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§Of World Interest

Alexandrian computation of the date of creation was worked out to be 25 March 5493 BCE.


Prehistoric Vinca culture emerges on the shores of lower Danube. The Vinča culture was an early culture of Europe (between the 6th and the 3rd millennium BC), stretching around the course of Danube in what today is Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Macedonia, although traces of it can be found all around the Balkans, parts of Central Europe and Asia Minor.

The Vinča Culture derives its name from the village of Vinča, located on the banks of Danube, 14 km downstream from Belgrade (at the 1145th nautical kilometer), where one of the largest and most significant prehistoric Neolithic settlements in Eastern Europe was discovered in 1908 by an archaeological excavation team led by Miloje M. Vasić, the first schooled archeologist in Serbia.

In the sixth millennium B.C., the Vinča culture covered the area of the Central Balkans which is bordered by the Carpathian Mountains in the north, by Bosnia in the west, by the Sofia Plain in the east and the Skoplje Valley in the south.

The village was inhabited, but not so populated, until Romans moved in the area.

In the older Starčevo settlement, located in the deepest layers of Vinča, mud huts with tent roofs were discovered in which the settlers of the Starčevo-culture lived and were also buried. During the period of the Vinča Culture, houses were erected above ground with complex architectural layouts and several rooms, built of wood that was covered in mud. The houses in the settlement are facing northeast - southwest, with streets between them. Other settlements include Divostin, Potporanj, Selevac, Pločnik, Predionica Liobcova and Ujvar.


Beside agriculture and the breeding of domestic animals, the Neolithic settlers of Vinča also went hunting and fishing. The most frequent domestic animals were cattle, although smaller goats, sheep and pigs were also bred. The settlers of Vinča cultivated grain(einkorn and emmer, some barley). A surplus of products led to the development of trade with neighboring regions which supplied salt, obsidian, or ornamental shells (spondylus). The local production of ceramics reached a high artistic and technological level. Objects fashioned out of bones, horns and stone indicate great skill and dexterity of the craftsmen who produced tools for all branches of Vinča economy. At Bele Vode and Rudna Glava in Eastern Serbia copper ore was mined which they began fashioning with fire, initially only for ornamental objects (beads and bracelets).


Recent excavations by the Prokuplje and National museums at the 120 hectare site of the Pločnik settlement have shed considerable light on the Vinča culture. The Pločnik settlement flourished from 5500 BCE until it was destroyed by a fire in 4700 BCE. The findings suggest an advanced division of labor and organization.


Vinča houses had stoves and special holes specifically for rubbish, and the dead were buried in cemeteries. People slept on woolen mats and fur and made clothes of wool, flax and leather. The figurines found not only represent deities but many show the daily life of the inhabitants while crude pottery finds appear to have been made by children. Women are depicted in short tops and miniskirts wearing jewelery. A thermal well found near the settlement might be evidence of Europe's oldest spa.

The preliminary dating of a Pločnik metal workshop with a furnace and copper tools to 5500 BCE, if correct, indicates the Copper Age could have started in Europe 500 years or more earlier than previously thought. The sophisticated furnace and smelter featured earthen pipe-like air vents with hundreds of tiny holes in them and a chimney to ensure air goes into the furnace to feed the fire and smoke comes out away from the workers. Copper workshops from later periods thought to indicate the beginning of the Copper Age were less advanced, didn't have chimneys and workers blew air on the fire with bellows.

Spiritual life

The Neolithic settlers of Vinča ascribed great importance to spiritual life as is reflected by the enormous number of cult objects (figurines, sacrificial dishes, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic dishes). Their artistic and stylistic development was conditioned by the teachings of old settlers, as well as by contacts with neighboring peoples and their beliefs. Anthropomorphic figurines have a characteristic dignified stance and their number (over 1000 examples at Vinča alone) exceeds the total number of figurines discovered in the Greek Aegean. Shrines were discovered in Parṭa Transylvania with complex architectural designs. Some figurines and ceramic dishes discovered in the broad region spanning from Gornja Tuzla to Tǎrtǎria bear signs which some scholars suppose to be primitive forms of writing (see Old European Script). Indeed, if the inscriptions on the Tǎrtǎria tablets are pictograms, as Vlassa argued, they would be the earliest known writing in the world. This claim however remains controversial; most experts consider the Tǎrtǎria finds to be an example of proto-writing rather than a full writing system.


Beginning of the Ubaid period. This period lasted until 4400 BCE.


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Page last modified on May 24, 2013, at 04:23 PM