Vela Spila

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The Vela Spila cave (Croatian: Vela Spila, "Big Cave") is situated above the town of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula, in Croatia on Pinski Rat hill at an elevation of approximately 130 m (430 ft). The cave consists of an elliptically shaped cavern that measures 40 m (130 ft) in length, 17 m (56 ft) in height, and is approximately 40 m (130 ft) wide. There are, similar to the Brillenhöhle in Germany, two openings in the roof of the cave which were caused by collapse at an as yet undetermined time.

Nikola Ostoic was the first person to describe the cave in modern literature. In 1856, he wrote "Compendio Storico Dell Isola Di Curzola". A local historian, museum commissioner, and collector of antiquities, he visited the cave in 1835. The cave has been mentioned in the Korčula Statute back in the 15th century.

There is an unbroken sequence of sediments from the late Mesolithic to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dated finds suggest seasonal human presence for hunting and the collection of marine resources from 20,000 years BC. Three child burials were discovered between 1986 and 1998 in the younger Mesolithic layers. Further findings are dated between 13,500 and 12,600 BC.