The Archeological Collection of finds from the locality of Blato plain


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The Archeological Collection of finds from the locality of Blato plain and surrounding hillforts
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Archeological find 001
Blato plain (Blatsko polje) is a former periodically flooded karst plain located in the central western part of the island of Korcula. This area gravitating geographically to Vela Luka Bay and several smaller plains, was well settled during all prehistoric and proto-historic periods because of transportation connections and favorable environmental conditions. Systematic research began some ten years ago, and results are summarized in this article.
The earliest traces of life come from the late Stone Age and Copper Age, but the are so far well known only at the Vela Spila cave site. At least four hillforts are located on the hills surrounding the plain, along with several lookout points and thirty some burial mounds, and in the broader region oriented to the plain, a total of seven hillforts and a hundred or so burial mounds are known. Remains indicating any permanent presence of Greek colonists have not been found to the present in the western part of Korcula. Objects of Greek - Hellenistic provenience are fairlly common, and this primarily refers to fragments of amphorae, black - glazed pottery, decorative objects of metal, and Grecian coins, all found regulary on sites belonging to the local populations (Kopila, Gradac at Potirna, Vela Spila and the hillfort of St. John). The influence of classical architecture on the local settlements was practically marginal.
The hillfort of Kopila, located directly above the northern side of Blato Plain, is the most important Iron Age settlement of the island of Korcula. The acropolis of the hillfort was defended by a powerful rampart and its well chosen position. Along the slope on the southern side was a large surburbiun with traces of dwellings. Two groups of metal objects from Kopila in the Dubrovnik Museum are chance finds, probably from the nearby but as yet not located Iron Age cementery. Analysis of this material indicates mainly local product from the 5th and 4th centuries BC. At least one of the Corinthian vases from the same museum can also be attributed to this hillfort. An abundance of pottery of local production has been found on the surface and in shallow outcroppings at the hillfort, as well as quite a few fragments of imported Graeco - Hellenistic vases. The use of vessels from the Issean and southern Italian workshops is apparent. The position, size and numerous finds at the hillfort of Kopila in the period from the 5th to the 1st centuries BC emphasize its importance, as it become the centre of a major community with an important and active role in trade and other contacts with other participants in the tumultuous events in this part of the Adriatic Sea that gravitates to the island of Korcula.
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