Mirko Malez (November 5, 1924 – August 23, 1990) was a prominent Croatian palaeontologist, speleologist, geo-scientist, ecologist and natural history writer. He was known as a "pioneer of Croatian speleoarchaeology". He was a member of the Yugoslav Academy, JAZU (present-day Croatian, HAZU - Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and one of only four Croatian PhDs of speleology (Josip Poljak 1922, Mirko Malez 1963, SreÄ‡ko BoÅ¾iÄeviÄ‡ 1985, and Mladen GaraÅ¡iÄ‡ 1986). Thanks to Malez's popularization of science, VaraÅ¾din County, in northern Croatia, is also known as a "cradle of the Palaeolithic age". In his honor four new species were named: Dalmatichthys malezi (RadovÄiÄ‡ 1975), Ilyocypris malezi (SokaÄ 1978), Mimomys malezi (Rabeder 1983) and Vaccinites malezi (SliÅ¡koviÄ‡ 1991). Most of his papers and research interests were directed towards fossil mammals of the Pleistocene and the paleontological processing of certain species, determining their taxonomy, migrations and palaeogeography.
Since his first research in 1946, Malez has been recognized as a very active and productive speleologist. As a geologist, he worked on various specialised researches into geomorphology, genesis, hydrology, tectonics, palaeontology, archaeology, microclimate, biospeleology and so on. He regularly compiled photographic documentation, which now forms an important professional and historical record. His speleological research covered the now independent states of Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, where he researched about 1000 caves, for the most part in Croatia. Malez published his speleological research regularly, from 1952 until 1974, in the academic publication Ljetopis JAZU. thumbleft200px Vindija Cave, in VaraÅ¾din County, Croatia Some notable monographs described the caves of Mount UÄka and Mount Ä†iÄ‡arija in Istria, the caves in SW Lika, together with 277 other documented caves, for example, monographs on the Veternica cave near Zagreb and the CerovaÄke Å¡pilje caves near GraÄac. In 1953, he was one of the founders of the magazine Speleolog, the first speleo magazine in Croatia and the former Yugoslavia. He was one of organisers of the Second Speleo Congress in Split in 1958, and also the chief organiser of the Ninth Yugoslavian Speleo Congress, in Karlovac in 1984, for which he was Chief Editor of Proceedings, comprising almost 900 pages. HAZU, an extensive and systematic speleological agency, included Malez among the most prominent speleologists in Croatia. (ed. Roman Ozimec, Hrvoje CvitanoviÄ‡: Papers on the Institute for scientific research work in VaraÅ¾din, Issue 22, 15 HAZU, 2011. 105-106).
Prominent Croatian archaeologists were part of Malez's team of explorers, particularly in Lika. As a result of his stratigraphic, palaeontological, palaeoanthropological, palaeoclimatic, and archaeological documentation, there is greater understanding of culture from the Old Stone Age to the Middle Ages. Changes in the ecosystem (flora, fauna), the types of climatic periods, and the first groups of fossil people, i.e. their material culture, raw materials, daily activities (hunting, gathering, lithic artefact manufacturing) and spiritual culture are better understood due to the research conducted by Academician Malez in the cave areas.
"Krapina early man and hominid evolution" conferences
Dr Malez was an honorary chairman, in a series of meetings "Krapina early man and hominid evolution", held on May, 31st 1969, in Zagreb to honour the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Krapina man, primarily by the eminent Croatian geologist and paleontologist Dragutin GorjanoviÄ‡-Kramberger. Results were presented of recent studies of the rich paleontological, paleoanthropological and archaeological material gathered from Pleistocene layers in a shelter in the HuÅ¡njakovo hill at Krapina. The event attracted attention and interest in the Krapina remains among many scientists: Erik Trinkaus, J. H. Musgrave, F. H. Smith, C. Guth, M. - A. de Lumley, Milford H. Wolpoff, A. Gardner and H. Ullrich. thumbright200px The presidential board of the International Conference "Krapina early man and hominid evolution", Krapina, Croatia, Sept. 17. 1976. From the left: Mirko Malez, S. NeÅ¾mahen and J. Kallay. At the lectern Lj. BariÄ‡. The meetings on the Krapina Early Man and Hominid Evolution were organized by Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (JAZU). thumbright200px NalaziÅ¡te praÄovjeka Krapina, (eng. HuÅ¡njakovo Neanderthal site near the Croatian town of Krapina Research has continued, at the Krapina site and its wider vicinity, into earlier Quaternary geological, paleontological, archaeological, and paleo-climatic aspects. Subsequent meetings were organised, for example one held in Krapina on September 17, 1976 (also organized by JAZU). Malez's last published paper was a biographical article dedicated to the Croatian-Argentinian paleontologist Luka KraljeviÄ‡.
Legacy and death
Malez died at the age of 65, on August 23, 1990, in Zagreb after a serious illness. His body was cremated and his ashes were buried in the urn cemetery at Zagreb's Mirogoj. HAZU organized a commemoration for Malez, held on December 5, 1991. Since his death, many conferences, gatherings and tribute meetings have been organised, in Croatia and abroad, to honour the character and work of this famous Croatian scientist. A conference held on Nov. 20, 2010, in Ivanec, his hometown, honoured the 20th anniversary of his death. A group of 15 scientists recalled the significance of his scientific contributions to local geology, archaeology and paleontology. On June 17, 2011, in his hometown Ivanec, new published Proceedings, were dedicated to Malez by Ivanec's mayor Milorad BatiniÄ‡ and HAZU Academicians Ivan GuÅ¡iÄ‡ and Slobodan KaÅ¡tela. On March 25â€“26, 2011, a 2nd international scientific meeting was organised in Zagreb, in memory of Malez, by the National INQUA Committee (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Department for Natural Sciences, Institute of Quaternary Paleontology and Geology). The meeting celebrated the 55th anniversary of the Institute of Quaternary Paleontology and Geology. The honorary chairmanship board included Ljerka Marjanac, Lidija GaloviÄ‡, Nada HorvatinÄiÄ‡, Mladen JuraÄiÄ‡, Ivor KaravaniÄ‡ and Josipa VeliÄ‡. To honor Malez, Ivanec's municipal authority decided to rename its central street after him. In the little town of Lepoglava near VaraÅ¾din, in September 2005, a small group was established called the Friends Club of the minerals "Mirko Malez". thumbright200px At the conference dedicated to Dr. Mirko Malez held on November 20, 2010, in Ivanec, Croatia. The honorary chairmanship members were Eduard VargoviÄ‡ (director of the Institute for the Scientific Labor HAZU in VaraÅ¾din and Å½eljko TomiÄiÄ‡, an associate member of the HAZU.
Malez published some of his research in these journal articles:
M. Malez, 1956, Erster Fund des oberdiluvialen Menchen im dinarischen Karst, Bull. scientifique 3, 2 (Zagreb)
M. Malez, 1960a, PaleontoloÅ¡ka i speleoloÅ¡ka istraÅ¾ivanja u 1960. godini, Ljetopis JAZU 67.
M. Malez, 1960b, Entdeckung des ersten palaolithischen Fundortes in Dalmatien, Bull. scientifique 5, 4
M. Malez, 1962, Romualdo Cave, a new significant pleistocene site in Istria, Bull. scientifique 7, 6
M. Malez, 1964, Å andalja bei Pula - ein neuer und wichtiger palaolithischer Fundort in Istrien, Bull. scientifique 9, 6
M. Malez, 1965a, CerovaÄke peÄ‡ine, Zagreb
M. Malez, 1965b, NalaziÅ¡ta fosilnih hominida u Hrvatskoj, GeoloÅ¡ki vjesnik 18/2, Zagreb
M. Malez, 1967a, Paleolitska nalaziÅ¡ta Hrvatske, ArheoloÅ¡ki vestnik XVIII (Ljubljana)
M. Malez, 1967b, Gornjopleistocenska fauna Crvene stijene, GZM NS XXI/XXII
M. Malez, 1968, Tragovi paleolita u Romualdovoj peÄ‡ini kod Rovinja u Istri, Acta et diss VI
M. Malez, 1969, Å andalja bei Pula - eine bedeutende Ansiedlung der jungpalaolithischer Jager in Istrien, U. Internat. Kongress fur Speleologie, Stuttgart
M. Malez & J. C. Vogel, 1969, Rezultati odreÄ‘ivanja apsolutne starosti pleistocenskih naslaga Å andalje II kod Pule u Istri, GeoloÅ¡ki vjesnik 22
M. Malez, 1970, Krapina 1899 - 1969, JAZU Zagreb
M. Malez, 1970, Adriatica Praehistorica et Antiqua, Zagreb: Das Palaolithikum im Gebiete der Ostkunste der Adria (1-16)
M. Malez, 1970, Novi pogledi na stratigrafiju krapinskog nalaziÅ¡ta: Krapina 1899-1969, p. 13-44, JAZU Zagreb
M. Malez, 1970, Rezultati revizije pleistocenske faune iz Krapine: Krapina 1899-1969, JAZU Zagreb
M. Malez, 1970, Paleolitska kultura Krapine u svjetlu novijih istraÅ¾ivanja: Krapina 1899-1969, JAZU Zagreb
M. Malez, 1975, Die Hohle Vindija - eine neue Fundstelle fossiler Hominiden in Kroatien. Bulletin scientifique Conseil des Academies des Sciences et des Arts de la RSF de Yugoslavie 20/5-6, p. 139-141.
M. Malez & D. Rukavina, 1975, Krioturbacijske pojave u gornjopleistocenskim naslagama peÄ‡ine Vindije u sjeverozapadnoj Hrvatskoj. Rad JAZU 371(17), pp. 245â€“265
M. Malez, 1978a, Stratigrafski, paleofaunski i paleolitski odnosi krapinskog nalaziÅ¡ta: Krapinski praÄovjek i evolucija hominida, p. 61-91, JAZU Zagreb
M. Malez, 1978b, Novija istraÅ¾ivanja paleolitika u Hrvatskom zagorju: ArheoloÅ¡ka istraÅ¾ivanja u sjeverozapadnoj Hrvatskoj (ed. Å½. RapaniÄ‡), p. 6-69, Croatian Archaeological Society 2, Zagreb
M. Malez, 1979a, Rad na istraÅ¾ivanju paleolitskog i mezolitskog doba u Hrvatskoj: Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja, vol. I (ed. A. Benac), pp. 221â€“226, Sarajevo
M. Malez, 1979b, NalaziÅ¡ta paleolitskog i mezolitskog doba u Hrvatskoj: Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja, vol. I (ed. A. Benac), pp. 227â€“276, Sarajevo
M. Malez, 1980, Kvartar-geoloÅ¡ka istraÅ¾ivanja spilje Vindije u 1980. godini: Vijesti JAZU 2, 16-18
M. Malez, 1981, Paleolitik na podruÄju Zagreba: ArheoloÅ¡ka istraÅ¾ivanja u Zagrebu i njegovoj okolici (ed. Å½. RapaniÄ‡), pp. 65â€“108, Croatian Archaeological Society 6, Zagreb
M. Malez, 1983, Prilog poznavanju kulta spiljskog medvjeda u paleolitiku Hrvatske: Zbornik za narodni Å¾ivot i obiÄaje JuÅ¾nih Slavena 49, pp. 333â€“347.
M. Malez, 1985a, Spilja Vindija kao kultno mjesto neandertalca. GodiÅ¡njak Gradskog muzeja u VaraÅ¾dinu 7, pp. 31â€“47
M. Malez, 1985b, On the possibility of the Existence of a skull cult in Neanderthals from the Vindija cave (Croatia, Yugoslavia). Collegium Anthropologicum 9(2), pp. 231â€“240
M. Malez, 1986, Pregled paleolitiÄkih i mezolitiÄkih kultura na podruÄju Istre; Izdanja Hrvatskog arheoloÅ¡kog druÅ¡tva, br. 11, pp. 3â€“47
M. Malez, 1987, Izdanja Hrvatskog arheoloÅ¡kog druÅ¡tva, 11, Pula
M. Herak, M. PaunoviÄ‡, D. BrajkoviÄ‡, Mirko Malez, 1924â€“90 (with bibliography), Spomenica preminulim akademicima, 66, Zagreb 1992.
Vladimir Majer, Mirko Malez - biography, 51 p.: Zagreb HAZU, 1992.
ed. Roman Ozimec, Hrvoje CvitanoviÄ‡: Papers on the Institute for scientific research work in VaraÅ¾din, Issue 22, 15 HAZU, 2011.
Category:Members of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Category:Croatian paleontologists Category:Speleologists Category:Paleoanthropologists Category:1924 births Category:1990 deaths Category:People from Ivanec Category:Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb alumni Category:Croatian geologists Category:20th-century geologists