Excavations in Vela Spila, Vela Luka

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Other than being an island in Croatia to spend a vacation, it is still a rather unknown fact that there is an important historical site on Korcula: the cave Vela spila in Vela Luka…

Vela spila is located on the northern side of Vela luka, on the Pinski rat hill, overlooking the bay of Vela Luka. The cave is composed of one big chamber with two openings in the ceiling. Because the cave was used for a long time as a shelter and a home, the finds date from the Mesolithic, the Neolithic and the Upper Paleolithic period. They are kept in the Museum of Vela Luka, among other items and artwork that the museum keeps, and the finds will soon be exposed as a part of of the exposition Korula prije Krista (Korula before Christ) in the gallery Klovievi dvori in Zagreb. Also, during summertime, various cultural and music events took place inside Vela spila.

Vela spila Vela Luka Korcula

The cave has been researched for decades, and in the past thirty years the research intensified. Dinko Radi, an archeologist (and professor) was one of the scientists whose works on Vela spila have raised the interest for this site, and now he is the head of the research and other projects concerning Vela spila. During the past few summers a team of Cambridge students and archeologist came to do a research, and an article about Vela Spila was published in The New York Times, which was an important step for the international recognition of the site. The article points out a few important facts about the cave, such as the fact that the finds in the cave are the first European evidence of ceramic art after the ice sheets retreated.

The excavations started again last month, with the focus on the scanning of the Pleistocene layer. The teams from the University of Cambridge and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts will conduct the research.

We kindly thank Darko Šeparovi for providing us with the press material and various other informations. As an architect involved in many projects concerning Vela spila, he is also engaged in the project called Plavi put, a narrow blue path that is being built from the town of Vela Luka to the Vela spila cave. When the path and all the necessary installations are completed, Vela spila will be accessible by foot from the Vela Luka center. Interview with D. Šeparovi about the concept of Plavi put is coming soon.

Vela spila Blue path Vela Luka Korcula

To learn more about Vela spila, please refer to its website or the Facebook page.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/science/ceramic-fragments-point-to-ice-age-artistry.html?_r=1&

http://slobodnadalmacija.hr/Dubrovnik/tabid/75/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/220925/Default.aspx

http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/26657 (Scientific article in English and Croatian)

http://www.vela-spila.hr/ (accessed 6th of February 2013)

https://www.facebook.com/vela.spila?ref=stream (images from this page are used in this blog)