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Neolithic Houses in Yugoslavia

Neolithic Houses in Yugoslavia

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Published by: sat_su on May 12, 2011
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05/12/2014

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~1(lgnet()111eter
Locution
of
By
ALANMcPHERRONandELIZABETH
K.
RALPH
ThefirstcesiummagnetometersurveyofprehistoricsitesinYugoslaviawascarriedoutbyElizabeth
K.
RalphinJune1969,onNeolithicsitesbeingexcavatedunderthejointdirectionofDrs.AlanMcPherron,UniversityofPitts-burgh,andDragoslavSrejovic,UniversityofBelgrade.Ouraimwastoseeifthepatternofhousesinaprehistoricvillagecouldbedeter-minedbeforedigging.Theresultswerespectac-ularlysuccessful:wediscoveredwholerowsofmagneticanomaliesandtestingbyexcavationconfirmedthattheywereinfacthousefloors.Theworkshowsthatmagnetometersarepower-fultoolsinfurtheringtheaimsofmodernarch-aeologicalresearch,evenatsitesasearlyas4,000B.C.NeolithicculturesinYugoslaviaarewellknownamongspecialistsbecauseoftheirele-gantceramicsandsophisticatedhumanfigurines.InSerbia,wherethestudywasconducted,theearliestknownNeolithicfarmingcultureiscalledStarcevoanditspaintedpotteryshowsrelation-shipswiththatofGreeceandBulgaria,areasthroughwhichthefarmingwayoflife,basedonsuchdomesticatedfoodsandanimalsaswheat,barley,sheep,cattle,andpigs,wasdiffusing
10
fromitscenteroforiginintheNearEast.Radio-carbondatesindicatethatStarcevobeganaround5500B.C.intheSerbianpartofYugo-slavia.Around4500
B.c.,
StarcevogavewaytoaLateNeolithicculturecalledVinca.Anap-parentlyindigenousdevelopment,Vincaisoneofanumberofcontemporarylocalcultureswithdistinctivestylesofpotteryandfigurines,allofthemseemingtoindicatesomewhatimprovedadaptationstothelocalenvironmentalcondi-tionsofsouthandcentralEurope.DespitethefactthatweknowquiteabitaboutthepotteryandotherartifactsmadebytheStarcevoandVincapeoples,weknowverylittleabouthowtheylived.ExceptforthesystematicexcavationscarriedoutyearsagobyVasicatthetype-siteofVinca,a
tell
ontheDanubenearBelgrade,nositehasbeendugextensivelyenoughtoyielddataonthenatureofsettlement-thatis,onthespacialdistributionofhousesandotherstructures,storagefacilities,andareaswherespecializedactivitieswerecarriedout.Also,weknownexttonothingaboutthereasonswhyparticularspotswereselectedforsettlement.Suchinformationcanbeobtainedonlythroughlarge-scaleexcavationcarriedoutwitha
high
EXPEDITION
 
ITALY
TYRRHENIANSEA
«-'
~'b-
C:J'lf
Belgrade
y
WINTER1970
ZagrebYUGOSLAVIABelgrade
ADRIATICSEA
ALBANIA
IONIANSEA
GREECE
StarcevoVinca
UG
LA
..BanjaRajae
~
Divostin
...KRAGUJEVACGrivae~DobrovodieaLepinskiVir~
v
I
A
11
 
.""<
Divostin,showingexcavatedVincahousefloorinforeground,typicalruralcountryside
in
background.
levelofcontrol,theultimateaimofwhichisthecompleteuncoveringofanentiresettlement.Neolithicvillagesitessuitableforsettlement-patternstudiesaredenselydistributedinthepartofYugoslaviasouthofBelgrade.Sitesherearcshallow,whichminimizestheproblemsof
12
EXPEDITION

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