The current state of research in Northern Dalmatia is quite limited. Almost everything that we know about this prehistoric period is based on occasional finds, topographic data, and surveys, with only a small number of excavations. In the last twenty years, field surveys have been conducted on a small number of islands, but most are completely unexplored. The situation is similar across the wider eastern Adriatic region, where only about ten Epigravettian sites have been explored in a satisfactory manner. Only a small number of sites on the eastern coast of the Adriatic can be dated prior to 13,000 bp, and sites dated to the Late Glacial Maximum or immediately after are particularly rare. Šandalja II near Pula, Vela Spila on the island of Korčula and Vlakno on the island of Dugi Otok are the only sites with cultural layers from these periods.
Project “Epigravettian communities of Northern Dalmatia“ is a logical continuation of the interdisciplinary investigations of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic site of Vlakno cave on Dugi Otok as well as the wider area of Northern Dalmatia. After finishing the excavation of Mesolithic layers, the aim is to continue research of Vlakno cave and its lower, Epigravettian layers, also to expand the exploration in the area of Northern Dalmatia, and propose stronger theoretical and empirical model of hunter-gatherer mobility and landscape usage in the eastern Adriatic at the time of the Upper Palaeolithic.