Blazi Cave

Created at 21.10.2016


Blazi is a karstic cave in an Early Cretaceous limestone formation located above the Val river valley in northern Albania. The south-west orientated cave entrance is situated about 270 m above mean sea level. The site holds an impressive Neolithic and Bronze Age record which was subject of large-scale excavations in 1978 and 1979. During these investigations, the front gallery was excavated in many parts down to bedrock. Consequently, Pleistocene deposits are left only in a few parts of the cave in shallow depressions. We investigated the remaining sequences in five test trenches in the framework of the German-Albanian Palaeolithic Project (GAP). The most important points for Blazi Cave is the richness of in situ Epigravettian remains. Earlier visits to the cave are evidenced by 14C dates between 30ka and 40ka cal. BP. Furthermore, Middle Palaeolithic and Aurignacian-type artefacts were discovered on the surface and in secondary position within the depositional sequence. Blazi Cave is so far the only undisturbed and securly dated Epigravettian site in Albania. The radiocarbon age model dates the Late Upper Palaeolithic sequence to around 18’000 years before present. The composition of the faunal material and the spectrum of the stone artefacts suggest that the cave severed as a specialized ibex hunting site during the warmer summer period.

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