Traces of hunting tribes found in a cave in Slovak Tatras
For years scientists haven't been able to find any proof of human existence in Tatra Mountains in the Palaeolithic Period, also knows as Old Stone Age. Recently, however, a group of researchers from Poland and Slovakia have discovered traces of hunters which date back millennia, as well as remains of animals species which are nowhere to be found today in that part of Europe. The discovery has been made in Hučivá Cave (Hučivá diera) in Belianske Tatras in Slovakia.
According to the authors of the research published in "Antiquity - Project Gallery", all previous attempts to identify Paleolithic settlement in Tatra caves did not end in success. The breakthrough came during a research carried out in Hučivá Cave (Hučivá diera) in Belianske Tatras in Slovakia, carried out by the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University in cooperation with its counterpart at Slovak Academy of Sciences. The project is financed by the National Science Centre.
Hunting tribes from several millennia back
An archaeological expedition composed of researchers from Poland and Slovakia has discovered hundreds of ranged weapons blades , blade needles, a fragment of a stone lamp, as well as plenty of animal bones. As regards stone artifacts alone, as many as 385 items have been found in the cave.
The scientists claim the traces were left by the Magdalenian peoples - later cultures of the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Western and Central Europe - dating back 18,000-11,000 years before present.
It is believed that humans appeared in Hučivá Cave in the 13th century BC.
"They were a group of hunters specialising in hunting Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), a species of wild goat no longer represented in the Tatras," said Prof. Paweł Valde-Nowak from the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who leads the research on behalf of the Polish side. The find is the first ever confirmation of Alpine ibex presence in the Western Carpathians.
Apart from the ibex, the team also found remains of 20 species of small and large mammals as well as of a few bird species. Among the finds, there were remains of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wild horse (Equus ferus).
"Among large mammals that could be hunted, bovines dominate," the researchers said in the report. As regards predators, the most common remains found were that of brown bear (Ursus arctos).
The only location bearing traces
According to Prof. Valde-Nowak, this small cave in Belianske Tatras "is by far the only location in the Tatras bearing traces of Paleolithic peoples' settlement". Moreover, the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University said at its webiste that by the end of ice age, people had settled in Hučivá Cave "for a longer period of time".
Researchers have been examining the cave for years. During previous expeditions into Hučivá diera, scientists found pieces of clay pottery from the 15th and 16th centuries as well as coins from the WWII period.
The archeologists announced that the research would be moved to the Polish side of the Tatras later this season.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Antiquity - Project Gallery, Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University