Prehistoric Deposits

The neolithic layers of the Cave, ranging from 1,50 to 1,80 m in depth, have provided evidence through micromorphological analysis for the construction of several lime plastered floors, which is an unusual practice for neolithic caves at least in Greece. Those constructions had covered surfaces of no more than 30 sq. meters during the LN and ca. 50 sq. meters during the FN. The processing of these constructions comprises the acquisition of raw materials, transformation through firing, their transportation into the cave, mixing with water and application over the existing deposit. In addition, the neolithic deposits include some hearths lined by stones from the cave environment and ground stone tools in second use as well as several raked-out fire-installations, as indicated by large quantities of dispersed wood ash, charcoal fragments, charred plant material and pieces of burnt bone. The archaeological investigations had also brought to light large amounts of cultural finds (pottery, stone tools, ornaments) and food remains.

Stratigraphic evidence and the composition of the cultural material from the neolithic deposits of Drakaina Cave prove the use of the cave only at intervals and for short periods of time. In our opinion, Drakaina must be a place of significant social activity, but undoubtedly not a place for residence or long-lasting occupation. This assumption is based on the absence of evidence supporting any type of storage of agricultural products, as well as the absence or scarcity of many types of tools indispensable in carrying out activities related to permanent residence, such as processing of wood and leather or spinning. However, the repeated practice of lime plaster floor construction in Drakaina Cave, whatever it signifies, creating new surfaces and/or sealing the past, is indicative of its significance for the neolithic community in the region during the 6th and the 5th millennium BC. Further, the special character of the events, most probably gatherings, which took place in this small Cave periodically and for short periods of time, is underlined from the deposited cultural record.

For further information about the archaeological and bioarchaeological material from the Prehistoric Deposits of Drakaina Cave read the related sections.

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