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Fewkes, Neolithic Sites

Fewkes, Neolithic Sites

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Neolithic Sites in the Yugoslavian Portion of the Lower Danubian ValleyAuthor(s): Vladimir J. FewkesReviewed work(s):Source:
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,
Vol. 78, No. 2 (Dec. 10, 1937), pp.329-406Published by:
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Accessed: 03/01/2012 06:18
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NEOLITHICSITES IN THEYUGOSLAVIANPORTIONOFTHELOWERDANUBIAN VALLEY
VLADIMIRJ.FEWKES *Director,AmericanExpeditiontoYugoslavia(Readbytitle,April24,1936)ABSTRACTTheYugoslavianportionof the lowerDanubianValleyisadjacentto thesouthsideof the river from the IronGatetothemouth of theTimok. Recentfieldreconnoiteringinthis arearesultedintherecordingof fresh dataonascoreof sites.Amongthem are fiveextensivesettlementswithrichNeolithicdeposits.And itseemslikelythat someoftheothersites,all,thusfar,revealing onlylaterdeposits will,onexcavation,discloseNeolithicoccupationas well. TheNeolithicmaterialremains from thesesitescomprisevarietiesquitecharacteristic of thewesternhalfofthelower DanubianValleyatlarge.Theycontain,amongotherthings,thebarbotine classofpotterywhichhasawidedistribution inthe Dan-ubian area. Thispottery providesaveryusefulmeansforcomparativestudiesandchronologicalreconstructions,as itisparticularlycharacteristic,locally,ofthe initial Neolithicoccupation.Technologically,thebarbotinewareis a welldistinguishedclass.(TheAppendixdealswithsomequalitativeaspectsof asampleseries fromStar6evo.)Whiletheobservationsthusfargatheredinthefield andinthelaboratoryarequite suggestive,no definiteconclusionsregardingthe Neolithic culturehistoryof the areacan be drawnuntiladequateexcavationsare made.Althoughthe data thus fargatheredhaveonlyaprovisional value,itisobvious that certaindependableleads cannow befollowed. TheYugoslavianportionofthelower DanubianValleyofferssplendidopportunitiesforarchaeo-logicalfield work. TheNeolithicsites,althoughdamagedbyDanubianerosion,areespeciallyattractiveinthisregardsincetheyseem tobepotentialsourcesofhighlydesirabledata.
THEYugoslavianportionofthelowerDanubianvalleyisconfinedto therightbank oftheDanubebetween the IronGate1andthe mouthoftheTimok.2Itsinteriorextentis
*
With anAppendix byDonaldHorton,entitled "Note on amicroscopicstudyof asample groupofbarbotinesherds withpositiveappliquefrom'Grad,'Stareevo."Geotectonicallythe IronGateis identifiedbytheapproximately130 km.longcleft which the DanubefollowsinitspassagethroughtheBalkan-Carpathianmountainsystem;cf.Cvijie, 1908,pp.1 ff.
2
Thecorrespondingcourse of theDanubeprovidesapartoftheboundarybetweenYugoslaviaandRoumania;theislandsinthis section of the riverbelongto Roumania.
PROCEEDINGSOFTHEAMERICANPHILOSOPHICALSOCIETY,
VOL.78,NO.2,
DECEMBER,
1937
329
 
VLADIMIRJ. FEWKES
definedbytheMiroc,VelikiGreben,andDeliJovanrangesinthewest,bythe foothillsoftheSvrljiskaPlaninainthesouth,andbytheYugoslavian-Bulgarianboundarylineinthesoutheast.Thisboundary joinstherightbankof theTimokatapointapproximately8km.above theestuaryandcoin-cides with theriverthereafter.Atthepresenttimetheprehistoryof this areaisveryunevenlyandindeedincompletelyunderstood.Systematicexcavationshavenot beenattemptedyetandreconnoiteringefforts havebeenconcentratedchieflyalongtheDanube.Althoughcertainstrayfindsas wellas severalsiteshavebeenrecordeddeepin theinterior,ourknowledgeofprehistoricconditions asidefrom the bankof theDanubeisdecidedlyinadequate.Yet itisquite apparentthat asearlyastheNeolithicAge,someofeventhemostoutlyingdistrictswerereached.For this reasonitisimperativeto deal withtheregionas awhole,despitethecircumstancethatthe bulkofpositiveoccupationalevidenceis concentratedintheim-mediateriparianzoneof the Danube.Itispossible,ofcourse,thatsomeof theadvantages profferedbytherivermaywell have beenadiscriminatingfactorinthisrespectespeciallyduringtheinitialimplantationof Neolithiceconomy.Never-theless,anearly penetrationinlandissupportedbydistribu-tionalfactorswhichclearlyreflectgeneticaffinitieswiththecultural statuscommonto theriverloci.Fromthe easternedgeof theIron GatetothemouthoftheTimok,theDanubepursuesanundulatingcoursewithintermittentstraightstretches,and itschannelshiftsfre-quently.Thebanksaresubjectto seasonalinundationandthereisconsiderableerosionwhichoftenchangestheircontours.Iceflowsandatmosphericweatheringalsocausepronounceddamage.Owingto theseactions,sitesinvulner-ablelocationsarenowmoreor lessexposedandverticalprofilesoftheirdepositsaretherebybroughttoview.Thetaskoffindingarchaeologicalstationsis thenconvenientlyfacilitatedandsimplified.The bankvariesinheightfromplacetoplace.Aminimumof1 m. or evenlessis tobe
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