Assemblages from Marginal Spaces: The results of the excavations in Mala (Nova) Pećina near Muć and the Neolithic of Dalmatinska Zagora

Ivan Drnić, Konstantinos Trimmis, Alexandra Hale, Richard Madgwick, Kelly Reed, Antonella Barbir, Marin Mađerić

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Abstract

Mala (Nova) Pećina cave is located in Croatia, in the Dalmatian Hinterland (Dalmatinska Zagora), a mountainous region which is the contact zone between the eastern Adriatic coast and the interior. The excavations in Mala Pećina uncovered an Early and Late Neolithic cave site that might be key for a better understanding of the relationship between the coastal groups and the communities of the western Balkan interior. This paper aims to present the finds and contextual data from the 2016 excavations and the consequent 2017 study season. It presents an account of the pottery and lithic assemblages along with the zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical data from the cave. The preliminary evidence suggests that the cave was not used as a long term dwelling but rather as a temporary shelter, either for groups that were moving through the mountains or for groups that visited the cave for short term activities. The excavations have also shown a possible distinction between the use of the cave in the Early Neolithic, when people dwelled there and possibly engaged in ritual activities, and the Late Neolithic, when it was mostly used by shepherds. Mala Pećina is therefore particularly important as it offers the potential to better understand the inter- actions between the coast and the hinterland during the Neolithic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-70
Number of pages42
JournalPrilozi Instituta za arheologiju u Zagrebu
Volume32
Early online date9 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Neolithic Europe
  • Cave archaeology
  • Photogrammetry
  • archaeological science
  • Excavation

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