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History of the Stone Age in Croatia: Top 3 Locations

History of the Stone Age in Croatia is not known to many. This brief walk through history will show you that it existed. Today’s Croatia was in the center of one out four major refugia during the last glacial maximum. Accordingly, people inhabit this region in Europe for millenniums. The abundance of Stone age locations in Croatia serves as proof.

Croatian History Neanderthals
Croatian History Neanderthals

But which 3 among dozens are really worthwhile?

One important condition in this selection process, besides historical and cultural significance, was how well a certain location is equipped for tourist visits. Now, this inevitably excluded some, even archeologically richer locations so do make a thorough review of all locations if the absence of a nearby accommodation doesn’t concern you. We’ll start with the prime gem.

History of the Stone Age in Croatia: Hušnjakovo, Krapina, Zagorje

Protected as the very first paleontological monument of nature in Croatia, Hušnjakovo (In Croatian Zagorje) is among the most significant sites of paleoanthropology.
Neanderthals Site Croatia
Neanderthals Site Croatia

Close to 1,000 fossilized remains of Neanderthals and Pleistocene animals plus over a thousand stone tools were unearthed on the site.

In February 2010, a new Krapina Neanderthal Museum opened its door to visitors, providing with the brand new way to explore the site and its ancient inhabitants.

Hušnjakovo site is one of only a few where you can get an insight of the day in the life of a Neanderthal family in an interactive way. Plus, the surrounding area along with the nearby town of Krapina is packed with cozy and relaxing accommodations just a few clicks from the original site.

Krapina Neanderthals
Krapina Neanderthals
It’s worth mentioning that it takes just a half an hour of drive or less to enjoy in one of many geothermal spas Zagorje is famous for.

Archeological and paleontological sites Šandalja I and II

It’s a cave system in the suburb of Pula, the administrative center of Istria, that hides 800,000 years old handmade artifact, one of the oldest stone masonries ever unearthed in the world and definitely the oldest in Croatia.
Šandalja - A Multiple Caves System With Several Archeological Micro Sites
Šandalja - A Multiple Caves System With Several Archeological Micro Sites

Šandalja I is the site of the earlier mentioned chopper-like, 800,000 years old stone artifact.

In Šandalja II, found in spring of 1962, the most important is the Layer B where archeologists discovered many artifacts and fossilized remains of Cro-Magnons. Radiocarbon dating places the site at around 12,000 BC.

Given the vicinity of Pula, one could easily attend an evening of classical music in the famous Roman amphitheater, Arena, after spending hours exploring Šandalja caves. Just saying.

Archeological Park Sopot, Vinkovci, Slavonia county

There’s this Younger Stone Age settlement, established on the naturally elevated elliptic chunk of the land, whose settlers lived in the primitive “houses” made of wattle with clay insulation, each around 25 square meters.

They were mostly farmers who didn’t mind an occasional “trip” to a hunting expedition using their stone-made weapons.

The cool thing about these ancient farmers is that they were making all sorts of dishes in one specific way called black iron ceramics. And you can take a closer look in their lifestyle in one of 6 “Sopot Houses” reconstructed according to the findings on the location.

How to get there?

Archeological Park Sopot is connected to the center of Vinkovci (In Slavonia) with hiking/biking trek. While in the city, check the skeletons of three mammoths excavated on the site nearby.

Now, if you would like to visit any of the proposed locations stress-free, just opt-in for our direct support and we’ll organize everything for you. Simple, isn’t it?

Your CTC Team, I.K.

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