Middle Palaeolithic land exploitation strategies remain as yet an unexplored element in our understanding of Neanderthal behavioural patterns. Many different approaches to the problem were so far developed. Among others, biological, economic or environmental data concerning Neanderthals were considered as relevant. One of the focus points in such divagations is the issue of raw materials economy as undertaken by Neanderthals. The long-distance transport of knappable minerals (as a basis for the stone tools production) allows an insight into the economy and understanding of the size of land in use by Neanderthals group. Addressing this particular issue from the perspective of the Western Carpathian Mountains allows us to track the trails of mobility or trace possible contact zones between groups, and also to state, that at least in some circumstances Neanderthal groups were infiltrating and possibly crossing this highly elevated area on the S-N axis.
At the end of 2018, when the Hučivá Cave (Hučivá diera, Rausch Keller) was explored in Tatranská Lomnica, profile deposits in rear areas of the cave were found disturbed by an amateur excavation. One stone artefact was first found in back-dirt clay-layer material at the excavation pit, later joined by four more specimens from the cleaned pit profile. The Typological analysis of the artefacts shows, that their closest parallels are found in inventories of the Magdalenian culture. Hučivá is the only cave in the whole Tatras with documented prehistoric settlement and the only Slovak cave with evidence of the Magdalenian culture. The discovery provides new information concerning subsistence strategies of late Pleistocene hunters in High Tatra Mountain landscapes. In light of this discovery, the possibility of seasonal movements along the northern slopes of this mountains range to the east and then south, through the mountain passes to the upper Spiš region should now be considered.
The Carpathian Orava Basin is a tectonic structure filled with Neogene and Quaternary deposits superimposed on the collision zone between the ALCAPA and European plates. Tectonic features of the south-eastern margin of the Orava Basin and the adjoining part of the fore-arc Central Carpathian Palaeogene Basin were studied. Field observations of mesoscopic structures, analyses of digital elevation models and geological maps, supplemented with electrical resistivity tomography surveys were performed. Particular attention was paid to joint network analysis. The NE-SW-trending Krowiarki and Hruštinka-Biela Orava sinistral fault zones were recognized as key tectonic features that influenced the Orava Basin development. They constitute the north-eastern part of a larger Mur-Mürz-Žilina fault system that separates the Western Carpathians from the Eastern Alps. The interaction of these sinistral fault zones with the older tectonic structures of the collision zone caused the initiation and further development of the Orava Basin as a strike-slip-related basin. The Krowiarki Fault Zone subdivides areas with a different deformation pattern within the sediments of the Central Carpathian Palaeogene Basin and was active at least from the time of cessation of its sedimentation in the early Miocene. Comparison of structural data with the recent tectonic stress field, earthquake focal mechanisms and GPS measurements allows us to conclude that the Krowiarki Fault Zone shows a stable general pattern of tectonic activity for more than the last 20 myr and is presently still active.