Location: Livadopotamos gorge NW of Kastoria town
Entrance Orientation: S
Entrance Altitude: 850m asl
Cave Formation: Horizontal
Main Research Years: 2002-2008
Occupation Eras and Dates:
1297-1408AD, 1290-1460AD, 1466-1641AD, 1445-1631AD, 1666-1953AD.
Trantalidoy, K., Belegrinou, E., and Andreasen, N. (2010) Pastoral societies in the south Balkan peninsula: the evidence from caves occupied during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic era. ANODOS, studies of ancient world 10, 321-334.
Cave Description: This cave is sometimes referred to as Piges Koromilia, meaning springs of Koromilia. It is near the town of Kastoria, in West Macedonia, located on the northan bank of the river Livasopotamos. There are two chambers in this cave. One is a main chamber and the other can be seen to be considerably smaller. The maximum dimensions of this cave are 27m x 8.5m and has a curved stair way in the limestone exterior.
Research Chronicles and Data: The excavation revealed four main floors, one on top of the other. The chronologically last floor, i.e. the one closest to the modern floor, has just under 30 post holes. These are from different structures such as wooden frames or huts. These would have been necessary to protect the occupants of the cave from dripping water and would have probably formed a sleeping area for up to two people. On the most recent layer of the cave is a stone hearth.
There is a palisade hole on the deepest floor, i.e. the oldest, and three holes on the one above that. The excavation was restricted in some areas so the excavators placed a 1m x 1m test pit. They recorded burnt clay fragments bearing imprints of reeds probably used as a temper. Throughout each layer there is a lens of ash, burnt coprolites and sherds. The floors are not all just bare ground, some layers of rough stones have been placed horizontally disposed in a circle or in more or less quadrilateral order to produce a stable and possibly dry level ground, to make a stable floor.
Cave Uses: Agropastoral (A.a) - This cave was used for shelter as there is evidence of human-made structures and deposition within the cave. However, the cave may have been used more specifically as a seasonal habitation pen for livestock. The cave may have been used by moving pastorals with their livestock, as the walk from Kastoria to Korytsa. This is a 9 hour long walk across the plain of Kastoria or the Grammos Mountains. Another piece of evidence that suggests this cave was used for seasonal habitation is the construction of different floors. These would have served different purposes and would have been used by different groups of people in different seasons.