Main goals of the research project Prehistoric hunter-gatherers in Istria and adjacent regions: Patterns of Late Pleistocene lifestyle and mobility (PREHISTRIA) are to: 1.get a better and more detailed insight into behavioural aspects of the Upper Palaeolithic inhabitants of Istria; 2. to compare these aspects and adaptations in both temporal (chronological) and spatial (geographic) dimensions; 3. to disseminate results of the research and thus create a good basis for further comparative studies on the Upper Palaeolithic in a wider geographical region, and to raise public awareness of the importance of local archaeological heritage.
We will address these aims through a combination of: 1. fieldwork at two sites that yielded evidence of human occupation during the Upper Palaeolithic (Abri Kontija 002, and Ljubićeva pećina in Istria), 2. detailed analysis of finds from the excavations, and from several additional sites in Istria (Romualdova pećina, Pupićina peć, and Šandalja II) and relevant sites in Italy (Grotta del Broion, Riparo Broion, Grotta Paina, Grotta Fiumane, Grotta Rio Secco, Ponte di Pietra, Grotta Trene, and Riparo Tagliente), 3. through comparisons with published results on the appropriate Upper Palaeolithic sites in adjacent regions (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia etc.), and 4. through an active engagement with and dissemination of knowledge to public audiences.
Research methods include archaeological excavation at two sites in Istria (Abri Kontija 002 and Ljubićeva pećina) during which samples for radiometric dating, analysis of sediment DNA, geoarchaeological and other relevant samples will be taken. Material found will be analysed through a combination of interdisciplinary methods that include lithic and raw material analyses, zooarchaeological analyses, analyses of ancient DNA and ZooMS.