Blog
02. 02. 2016 @ Antonija Eremut

Prehistoric Ravlić cave, Drinovci

Category: cultural heritage GPS: LAT: 43.3389704068753 / LONG 17.3230948554901

In the ancient settlement of Peć, immediately along the path Drinovci – Tihaljina, above the source of the River Tihaljina, there is Ravlić cave.  Local people call it also the cave of Kostreš-harambaša or the Cave of Kostreš, after the legendary leader of brigands, Kostreš. He is an epic character, and the Ottomans were afraid of him like of the God's punishment. Stjepan Banović claims that he used to be a historical person from the 18th century and that he used to have influence on the area of Papuk and Krndija in Slavonija. He is also mentioned in the Bosnian folk music, especially in the combats with Mujo of Kladuša. Geologists believe that in the ancient history the cave used to be a source, which ceased to exist when the erosion line had fallen down.  The entrance to the cave is slightly extended and it is 40 meters wide, with the approximate height of 5 meters. On the entrance there are many stone blocks, soil and little stones. The cave is very spacious and it has two galleries which are separated one from the other with a narrow passage. Its walls and ceilings are partially intersected with the stone decorations – stalactites and stalagmites, and on the floor there are wonderful stone hollows. The length of the explored area of the cave of Ravelić is 145 m, with the depth of 20 meters.

In the archaeological architecture Ravlić cave in Peć Mlina in Drinovci is known as the most important prehistoric site in Herzegovina, where people used to live continuously from the beginning of the Neolithic (5700 BC) until the early Bronze Age (1500 BC). The cultural layer is from 0,90 m to 3,60 m thick. There were found many stone tools (knives, scrapers, and arrows) and objects made out of bones (awls, float and arrow, pieces of pottery and jewels made of bones and teeth). Ceramics are made of purified soil, all the dishes are well-fired and coloured with red, black, and grey shades of the colour. The decorations in the style of impresso-culture are created by pressing in and imprinting. From the period of the Early Neolithic the dishes are thicker, they have greater dimensions and they are scarcely polished.  In the Copper Age and the Bronze Age there used to exist the ceramics deriving from different cultures – Croatian, the culture of the area of River Cetina, and the culture of Posušje. There was identified the existence of the simple hearths, along which used to be stuck the stakes which were probably used to hang the dishes over the fire. According to the remains of the bones of goats, sheep, boars and deer, the inhabitants of the cave used to be hunters and farmers.

Among the archaeological finds that were revealed in the course of archaeological excavations 2008 – 2010, there is pintadera, which is of particular relevance, an object of a cylindrical shape with the spiral motif that belongs to the culture of Hvar and Lisičić from the late Neolithic and it is the only finding of that type from the late Neolithic on the entire area of Eastern Adriatic. Regarding its functionality, that is probably an instrument that was used to transmit and print the pigmented spiral motif on other media, especially on the cloth.