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Josip Šarić - Paleolithic and Mesolithic Finds From Profile of the Zemun Loess

Josip Šarić - Paleolithic and Mesolithic Finds From Profile of the Zemun Loess

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Published by Dr Josip Šarić
Owing to circumstances two new Paleolithic sites discovered in the territory of Serbia in recent times have made possible placing of the fnds from the sites ‘Ekonomija 13 maj’ and Beljarica in the new context. This work, by revising already published material and also by presenting the artifacts discovered in the meantime, expands the data base related to the human settlements on the fringes of the Pannonian basin, i.e. in the territory of present-day Serbia during Middle and Late Paleolithic but also during Mesolithic period.
Owing to circumstances two new Paleolithic sites discovered in the territory of Serbia in recent times have made possible placing of the fnds from the sites ‘Ekonomija 13 maj’ and Beljarica in the new context. This work, by revising already published material and also by presenting the artifacts discovered in the meantime, expands the data base related to the human settlements on the fringes of the Pannonian basin, i.e. in the territory of present-day Serbia during Middle and Late Paleolithic but also during Mesolithic period.

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Published by: Dr Josip Šarić on Jun 11, 2010
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9
Starinar LVIII/2008,
9-27J. Šarić, Paleolithic and Mesolithic Finds From Prole of the Zemun Loess
JOSIP ŠARIĆ, Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade
PALEOLITHIC AND MESOLITHIC FINDSFROM PROFILE OF THE ZEMUN LOESS
Abstract:
Segment of the material from these two sites was published already in 1984. Owing to circumstances two new Paleolithicsites discovered in the territory of Serbia in recent times have made possible placing of the nds from the sites ‘Ekonomija 13 maj’and Beljarica in the new context. This work, by revising already published material and also by presenting the artifacts discoveredin the meantime, expands the data base related to the human settlements on the fringes of the Pannonian basin, i.e. in the territory of  present-day Serbia during Middle and Late Paleolithic but also during Mesolithic period.
Key words:
Chipped artifacts, Middle Paleolithic, Late Paleolithic, Mesolithic, raw materials, chert, quartzite, handaxes, hand points, shouldered projectiles/points, sidescrapers, geometric microliths.
UDCDOIShort communicationReceived: January 15, 2009Accepted: May 04, 2009Josip Šarić, e-mail: josips@eunet.rs
* The article results from the project:
 Lepenski Vir Culture: Cultural processes and 
 
transformations during 9. to 6. Millennium
 
 BC 
 
(no 147009 D) funded by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.
Introduction
T
he rst indirect evidence for the existence of the Paleolithic stations in the Belgrade city ter 
-
ritory were provided in the works of H. Breuil,G. Mac Curdy, H. Obermaier and J. Skutil quotingthe data about the existence of caves with the Auri
-
gnacian nds but on the other hand S. Brodar deniedand doubted it in his work from 1954. The nds of thePleistocene fauna in a few cave entrances and one rock shelter on the southwestern slopes of Banovo Brdo, between Čukarica and Žarkovo discovered in 1955 ac
-
tualized at that time once again the assumptions con
-
cerning the settling of the Paleolithic populations inthe vicinity of the present day Belgrade. To the men
-
tioned assumptions was added the story of the humanscull with the characteristics of the Neanderthal manas interpreted by N. Županić.
1
This fossil skull, whichwas found near the former Vidin kapija (Vidin Gate) ina layer together with the teeth of 
 Elephas antiquus
in
1919, has been lost in the meantime, so the mentionedclaims could not be veried today. The rst chippedstone artifacts ascribed to the Paleolithic period werethe chance nds from the Sava river bank few hundredmeters far from the layers with the Pleistocene fauna atBanovo Brdo and they were published in 1958.
2
Thereare also some unreliable data impossible to verify that
1 Gavela 1956.2 Gavela 1958.
 
10
Starinar LVIII/2008,
9-27J. Šarić, Paleolithic and Mesolithic Finds From Prole of the Zemun Loess
the remains of 
 Elephas cf. primigenius
Blumb., frag
-
ments of small singed(?) bones, resin, charcoal andtriangular wedges of 
lajtovac
3
 
have been found under the foundations of the palace ‘Albanija’ in Terazije inBelgrade and indicating the existence of the Paleo
-
lithic, according to the author, probably the Gravettiansettlement.
4
In the period between 1958 and 1984, i.e.for almost thirty years, there have been no new dataabout the Paleolithic nds in the territory of Belgrade.However, in that year (1984) was published a text con
-
cerning the segment of a large assemblage of chippedstone artifacts gathered on the Danube river bank fewkilometers upstream of Zemun.
5
Some articles aboutthe excavations in the vicinity of Vršac and the testtrench excavations in the Smolućka pećina were pub
-
lished in 1984 but also in 1986
6
and in the years fol
-
lowing the publishing of these texts the investigationsof the Paleolithic sites throughout Serbia have beenconducted, so there were more published texts withvery signicant results. The results of excavations inthe Šalitrena pećina were published in 1985
7
and from1985 to 1987 were published the results of investiga
-
tions in the Smolućka pećina.
8
New discoveries of thechipped stone artifacts from the Vršac Paleolithic siteswere published in 1989,
9
and an accidental but very im
-
 portant nd of the Mousterian endscraper from Rušanjwas published in 1990.
10
Kaludjerović published com
-
 prehensive work in 1991 concerning the Paleolithicin the light of more recent investigations
11
while theresults of excavations of the Paleolithic sites in the vi
-
cinity of Vršac were published in the following year.
12
 
The data concerning excavations in Drenaića pećinaon Medvednik,
13
at Kremenac near Niš,
14
in Mirilovska pećina,
15
in the cave habitations in the Knjaževac ter 
-
ritory
16
as well as the results of surveying in the Soko banja valley
17
were published in 1996. The syntheticwork about the investigations of the Paleolithic con
-
ducted so far in the eastern Serbia was published by D.Mihailović, Lj. Djuričić and Z. Kaludjerović in 1997.
18
 
In 2001 after the revision of the osteological materialin the collection of the Institute for Regional Geologyand Paleontology of the Faculty of Mining and Geol
-
ogy in Belgrade, the academic public was informedabout a very important anthropological nd. It is thefragment of right half of the mandible discovered sometime ago by Prof. V. D. Laskarev but never published.On the basis of the morphological characteristics M.Roksandić and V. Dimitrijević came to conclusion thatthis was an individual belonging to the Upper Paleo
-
lithic population.
19
The investigations in Hadži Pro
-
danova pećina near Ivanjica suggested the existenceof Middle and Upper Paleolithic industry and theseresults were published in 2006.
20
The most recent ex
-
cavations at the Petrovaradin fortress near Novi Sad
21
 
that brought to light rich Mousterian (and somewhatless abundant Late Paleolithic) assemblage of chippedstone artifacts as well as already mentioned Mousteri
-
an endscraper from Rušanj are the best proofs that weshould seriously count on the nds from the MiddlePaleolithic stations in the Pannonia region in Serbia.These nds are at the same time obvious conrmationthat the assumption about the existence of the Mous
-
terian in the Zemun loess suggested already in 1984
22
 
was absolutely justied. The most recent results of theinvestigations of the Paleolithic in the territory of Ser 
-
 bia are the works of B. Mihailović and D. Mihailovićconcerning the nds from Šalitrena pećina publishedin 2007 and 2008 and the nds from the cave Baranicaalso published in 2008.
23
The new information resulting from the inves
-
tigations conducted in the previous years, some newnds from the mentioned site in the vicinity of Zemunas well as the need to revise the published materialfrom Zemun are the reasons for writing this treatise.
Zemun loess plateau and location of the sites‘Ekonomija 13. maj’ and Beljarica
The mountain ridge of Fruška Gora was a barrier,which caused the creation of the Srem loess plateau asa result of accumulation of the loess sand. The Zemunloess plateau is situated in the south east periphery of Srem, bordering on the Danube in the northeast, onthe Sava in the southeast and the line connecting StariBanovci and Boljevci in the west. The loess plateauconsists of alternating layers of light yellow loess anddark layers of the buried i.e. fossil soil.
3
 Lajtovac
is a local name for a Miocene limestone occurs in vicinityof Belgrade.4 Stevanović 1977.5 Šarić 1984.6 Kaluđerović 1984; Radovanović 1986.7 Jež i Kaluđerović 1985.8 Kaluđerović 1985, 1986, 1987.9 Joanovič 1989.10 Kaluđerović 1990.11 Kaluđerović 1991.12 Mihailović 1992.13 Kaluđerović i Jež 1996.14 Kaluđerović i Đurić 1996.15 Đuričić 1996.16 Sladić i Jovanović 1996.17 Kaluđerović 1996.18 Mihailović, Đuričić i Kaluđerović 1997.19 Roksandić i Dimitrijević 2001.20 Mihailović 2006b.21 Mihailović 2006a.22 Šarić 1984.23 Mihailović B. and Mihailović D. 2007; Mihailović B 2008; Mihai
-
lović D. 2008.
 
11
Starinar LVIII/2008,
9-27J. Šarić, Paleolithic and Mesolithic Finds From Prole of the Zemun Loess
B. Laskarov is of the opinion that loess is thecreation of interglacial period while A. Penk and B.Bula relate the creation of the loess plateau and sandyterrains to the glacial period. This assumption is cor 
-
roborated by the eld investigations of B. Ž. Milojevićas well as of D. Mihajlović-Matić.
24
Zeremski, Maruščak and Butrim dene the ex
-
istence of two segments within the Zemun loess pla
-
teau – the bottom one, consisting of river-marshy sedi
-
ments dating from the Riss glaciation and the top oneconsisting of four layers of loess and four layers of fossil soils dating from the Riss and Würm periods.The problem of dening relative and absolute chronol
-
ogy of the Zemun loess plateau is a very complex oneas it is conrmed by striking difference in number of layers of loess or fossil soils distinguished by differ 
-
ent authors. In his rst works about the Zemun loess plateau Gorjanović identied four layers of loess andthree layers of fossil soils while V. Laskarov distin
-
guished ve layers of loess and four layers of fossilsoils.
25
J. M. Marković identied eight layers of loessand eight layers of fossil soils on a prole near Bata
-
 jnica, Maruščak and Butrim identied 10 layers of loess and 12 layers of fossil soils at the same locationwhile Rakić and al. recognized four layers of loess andfour layers of fossil soils (Fig. 1).
26
The main reason for this problematic synchroni
-
zation lies in the subjective stratigraphic assessmentsas well as in the scarce paleontological material, which,in addition, has not been sufciently studied.
27
The sit
-
uation is aggravated also by the fact that the analysesusing thermoluminescence technique provided data,which coincide only partially with the stratigraphic di
-
vision while even the C14 dating for the loess horizonsin central Europe and the Danube basin, for the Würmas the latest stratigraphic element of the Pleistocene,offered considerably different results. On the basis of all results achieved so far in the attempts to determine precise chrono-stratigraphy of the loess in Vojvodinait became clear that methods of dating using thermolu
-
minescence and C14 together with biogenetic, pale
-
ontological, sedimentological and archaeological datashould be supplemented and combined with the resultsof investigation of the dynamic geomorphology. Thismeans that data about erosion-denudation and neotec
-
tonic processes to which the loess complex had beenexposed to should be taken into account.
28
The highest points on the fringes of the Zemunloess plateau on the Danube are Kapela (114 metersabove sea level) and Gornji grad in Zemun (103 me
-
ters asl). On the south fringes are Bežanija (with 114meters asl) and Surčin (103 meters asl). Between Ze
-
mun and Surčin is broad and shallow depression withabsolute altitude between 97 m and 80 m. Consider 
-
ing that the pre-loess relief was of marshy character itcould be assumed that this broad depression is lledup marshy ground.The Zemun loess plateau is in its northeastern periphery bordering on the steep often vertical cliffs,which are due to erosion of the Danube waters still
 Fig.1. Prole of the Zemun loess at Beljarica. Along the entire Danube bank from Zemun almost 
to Banovci the loess plateau is over 20 meters high(after the text of V. Laskarev reconstructed by P.
Stevanović, Petković, 1977)Сл. 1. Профил Земунског леса, код Бељарице. Дужином целе обале Дунава од Земуна паскоро до Бановаца, лесни брег је висок преко20 м (по тексту В. Ласкарева конструисао П.Стевановић, Петковић, 1977.)
24 Mihajlović-Matić 1952.25 Marković-Marjanović 1972.26 Zeremski, Maruščak i Butrim 1991.27 Stevanović 1977.28 Zeremski, Maruščak i Butrim 1991.

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