Location: Koder Lac
Entrance Orientation: S
Entrance Altitude: 400 m asl
Cave Formation: Horizontal
Cave map: N/A
Main Research Years:
Prehistoric eras of occupation: EN, MN, Ch, BA
Korkuti, M. 1995. Neolithikum und Chalkolithikum in Albanien. Mainz am Rhein: Internationale Interakademische Kommission fur die Erforschung der Vorgeschichte des Balkans, Monographieren 4. 84-85; 170-172.
Cave Description: The Nezir cave is 45m long and the entrance is between 5-11m wide opening to the south. The cave has a 30m long corridor making it well suited for use as a residential site. The cave settlement of Nezir is located in Val-Tal, Bez, Burrel, near the village Koder Lac. The cave belongs to a group of local caves including the caves of Blaz and Keputa. All these caves are in the central highlands.
Research Chronicles and Data:
An area of 80 square meters was excavated. The 2.5m-4.35m thick cultural layer contains finds from three periods: the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age. The Neolithic is represented by remnants of two distinct phases, the Nezir I and the Nezir II or early to middle neolithic.
From Nezir I a few finds are known. Among the ceramics, thick-walled ware was found containing sand and small stones as temper. Gray, brown or red paint quite widely found and crafted pottery can be distinguished from pure clay which is usually polished and matt gray or light brown.
Among the vessel forms, there are slightly bulged flatter or higher grades with slightly retracted edges, which can occasionally be notched or have a rim lip. Bulbous bowls come with straight neck-edge and can have a perforation at the edge and finger dots on the shoulder, and a wide mouth with thickened rim.
These vessel shapes are generally quite common and also found at other known settlements.
Few vessel fragments were decorated, however Impresso ware was earliest, where the ornaments are made by pinching fingers or with a pointed instrument and distributed over the entire pot. The Barbotine decor is represented only on two fragments, one of which acts on the relief and applied as a decorative rosette.
Due to these small details, it is difficult culturally and chronologically to determine the cultural layers of the Nezir cave. The artifacts indicate parallels with Blaz, but also emphasize that in Nezir, Impresso ceramics which are characteristic are missing at Blaz.
From the Middle Neolithic (Nezir II) a few ceramic remains are preserved. Technically, consisting of pure clay, well fired ceramic is better than the work of Nezir I. It is dark grey, black or brown, rarely reddish. There are also fragments of small, high-gloss polished vessels. This pottery is characteristic of the Middle Neolithic in Albania.
There are also larger size shapes with more curved profiles. These are vessel forms, which are also known from other Neolithic settlements.
Decorating occurs mainly on broad incised bands, which are decorated with deep grooves. Stylistic dating was carried out according to the vessel forms, but particularly because of the decoration.
Cave Uses: Agropastoral (A.a) - Intermittently occupied.
Although from the Nezir Cave Neolithic finds are represented only in small numbers, it is nevertheless relevant that they are representative of both the early and the late Neolithic. Therefore, the excavators assumed that the cave was occupied during the whole Neolithic as a permanent settlement, however without much evidence of a dense occupancy shown in the stratigraphy.
The Excavator of the Nezir Cave believes that this was only seasonal habitation and by few people. this is because of the thin layer dated to Early and Middle Neolithic and the Middle Neolithic and Chalcolithic hiatus between. However, generally in this region, caves were also occupied in the late Neolithic so one can suggest that the cave was also occupied in the Late Neolithic and thus during the entire Neolithic period. However, there is no indication for a more intensive use. The situation changed only in the Chalcolithic period in which used the archaeological layer is greater and thus the archaeological material of this period is rich. The Chalcolithic legacies are marked by grey and grey-black polished, thick-walled ceramics. These features combine Nezir III culturally and chronologically with Maliq IIb, i.e. the final phase of the Chalcolithic.
This seasonal occupation of the cave may be interpreted as an agro-pastoral use of the cave.