The Archeological Site ‘Starcevo’

The archeological site lies to the west of the village of Starcevo, on the left bank of Danube, approximately 8km from Pancevo. The site is famous worldwide for exceptional archeological discoveries and the culture of Middle Neolithic period (early Stone Age) developed on the area of the central Balkan Peninsula from VII to V millennium B.C (6200-5200 B.C.)named ‘Starcevo Culture’.

‘Starcevo Culture’ is the oldest Neolithic cultural group on the central Balkan Peninsula. The location in Vojvodina was the center of the culture which later spread to Montenegro (the valley of the Lim river), Bosnia (the valley of the Bosnia river), to Slavonia, Srem and Backa, to the parts of Transylvania and to the central Serbia and Kosovo and Metohija.

Only the settlement of Starcevo ‘City’ is on the river terrace. The settlements of the Starcevo culture were rarely found on the sunny slopes near moors or in the valleys (near streams or springs).

The dwellings were mostly underground with oval or rectangular basis, sticks as walls and a hearth. At the locality Starcevo ‘City’ several round and oval shaped underground dwellings, 2-6m in diameter, were discovered.

Archeological research of the site discovered the lack of burial ground and complete neglect of the funeral rituals or gifts for the deceased. The deceased were buried in squatting position, in the very settlement in the waste pits. Several of such graves were excavated on the site of Starcevo ‘City’.

The same site was the location where the archeologists discovered a large quantity of stone and bone weapons and tools, and many clay dishes painted in white, black and red. Such artefacts represent the main features of the culture.

The first archeological researches of the site were conducted at the beginning of the 20th century (1922, 1928, 1931, and 1932) by the National Museum of Belgrade with the aid of Harvard University, therefore most of the transportable material is in the National Museum of Belgrade and several items are part of the permanent display of the National Museum in Pancevo.The National Museum of Belgrade did additional excavations in 1969-70. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Pancevo performed excavation of the site surroundings under its jurisdiction in 2003, 2004 and 2006.

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The development of this site is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.

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