Velika Balanica

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Site type:
43.33, 22.08

Velika Balanica is a relatively large cave, covering 400 m2 (4,300 sq ft), of which 30 m2 (320 sq ft) is surveyed. The entrance is 1.5 by 2 by 2 m (4 ft 11 in by 6 ft 7 in by 6 ft 7 in), while the entry hall is 9 by 2 by 2 m (29.5 by 6.6 by 6.6 ft). Originally, 160 m2 (1,700 sq ft) was accessible, with several buried corridors which lead into further, later uncovered, halls. A 3 m (9.8 ft) deep stratigraphic sequence is divided into 5 layers (1 to 5), which are divided into further sub-levels (2a, 2a2, 2a3, 2b, 2c, 3a-3c, 4a-4d, 5a-5d). Level 1 is sterile. Typical Mousterian artefacts are found throughout the 2nd layer, while the Charentian industries were discovered in the entire layer 3. Layers 4 and 5 are still being surveyed.

Lithic assemblages from the Charentian period in both caves and remains of microfauna, suggest that layer 3a corresponds to the late Middle Pleistocene, probably the interglacial Marine Isotope Stages 9 or 7. Taking into account the Proto-Charentian character of the industry, and parallels with Karain Cave in Turkey, this would put layer 3a at 330,000-300,000 BP.