that as an artist he is as satisfying as any to me, nevertheless as a man who infected who knows how many native girls with syphilis, he was a killer. His art, no matter how good, not worth that behavior.
Even so, as I watch this biography, a couple of mitigating facts are revealed. True, he still would have infected at least one native girl with syphilis. However, he married her and apparently did not know that he had the disease when he infected her. Still bad, of course, as there was no effective treatment for the disease even with French civilization settled there. Add to that his knowledge of the risks of his own promiscuity beforehand along with his ultimate abandonment of his wife and kids back in France.
However, the biography reveals that before he fell ill, he was really concerned to find and help preserve the authentic Tahitian people and culture. With that, he was dismayed by the impact of French civilization and missionaries, how they’d already by his time begun to destroy the native culture. He was particularly bothered by the imposition of Christian schooling upon the native children that had by then caused them to lose their native religion. He would actually go to the children and their parents with a French law book - reading them their rights so that they would know that they did not have to go to the missionary school. Finally, he went so far as to try to recreate their native religious stories in writing and in his paintings…
Posted by DanielS on Monday, 27 February 2017 17:13.
Backgrounding & Taken For Granted - Resistance is Futile. Add from Det Nya Landet - translation “Big Mulatto Brother”?
Below is another marketing campaign advert suggesting that “resistance is futile” - this one coming from the EU is a bit more subtle: It is an EU add run in Poland, and it is as if to suggest that blacks are to be taken for granted as a significant component of European history. However, in this instance, the “resistance is futile” message is not spoken, it is in the background - two blacks comfortably sit in the background of the same restaurant scene and a mulatto girl is fore-fronted; thus, backgrounding and taking for granted the interracial relationship of her parents.
The EU is backgrounding the racial integration of blacks, presenting to naive audiences (naive as to the bio-power of an invasive species) or audiences perhaps aware, but not in a position to voice objections (literally the case when these images are whisked-by semi-subliminally), that the place of blacks among them is something to be taken for granted. Resistance is futile, nobody will agree with your objection, it is taken for granted already.
This is a screen shot from a quick add distributed by The European Union and shown in Poland to promote The EU’s “My European History” program. Of seven people in the add, 3 are black. Of the blacks, a mulatto girl is centrally featured in the add, while the other two blacks are placed in the background, taking for granted their place in Europe and its history. The girl’s mulattoness is also a form of backgrounding and taking for granted.
Posted by DanielS on Monday, 16 January 2017 06:51.
While the profusion of churches throughout the world can be disconcerting, as they are devoted to a religion that is obfuscating and mis-directing the natural instincts of our EGI (ethnic genetic interests), there is a note of optimism in that some of these sublime structures and the artisanship that went into their making can be converted for religion aligned with our ethno-national interests.
The 2007 midwinter solstice illumination of the main altar tabernacle of Old Mission San Juan Bautista, California. Rubén G. Mendoza/Ancient Editions, CC BY-ND
Winter solstice illumination of the main altar tabernacle of the Spanish Royal Presidio Chapel, Santa Barbara, California. The author first documented this solar illumination of the altar in 2004. Rubén G. Mendoza, CC BY-ND
On another level, some of the very elements of worship contained are only thinly veiled pagan icons and arrangement:
Schematic of the four successive solar illuminations of the saints of the main altar screen of Mission San Miguel Arcángel, California. Note illumination begins at the left with the Oct. 4 illumination of Saint Francis on his Feast Day. The author first identified and documented this solar array in 2003. Rubén G. Mendoza, CC BY-ND
A major new archaeological find of causewayed enclosures and artifacts near Britain’s famous Stonehenge site is about to “rewrite” the history of the area and of northwestern Europe’s early inhabited history.
Built 5,650 years ago—more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge—one of the enclosures appears to have been a major ceremonial gathering place.
The major enclosure’s precise original function remains a mystery, but the scant available evidence suggests that it was used for a mixture of ceremonial, religious, political, and mortuary roles.
According to a press release issued by a construction consultancy company involved with an unrelated new building project at the site, archaeologists have “discovered important new sites that rewrite the Stonehenge landscape” and which “predate the construction of Stonehenge itself.”
The remains, found at Larkhill and Bulford, were unearthed during excavations ahead of the construction of new British Army family accommodation.
About 70 enclosures of the type found are known across England and Europe, the press release continued.
The structure is one of the “earliest built structures in the British landscape,” and was used “for temporary settlement, as ceremonial gathering places, to manage and exchange animals, including the first domesticated cattle and sheep and for ritual activity.”
The Larkhill enclosure has produced freshly broken pottery, dumps of worked flint and even a large stone saddle quern used to turn grain into flour. The Neolithic period saw the first use of domesticated crops and this find provides evidence of this.
The Greater Cursus, an earthwork nearly 1.8 miles in length, is the longest structure. It connects and divides parts of the landscape, and separates the Larkhill causewayed enclosure from the place that became Stonehenge.
“The people who built the causewayed enclosure are the ancestors of the builders of Stonehenge and were shaping the landscape into which the stone circle was placed,” the press release continued.
“Their work shows that this was a special landscape even before Stonehenge was constructed. People were already living and working within what we now call the Stonehenge landscape and they were building the structures that would culminate in the Stonehenge complex of stones and earthworks.
“The Larkhill site shows that they had the social organization necessary to come together to build significant earthworks and the resources to support the work, as well as the people to carry it out. The offerings in the ditches also show the rich religious life they had created.”
So far, archaeologists from Wiltshire-based Wessex Archaeology have excavated around 100 m. of ditch, probably representing around 17 percent of the monument’s outer circuit. That investigation has already enabled them to get a sense of some of the rituals that were carried out there.
Antlers and a quern recovered at the site.
Pottery shards and arrowheads recovered at the site.
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:31.
While Duda and Orbán’s invocation of the centrality of Christianity to the nationalist cause will be disconcerting to many of us more wise to the fact that it is a Jewish Trojan horse, we should be charitable enough to understand that it has been, and remains still, a culturally habituated way of saying “not Jewish.”
It is up to us to support native European nationalist efforts by pointing-out that this is a provisional distinction at best, albeit a 2,000 year old provision, which has had a way of binding nationalist masses and yoking their identity with Noahide laws (as Kumiko astutely observes) - thus, ultimately, to Jewish control if we do not successfully liberate ourselves from the false identity that is the “Gentile” (as GW astutely observes) - an “identity” which knows no distinction other than “the undifferentiated other” to Jews and its beholdenness to its Jewish forebears for its messiah and its law.
Enough sour grapes for now. There is certainly hope in Duda’s concordance with Orbán in furtherance of the Intermarium project on display at the commemoration of the 1955 Hungarian Uprising -
Visigrad Post, “Duda and Orbán against Brussels’ sovietisation”, 24 Oct 2016:
Hungary, Budapest – On Sunday, October 23, Hungary celebrated the start of the ’56 uprising. In front of the Hungarian parliament, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Polish President Andrzej Duda gave a strong speech against the current policy of the European Union, about Christianity and about the deep friendship between Poland and Hungary.
Polish President Duda greeting the crowd. MTI Fotó: Szigetváry Zsolt
In front of thousands of people gathered on the place Kossuth, in the center of Budapest, Hungarian PM Orbán and Polish President Duda made a speech welcomed by Hungarian and Polish citizens. President Duda first talked in front of the crowd. The Polish President started his speech by saying few words in Hungarian. Hungarians “have always been friends” and they can always rely on Poland, “even in difficult moments of the future,” said Andrzej Duda.
Poland is “proud and grateful” that it was able to provide aid to the Hungarian revolution, Duda said, and noted that his people had sent 44 tonnes of medicine and medical equipment as well as 800 litres of blood to Hungary shortly after the uprising broke out. “Poles are proud that the grandchildren of 1956 heroes have, symbolically, Polish blood in their veins”, the president said. In Hungary’s freedom fight “thousands died, but after some decades, finally, you recovered your freedom through much suffering and sacrifice,” Duda said. He also voiced his conviction that “through hard work both Poles and Hungarians will achieve the living standards of western societies”, reports Hungary Today.
Concerning the traditional friendship between the two countries, Duda said that they together “carry on the thousand-year-old Christian tradition in Europe”, and insisted that those traditions were just as important as freedom. “God bless Poland and Hungary, glory to the heroes of the Hungarian revolution,” Duda said concluding his address.
Viktor Orbán during his speech on Sunday, October 23
“Protect Brussels against Sovietisation”
Then, Prime Minister Orbán gave his speech. The European Union must not be turned into a “modern-age empire”; the community must not be replaced by a “United States of Europe”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Sunday. Viktor Orbán said that “freedom-loving peoples of Europe must save Brussels from Sovietisation”.
“We, Hungarians, want to remain a European nation, rather than become an ethnic minority in Europe,” Orbán insisted. “It is only our national independence that can save us from being devoured by an empire,” Orbán said, and argued that it was that very “national idea” that had saved Hungary from being integrated into the Soviet Union. As descendants of 1956, Hungarians “cannot let Europe cut the roots that had once made it great and also helped us survive communist oppression,” Orbán said. He added that Europe could not be “free, strong, and respectable without the revitalising power of nations and two thousand years of Christian wisdom”. The prime minister insisted that Hungary had chosen “the hard way” when it “preferred children of its own to immigrants, work to speculation, earning a living to becoming a slave of indebtedness, and protecting borders to surrendering”.
Hungarians will always fight for freedom and will achieve it “even in the most hopeless of situations,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the state commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s anti-Soviet uprising of 1956. “We, Hungarians, have a talent for freedom, we have always known how to use it. He warned that freedom is “not a final state but a way of existence; just like swimming: you stop doing it and you will sink”. The question is always this simple: whether we decide on our own fate or other people,” he added. October 23 is a day on which Hungarians should be proud, the prime minister said.
History puts Hungary in the mainstream of disputes on the future of Europe every 30 years, the prime minister said. He argued that in 1956 Hungary attempted to “shift the Iron Curtain east of our borders”, then in 1989 the country opened its western borders “so that Germans could find a way to Germans”. And most recently, Hungary “had to close its borders to stop the influx of migrants from the south”, he said. Hungary will not falter “even if those whom we are trying to protect attack us from behind”; we have “the courage to face injustice… and Europe can always rely on us,” Orbán said.
From the John Podesta emails, here is a fascinating exchange between Podesta and (((Sandy Newman))).
On 2/10/12, Sandy Newman wrote: > Hi, John,
> > This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even > though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used > contraception has me thinking . . . There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in > which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and > the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the > Catholic church. Is contraceptive coverage an issue around which that could > happen. The Bishops will undoubtedly continue the fight. Does the Catholic > Hospital Association support of the Administration’s new policy, together > with “the 98%” create an opportunity? > > Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the > Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and > priests who count on it for their maintenance, etc. Even if the idea isn’t > crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about > how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or who would plant them. > Just wondering . . .
> > Hoping you’re well, and getting to focus your time in the ways you want. > > Sandy > > Sandy Newman, President > Voices for Progress > 202.669.8754 > voicesforprogress.org
Like a fury, he entered four churches in the historic center of Rome and destroyed ancient statues, crucifixes, candelabras. The damage is incalculable from an artistic point of view. In the end, when he was getting ready to make the fifth incursion, he was arrested by the police. The vandal is a 39-year-old citizen of Ghana with a criminal record, legally residing in Italy.
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 17 September 2016 07:57.
TNO, “World’s Oldest Snowshoe Found”, 16 September 2016:
The world’s oldest snowshoe, made in the late Neolithic age, over 5,800 years old— made of birch wood and twine, has been discovered at an altitude of 3,134 meters (10,280ft) on the Gurgler Eisjoch glacier, close to Italy’s border with Austria.
“It is the oldest snowshoe in the world so far discovered, dating to around 5,800 years ago,” scientists said in a statement.
The shoe, which consists of an oval-shaped frame with strands of twine tied across it, was found by Simone Bartolini, a cartographer from Italy’s Military Geographical Institute, who was mapping the border with Austria.
He came across it in 2003 but for the next 12 years kept it in his office in Florence as a curiosity.
“At first I thought it was maybe 100 years old and was a snowshoe that belonged to a farmer who lost it while driving cattle. I kept it in my office as a keepsake,” Dr. Bartolini said at a press conference this week in Bolzano, the capital of the autonomous, Germany-speaking province of South Tyrol.
It was only last year that it dawned on him that it could be much older and more significant. He gave it to archaeologists to study.
The discovery was made close to where the frozen, mummified remains of a Neolithic hunter, nicknamed “Otzi,” were found by two German hikers 25 years ago.
That mummified corpse has revealed a wealth of information on what people of the period wore and ate, how they hunted and armed themselves and how they traveled.
Scientists at the press conference said the discovery of the snowshoe was “exceptional.”
“The shoe is evidence that people in the Neolithic period were living in the Alps area and had equipped themselves accordingly,” said Dr. Catrin Marzoli, the director of the province’s cultural heritage department.
It was unclear why people were traveling through such an inhospitable region, she said. They may have been hunting animals, fleeing enemies from a rival tribe, or visiting ancient pre-Christian sites of worship.