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4 December 2017
15.000-year-old statuette discovered in Croatia

During a research study of the Vlakno cave on the Dugi otok island (Croatia) archaeologists discovered an anthropomorphic statuette, estimated to be 15,000 years old, which was named Lili. The excavation has been followed closely by the scientific community due to the substantial amount of artefacts. Vlakno cave is located in the middle of Dugi otok where the cave has a large entrance overlooking Rava island as well as nearby water springs. This made it an ideal area to settle from the prehistoric era and onwards.
     The research excavations have numbered a total of fifteen projects with archaeologists from various European institutions, reaching a depth of five meters and uncovering layers dating back 19,500 years. The artifacts uncovered range from bones of large animals such as deer and aurochs, which indicate hunting, as well as tools and weapons. This includes two bone harpoons that stand out as extraordinary finds.
     The statuette is not just a unique discovery in Croatia, but also in the wider European context. Dario Vujevic, PhD, a researcher from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Zadar, has stated "The statuette is the first depiction of the human form created in the Paleolithic to be found in Croatia." It was named Lili as a tribute to a colleague who has been an active participant in the project for years.
     As opposed to other Venus statuette, Lili does not have any prominent physical attributes, though she is still part of the material group known as Paleolithic Venus. According to Vujevic, figurines similar to Lili have been found in Mal'ta, Russia and Dolni Vestovice in the Czech Republic. Before Lili there had only been found zoomorphic objects in Croatia, which makes her a priceless first discovery in Croatia.
     The figurine will undergo conservation, followed by scientific processing.

Edited from Total Croatia News (30 November 2017)

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