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Encyclopedia > Lepenski Vir

Lepenski Vir is an important Mesolithic archaeological site located in Serbia in the central Balkan peninsula. It consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. The evidence suggests the first human presence in the locality around 7000 BC with the culture reaching its peak between 5300 BC and 4800 BC. Numerous piscine sculptures and peculiar architecture are testimony to a rich social and religious life led by the inhabitants and the high cultural level of these early Europeans. The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ... An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or historic or contemporary), and which has been investigated using the discipline of archaeology. ... Anthem Serbia() on the European continent() Capital (and largest city) Belgrade Official languages Serbian written with the Cyrillic alphabet1 Government Parliamentary republic  -  President Boris Tadić  -  Prime Minister Vojislav KoÅ¡tunica Establishment  -  Formation 8th century   -  Independence c. ... ... A peninsula in Croatia A peninsula (from the latin words paene insula, almost island) is a geographical landform consisting of an extension of a body of land from a larger body of land, surrounded by water on three sides. ... (8th millennium BC – 7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – other millennia) Events circa 7000 BC – Agriculture and settlement at Mehrgarh in South Asia circa 6500 BC – English Channel formed circa 6100 BC – The Storegga Slide, causing a megatsunami in the Norwegian Sea circa 6000... In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: An archaeological culture is a pattern of similar artefacts and features found within a specific area over a limited period of time. ... During the 6th millennium BC, agriculture spreads from the Balkans to Italy and Eastern Europe and from Mesopotamia to Egypt. ... The fifth millennium is a period of time which will begin on 1 January 4001 and will end on 31 December 5000. ...

Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir
Mesolithic House at Lepenski Vir

Contents

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 750 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 750 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ...

Location and history of excavation

Lepenski Vir is located on the banks of the Danube in eastern Serbia, close to the Iron Gates gorge. The first excavations were made on the site in 1965. It was only in 1967 that its importance was fully understood after the discovery of the first Mesolithic sculptures. The excavations ended in 1971 when the whole site was relocated 29.7m higher to avoid flooding from a new artificial lake created in the Iron Gates gorge. The main contribution to exploration of this site was through the work of professor Dragoslav Srejović of the University of Belgrade. The Danube (ancient Danuvius, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river of the European Union and Europes second-longest[3] (after the Volga). ... The Iron Gate upstream The Iron Gate (Romanian: Porţile de Fier, Serbian: Gvozdena Vrata, Hungarian: Vaskapu, German: Eisernes Tor) is a gorge on the Danube River. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... The Iron Gate upstream The Iron Gate (Romanian: Porţile de Fier, Serbian: Gvozdena Vrata, Hungarian: Vaskapu, German: Eisernes Tor) is a gorge on the Danube River. ... University of Belgrade (in Serbian Универзитет у Београду) is the oldest and most important higher education institution in Belgrade and Serbia and Montenegro. ...


History

The main site consists of several archeological phases starting with Proto-Lepenski Vir, then Lepenski Vir Ia-e, Lepenski Vir II and Lepenski Vir III, occupation spanning well over a millennium from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic period. A number of satellite villages belonging to the same culture and time period were discovered in the surrounding area. These additional sites include Hajducka Vodenica, Padina, Vlasac, Ikaona, Kladovska Skela and others. Found artifacts include tools made from stone and bones, remains of houses and numerous sacral objects including unique stone sculptures. An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ...


It is assumed that the people of Lepenski Vir culture represent the descendants of the early European population of the Brno-Předmost hunter gatherer culture from the end of the last ice age. Archeological evidence of human habitation surrounding caves dates back to around 20,000 BC. The first settlement on the low plateau dates back to 7000 BC, a time when the climate became significantly warmer. Coordinates: Country Czech Republic Region South Moravia Founded 1146 Area    - city 230. ... This article is about the pre-agricultural practice of harvest from the wild. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... (8th millennium BC – 7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – other millennia) Events circa 7000 BC – Agriculture and settlement at Mehrgarh in South Asia circa 6500 BC – English Channel formed circa 6100 BC – The Storegga Slide, causing a megatsunami in the Norwegian Sea circa 6000...


The development of the settlement was strongly influenced by the topology of the surrounding area. It sat on a narrow plateau on the banks of the river, squeezed between cliffs and the flow of the Danube. As such it offered only limited resources in terms of food, raw materials and living space. This is reflected in the findings from the earliest layer. Proto-Lepenski Vir represents only a small settlement of maybe just 4 or 5 families with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. The primary food source of the inhabitants was probably fishing. Fishing communities of this type are typical for the wider Danube valley region during this period. The Danube (ancient Danuvius, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river of the European Union and Europes second-longest[3] (after the Volga). ... Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish by hooking, trapping, or gathering animals not classifiable as insects which breathe in water or pass their lives in water. ...


In later periods the problems of overpopulation of the original settlement became evident. At this time important sociological change occurred, a change that makes Lepenski Vir a truly outstanding culture in the Mesolithic era. The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ...


Archaeological findings in the surrounding area show evidence of temporary settlements built probably for the purpose of hunting and gathering of food or raw materials. This suggests a complex semi-nomadic economy with managed exploitation of resources in the area not immediately surrounding the village, something remarkable for the traditional view of Mesolithic people of Europe. More complexity in an economy leads to professional specialization and thus to social differentiation. Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. ... The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ...


This is clearly evident in the layout of the Lepenski Vir Ia-e settlement. The village is well planned. All houses are built according to one complex geometric pattern. These remains of houses constitute the distinct Lepenski Vir architecture, one of the important achievements of this culture. The main layout of the village is clearly visible. The dead were buried outside the village in an elaborate cemetery. The only exceptions were apparently a few notable elders who were buried behind the fireplaces in houses, according to a religious ritual. Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. ... A natural gas fireplace with a burning fire. ...


The complex social structure was dominated by a religious cult which probably served as a binding force for the community and a means of coordination of activity for its members. Numerous sacral objects that were discovered in this layer support this theory. The most remarkable examples are piscine sculptures, unique to the Lepenski Vir culture, which represent one of the first examples of monumental sacral art on European soil. This article is becoming very long. ...


Lepenski Vir gives us a rare opportunity to observe the gradual transition from the hunter gatherer way of life of early humans to the agricultural economy of the Neolithic. More and more complex social structure influenced the development of planning and self-discipline necessary for agricultural production. This article is about the pre-agricultural practice of harvest from the wild. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ...


Once agricultural products became a commodity, a new way of life replaced the old social structure. Distinct characteristics of Lepenski Vir culture, its house architecture and fish sculptures, disappeared gradually. Lepenski Vir III is representative of a Neolithic site and is more typical of other sites across a much wider area. The exact mechanism of this transition remains unclear but evidence suggest development through evolution rather than outside invasion.


Architecture

Seven successive settlements were discovered on the Lepenski Vir site with remains of 136 residential and sacral buildings dating from 6500 BC to 5500 BC. (8th millennium BC – 7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – other millennia) // Events Circa 7000 BC – Agriculture and settlement at Mehrgarh in South Asia. ... During the 6th millennium BC, agriculture spreads from the Balkans to Italy and Eastern Europe and from Mesopotamia to Egypt. ...


All the settlements follow the shape of the underlying terrain, a horseshoe shaped plateau. Settlements always face the direction of the river which was the obvious focus of life for its inhabitants. The basic layout of the settlement consists of two separate wings and a wide empty central space which served the purpose of a village square or meeting place. The settlement is radially divided with numerous pathways leading to the edge of the river. The outer edges of the village are parallel to the surrounding cliffs.


Domestic objects represent the transition from tent structure to house. All the houses share a very distinct shape, built according to a complicated geometric pattern. The basis of each of the houses is a circle segment of exactly 60 degrees constructed in the manner of an equilateral triangle. This unique layout demonstrates the level of mathematical and geometric knowledge of the inhabitants of Lepenski Vir. The peculiar choice of equilateral triangle as a basis instead of the more common round or rectangular form suggests significance of numbers in the lives of the settlement's inhabitants. Mathematics is commonly defined as the study of patterns of structure, change, and space; more informally, one might say it is the study of figures and numbers. Mathematical knowledge is constantly growing, through research and application, but mathematics itself is not usually considered a natural science. ... Geometry (from the Greek words Ge = earth and metro = measure) is the branch of mathematics first introduced by Theaetetus dealing with spatial relationships. ... For alternate meanings, such as the musical instrument, see triangle (disambiguation). ... In geometry, a rectangle is a defined as a quadrilateral polygon in which all four angles are right angles. ...


The interior of each house includes a fireplace in form of elongated rectangle placed on the long axis of the floorplan. These fireplaces were built from massive rectangular stone blocks. The fireplaces are further extended with stone block to create some kind of a small shrine in the back of the house. These shrines were always decorated with sculptures carved from massive round river stones and represent perhaps river gods or ancestors. Another significant feature of the houses is a shallow circular depression in the ground placed precisely in the exact middle. This perhaps represents some kind of an altar. Look up Altar in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Sculpture from Lepenski Vir
Sculpture from Lepenski Vir
Sculpture from Lepenski Vir
Sculpture from Lepenski Vir

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 750 pixel, file size: 46 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 750 pixel, file size: 46 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 432 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (540 × 750 pixel, file size: 106 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 432 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (540 × 750 pixel, file size: 106 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ...

Sculptures

The earliest sculptures found on the site date to the time of Lepenski Vir Ib settlement. They are present in all the following layers until the end of distinct Lepenski vir culture. All the sculptures were carved from round sandstone cobbles found on the river banks. Cobble is a geologic term for a rock or rock fragment with a grain size with dimensions between 64–256 mm (2. ...


The sculptures can be separated in two distinct categories, one with simple geometric patterns and the other representing humanoid figures. The latter is the most interesting. All of these figural sculptures were modelled in a naturalistic and strongly expressionistic manner. Only the head and face of the human figures were modelled realistically, with strong brow arches, an elongated nose and a wide, fish-like mouth. Hair, beard, arms and hands can be seen on some of the figures in a stylized form. Many fish-like features can be noticed. Along with the position which these sculptures had in the house shrine, they suggest a connection with river gods, probably a religious cult.


References

  • Dragoslav Srejovic Europe's First Monumental Sculpture: New Discoveries at Lepenski Vir. (1972) ISBN 0-500-390-096

External links

Coordinates: 44°33′40″N, 22°01′27″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Lepenski Vir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1302 words)
Lepenski Vir is located on the banks of the Danube in eastern Serbia, close to the Iron Gates gorge.
It is assumed that the people of Lepenski Vir culture represent the descendants of the early European population of the Brno-Psedmost hunter gatherer culture from the end of the last ice age.
Lepenski Vir gives us a rare opportunity to observe the gradual transition from the hunter gatherer way of life of early humans to the agricultural economy of the Neolithic.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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