SEVEN RIVERS LAND – THE CRADLE OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION
Archeologists and historians until modern times considered that European civilization began around the island of Crete and ancient Greece. New findings show otherwise, making it rather realistic that the cradle used to be here in the mid-part of the Danube River, in and around the Pannonian Plain in South East Europe , in a land experts tend to call “Seven Rivers Land”, comprising the course of the longest and most important river – the Danube, along with its basin, shaped up by smaller rivers – Sava, Drina, Tisa, Drava, Morava and Tamiš, with the city of Belgrade at its center.
Lepenski Vir, a Paleolithic site on the banks of the Danube, is a proof that the local culture developed social relations, architecture and art more than six thousand years ago. Cultural center of prehistoric world was right here in what today is Serbia. The culture of Lepenski Vir is around 8.500 to 10.000 years old and it is a cradle of archaeological discoveries that have changed our knowledge about the early Stone Age in Europe.
Lepenski Vir is one of the largest and most significant prehistoric archeological sites from the Stone Age. It is located on the right bank of the Danube in the Djerdap gorge (Iron gates) about 200 km East of Belgrade. It was the center of one of the most complex prehistoric cultures.Rich cultural layer reveals the traces of highly developed culture that had complex social relations and as such was the first in Europe to organize its settlement according to a plan.
The discovery of this prehistoric settlement that was named after a vortex in the Danube has changed the image we had about the early Stone Age, expanding our knowledge about how developed human communities, that walked the Earth almost 10.000 years ago, were.
The Starčevo culture, is an archeological culture of South-Eastern Europe, dating to the Neolithic period between 8.000 and 6500 years ago.
The village of Starčevo is located on the north bank of the Danube in Serbia, opposite Belgrade. It represents the earliest settled farming society in the area, although hunting and gathering still provided a significant portion of the inhabitants’ diet.
The remains of the most importrant Neolithic civilization in Europe lies in Vinča, on the right bank of the Danube, not far from downtown Belgrade. When the mighty Danube returned to its river bed a century ago, it revealed a great treasure. Since then the archaeological excavations have been revealing numerous cultural layers of a civilization preserved in a seemingly just an ordinary hill in Vinča.
Archaeologists concluded that it was the largest Neolithic settlement in Europe, dating back more than 6.000 years ago, and there they found the remains of several cultural layers. The archaeological treasure of Vinča was found at 10m of depth and it contains numerous layers of civilizations dating from the Neolithic Period over the Bronze Age to the tombs from the Middle Ages.
It is considered to have been the center of a civilization that spread across the territory of Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. What makes this site so unique is the large number of identical objects indicating that people had had some kind of standardized production in the late Stone Age. This civilization was much more developed then it was firstly taught. Excavations revealed that this was an urban settlement.
This ancient metropolis was burnt numerous times, but some of those fires actually did a great favor to mankind. Due to the fire, traces of houses and other objects were preserved in plaster, helping us understand our ancestors’ way of life. The houses were made of mud and sand, set in narrow streets, and the early men were much more civilized and creative than we could even imagine.