GREAT DISCOVERY Neanderthal tools found in Upper Barać Cave

Recent research has confirmed that Barać's caves are the site of Neanderthal material culture
Photo: Dinko Neskusil, Hrvoje Cvitanović.

The discovery of a stone tool that is a typical Mousterian tool confirmed that the site of Barać’s cave in the municipality of Rakovica hides the remains of the material culture of the Neanderthals!

It is a type of tool called a “scraper” – an artifact that is broken off by hitting the core with a hammer, or a larger piece of raw material, while a hammer is a stone used to strike. The material from which this tool is made is “corneal”, siliceous rock that has good fracture properties and is therefore often used by Neanderthals, as well as hominins that preceded them and those after them. The tool was found next to the first phalanx and tooth of a cave bear and is currently the only find from the Musterian period in the Upper Barać Cave.

The remains of the material culture of the Neanderthals were found by an external associate of the institution, speleologist Hrvoje Cvitanović in the presence of archaeologist Jane Frdelja, both members of the speleological club Ursus Spelaeus from Karlovac.

Photo: Dinko Neskusil, Hrvoje Cvitanović.

“During the arrangement of the entrance to the Upper Barać cave, ie during the installation of a protective fence around the existing probe with exhibited artifacts, I found a stone tool that seemed very interesting to me at first because the artifact was next to the phalanx and teeth of the cave bear. I have never seen such a treatment of the cornea live except in the professional literature. This is an accidental finding, because if we had decided to place the pillars only a few centimeters away, this tool would have remained buried in layers of earth. I felt extremely satisfied because we are talking about a rare discovery that represents the potential for further research whose outcomes are gaining not only national but also international significance, “said Hrvoje Cvitanović.

This great discovery that puts the site of the Barać Caves on the map of important archaeological sites will be officially presented today when the Public Institution Barać Cave in collaboration with external collaborators will reveal the overall results of recent research in the Significant Landscape of Barać Cave conducted in 2020 and 2021. with the aim of protecting, maintaining, preserving, promoting and using protected natural values in the municipality of Rakovica.

Encouraged by a really great discovery from the Institution, they plan to continue researching the entrance to the Upper Barac Cave in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the Ursus spealeus speleological club and the Department of Archeology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb and the University of Wyoming in the USA.