A History of Slovenia
Edited By Oto Luthar
FROM PREHISTORY TO THE END OF THE ANCIENT WORLD 13
13 FROM PREHISTORY TO THE END OF THE ANCIENT wORLD PREHISTORY: HISTORY CREATED BY ARCHAEOLOGY2 FROM THE ICE AGE TO THE DECLINE OF THE HUNTER–GATHERER COMMUNITY The history of any country should reach back to the very first traces left by humankind. This happened in what is now Slovenia in the Middle Paleolithic period, although no fossil remains of Paleolithic man have been discovered to date. The first find is a human cranium from the Ljubljanica River dated to the Mesolithic period. Otherwise, both variants of Homo sapiens, Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) and Cro-Magnons (Homo sapiens sapiens), have left traces of their presence. The Neanderthals lived in Europe and Slo- 2 To Greek historians, “archaeology” (archaiología: the study of relics of the past) meant research into the oldest periods of a region, when knowledge about the past was based on myths, leg- ends, and genealogies (the intertwined genealogical trees of gods and heroes). The more real- istic Greek historians relegated this period to antiquarians, but today archaeology is the only branch of science which, with the aid of the natural sciences, can tell us anything substantial about the oldest periods. A sophisticated science, it uses aerial views and obtains data through topography (the survey of a cultural region) and toponomastics (recording characteristic names which usually signify archaeological sites, e.g. Gradišče, Ajdovščina, Ajdovski Gradec, Gradec, Grobelce, etc.). Archaeologists study the groups of sites – or archaeological regions – using a geographic information system (GIS), while underwater sites are researched...
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