Location: Kocevje, Zeljne
Entrance Orientation: W
Cave Formation: Horizontal
Cave Map: N/A
Main Research Years: 1963, 1971, 1976, 1994
Occupation Eras and Dates: LN,
4899-4813 c. BC, 4545 c. BC.
A.Veluscek. Archaeological Finds from The Cave of Ciganska Jama near Kocevje From the Period After The Ice Age. In Arheoloski Vestnik 62, 2011: 33-50.
Cave Description: This cave forms one of the entrances into the Zeljnske jame systems of water active caves. It is 15 – 20m wide. The entrance of the cave is in a small valley surrounded by rock walls. It seems that these are the remains of a former cave hall. This cave was part of the system of caves that supplied prehistoric man with drinking water.
Research Chronicles and Data: The excavations in 1963 were undertaken by Mitja Brodar, who set a 2 x 3m trench by the entrance.
Stane Gabrovec published data stating that there were fragmentary remains of a human skull, deer antler and a shaft-hole axe made of serpentine. These were found in the humas layer in the deep and difficult to access region of the cave system. France Leben believed that these are the remains of a cave burial. Pavel Jamnik later writes that these finds could be linked to a sacral area at this location. Also in the humus layer, were furnaces, charcoal, and deposits of ash.
Excavations undertaken in 1971 and 1973 by Leben showed that pottery finds were most numerous in the area where the ceiling overhangs the cave. They were fewer in the cave and practically none in the profile.
In 1994, speleologists uncovered 49 fragments of Eneolithic and EBA pottery, a bone polisher and several animal bones.
Cave Uses: Shelter, Burial (A.d B.d) - This cave served as an occasional shelter for humans. Burials have been found in the cave. However the process of laying the dead on the floor was happening for a very short time, most probably from 10-20 years, which agrees with the homogeneity of the archaeological finds.