A Primeval settlement is confirmed in the Tatras
The Hučivá diera cave in the Tatra mountains became home to prehistoric people 15,000 years ago. These are the findings of the SAS archaeologist, Marian Sojak and Polish researcher Pawel Valde-Nowak from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. At the end of last week, they concluded their research in the Tatran cave and came up with findings that change the current view of prehistoric settlements in Europe.
“This is the first cave in the Tatras with documented prehistoric settlement on both the Slovak and Polish sides. We previously had no knowledge on the settlement of the Tatran caves until the discovery of Hučivá diera. We did not expect this, because there were glaciers in the Tatras, and the forest border was considerably lower at the end of the ice age. In the cave we found the bones of animals of prey and the rare chipped stone industry of the Magdalenian culture from the late Palaeolithic 15 to 14,000 years ago,” said Marián Soják from the Institute of Archaeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
The Slovak-Polish mission also found a massively deepened fireplace, the ash carbon layer of which is currently being analysed by prof. Tomasz Goslar in Poznan using the radiocarbon method. This will prove the absolute age of late Palaeolithic settlement, i.e. the anticipated age of hunters, as well as their prey.
“According to the bones found, they were hunters of reindeer, chamois, ibex, deer, horses, and even hares. There was also bone fragment found in the fireplace which was used for stitching pieces of processed leather from hunted game to produce garments,” the archaeologist explains.
Stone resources found allow scientists to predict the migration routes of prehistoric cave inhabitants. They knew these routes well and were able to get to them from far away areas. They probably came to the Hučiva diera from the area north of the Carpathian ridge, which is southern Poland today. This is evidenced by the Polish varieties of flint and Moravian cherts. (mh)