Col de Clapier
Col de Clapier (french
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 Col du Clapier, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 Colle Clapier) is a 2491 m (8,173 ft) high mountain pass
Mountain pass
A mountain pass is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. If following the lowest possible route, a pass is locally the highest point on that route...

 over the mountain massif
In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole...

 Mont Cenis
Mont Cenis
Mont Cenis is a massif and pass in Savoie in France which forms the limit between the Cottian and Graian Alps.A road over the pass was built between 1803 and 1810 by Napoleon...

 in the Cottian Alps
Cottian Alps
The Cottian Alps are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps. They form the border between France and Italy...

 and Graian Alps
Graian Alps
The Graian Alps are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in France , Italy , and Switzerland...

 between Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 in France and Piemont in Italy. The bridle path
Bridle path
A bridle path is a thoroughfare originally made for horses, but which these days serves a wide range of interests, including hikers, walkers and cyclists as well as equestrians. The laws relating to permissions vary from country to country...

 goes from Bramans
Bramans is a commune in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France....

 (1220 m) to Susa (503 m). There is no firm road.


The Col du Clapier is considered a possible route for Hannibal's famous passage through the Alps on his journey from the Rhone
Rhone can refer to:* Rhone, one of the major rivers of Europe, running through Switzerland and France* Rhône Glacier, the source of the Rhone River and one of the primary contributors to Lake Geneva in the far eastern end of the canton of Valais in Switzerland...

 (in french, Rhône) river valley to Italy.

From 2004-2008, Patrick Hunt
Patrick Hunt
Patrick Hunt is an American archeologist and author.-Research:Dr. Patrick Hunt has directed the Stanford University Alpine Archaeology Project since 1994...

, a scholar from the Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 (USA), has lead numerous archaeological expeditions through the Col du Clapier to research the possibility and likelihood of Hannibal using this pass to traverse the Alps with his army. Hunt's research has involved topographical surveys, soil and rock sampling, exploration of the Col du Clapier's various modern and historic routes, and comparisons of Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

' and Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

's accounts of Hannibal's passage to the regional and local geography. See Hannibal in the Alps: Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project 1994-2006.

In 1959, it was the planned route of the British Alpine Hannibal Expedition
British Alpine Hannibal Expedition
The British Alpine Hannibal Expedition was an experimental archeology event that took place in 1959. British engineer John Hoyte led an expedition that tried to reenact aspects of Hannibal's legendary crossing of the Alps during the Second Punic War in 218 BCE...

, however, due to rockfall, the expedition backtracked and took their elephant into Susa via the Col du Mont Cenis.

See also

  • List of highest paved roads in Europe
  • List of mountain passes

External links

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