Hidden among olive groves above the town is Vela Spila ('The Great Cave'), a gaping limestone cavity with a sea-facing entrance and two large holes in its roof, producing a eerily atmospheric play of light. Inhabited since the Stone Age, the cave is the earliest known home of modern humans on the Adriatic, and has become a major centre for archeological research. Coordinated by the local museum and an international team led by Cambridge University in the UK, digging seasons take place here every September. Fragments of ceramic cult objects found here in recent years have produced something of a sensation in archeological circles – thought to be around 17,500 years old, they are believed to be the earliest examples of clay craftsmanship in Europe. Visitors can peer into the excavation trenches and soak up the atmosphere of Indiana-Jones-style discovery, although there's no museum display inside the cave as yet. A mute brown stone marks the spot where 'Stanko', a 9,000-year-old skeleton (one of the oldest human skeletons yet excavated in the Mediterranean) was discovered a decade ago. Vela Spila is a five-minute walk uphill from Vela Luka's seafront.
|Venue name:||Vela Spila|
Ulica 4, Vela Luka
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 1pm-8pm|