Croatian Cave Reveals Ceremonial Treasure
Archaeologists report the discovery of what may be history's earliest party house. This month, researchers led by Tim Kaiser of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto revealed the results of exploration of Croatia's Nakovana Cave. Chance discovery of a blocked-off passage led the archaeologists to two inner chambers littered with smash pottery (mostly fine wine glasses) from as early as 300 B.C. Fertility rituals that featured a great deal of drinking took place in the cave before it was sealed off around 50 B.C., Kaiser says. The center of the cave features a phallic stalagmite, probably the focus of ceremonies, the archaeologists speculate. The find illuminates the belief and practices of the Illyrians, a tribe that raided Greek and Roman settlements during ancient times.
- Reprinted from USA Today