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TheopetraSights: Theopetra Cave


Σπήλαιο Θεόπετρας

Theopetra Cave

The Cave of Theopetra is located at the north-east of the limestone rock that stands tall above the Theopetra community, about 4km from Kalabaka. Its entrance is arched and its dimensions are about 17x3m. The inside of the cave consists of a 500sq.m main hall with small recesses on the walls. The creation of the limestone rock of Theopetra is dated back to the Upper Cretidic Period (137000000 – 65000000 years ago). The cave formation dates back to an era later than the latter one. The cave had been inhibited since the Middle Paleolithic era (which began about 130000 years ago).

The Theopetra cave is the first one excavated in Thessaly and the only one so far in Greece with continuous man-constructed fillings starting in the Middle Paleolithic Era and continuing till the end of the Neolithic Era (3000 BC). The importance of this chronological continuation lies in the fact that it is the first time in Greece that we can see the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Era. In the cave there have also been found stone tools from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Era, Neolithic ceramic findings, tools and jewelry made of bone and a unique piece of golden jewelry of these eras, as well as the famous human prints of Theopetra that date back to 130000 years ago and are a rare finding, important not only for Greece but also for the whole Europe. The excavations began in 1987 by the archaeologist Aikaterini Kyparissi-Apostolika and went on until 2005 when the cave reconstruction and restoration works – including the creation of a visitor hall, also accessible to those with special needs – began. Right now the work has been completed and the cave is open to visitors.

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