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Vina culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Vina culture, also known as Turda culture or Turda-Vina culture, is a Neolithic archaeological culture in Southeastern Europe, dated to the period 55004500 BCE.[1] Named for its type site, Vina-Belo Brdo, a large tell settlement discovered by Serbian archaeologist Miloje Vasi in 1908, it represents the material remains of a prehistoric society mainly distinguished by its settlement pattern and ritual behaviour. Farming technology rst introduced to the region during the First Temperate Neolithic was developed further by the Vina culture, fuelling a population boom and producing some of the largest settlements in prehistoric Europe. These settlements maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity through the long-distance exchange of ritual items, but were probably not politically unied. Various styles of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic gurines are hallmarks of the culture, as are the Vina symbols, which some conjecture to be an early form of proto-writing. Though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", the Vina culture provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy.

Vina culture

Period Dates Type site Major sites

Middle Neolithic c. 55004500 BCE Vina-Belo Brdo Drenovac Gomolava Gornja Tuzla Plonik Rudna Glava Selevac

1 Geography and Demographics 2 Chronology 2.1 Decline 3 Economy 3.1 Subsistence 3.2 Industry 4 Culture 5 Major Vina sites 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Trtria Turda Vrac Large tell settlements Anthropomorphic gurines Vina symbols Preceded by Starevo culture

Geography and Demographics

The Vina culture occupied a region of Southeastern Europe (i.e. the Balkans) corresponding mainly to modern-day Serbia and Kosovo, but also parts of Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece.[1] This region had already been settled by farming societies of the First Temperate Neolithic, but during the Vina period sustained population growth led to an unprecedented level of settlement size and density along with the population of areas that were bypassed by earlier settlers. Vina settlements were considerably larger than any other contemporary European culture, in some instances surpassing the cities of the Aegean and early Near Eastern Bronze Age a millennium later. The largest sitessome more than 300,000 square metresmay have been home to up to 2,500 people.[2]

The origins of the Vina culture are debated. Before the advent of radiocarbon dating it was thought, on the basis of typological similarities, that Vina and other Neolithic cultures belonging to the 'Dark Burnished Ware' complex were the product of migrations from Anatolia to the Balkans. This had to be reassessed in light of radiocarbon dates which showed that the Dark Burnished Ware complex appeared at least a millennium before Troy I, the putative starting point of the westward migration. An alternative hypothesis where the Vina culture developed locally from the preceding Starevo culturerst proposed by Colin Renfrew in 1969is now accepted by many scholars, but the evidence is not conclusive.[3][4] The Vina culture can be divided into two phases, closely linked with those of its type site Vina-Belo Brdo:[5] Vina culture Vina-Belo Brdo Years BCE 55004800 Vina B Vina C Late Vina period Vina D Abandoned 48004200

Early Vina period Vina A

In its later phase the centre of the Vina network shifted from Vina-Belo Brdo to Vrac, and the long-distance exchange of obsidian and Spondylus artefacts from modern-day Hungary and the Aegean respectively became more important than that of Vina gurines. Eventually the network lost its cohesion altogether and fell into decline. It is likely that, after two millennia of intensive farming, economic stresses caused by decreasing soil fertility were partly responsible for this decline.[6] According to Marija Gimbutas, the Vina culture was part of Old Europe a relatively homogeneous, peaceful and matrifocal culture that occupied Europe during the Neolithic. According

to this theory its period of decline was followed by an invasion of warlike, horse-riding ProtoIndo-European tribes from the Pontic-Caspian steppe.[7]

Most people in Vina settlements would have been occupied with the provision of food. They practised a mixed subsistence economy where agriculture, animal husbandry and hunting and foraging all contributed to the diet of the growing Vina population. Compared to earlier cultures of the First Temperate Neolithic (FTN) these practices were intensied, with increasing specialisation on high-yield cereal crops and the secondary products of domesticated animals, consistent with the increased population density.[8] Vina agriculture introduced common wheat, oat and ax to temperate Europe, and made greater use of barley than the cultures of the FTN. These innovations increased crop yields and allowed the manufacture of clothes made from plant textiles as well as animal products (i.e. leather and wool). There is indirect evidence that Vina farmers made use of the cattle-driven plough, which would have had a major effect on the amount of human labour required for agriculture as well as opening up new area of land for farming. Many of the largest Vina sites occupy regions dominated by soil types that would have required ploughing.[8] Areas with less arable potential were exploited through transhumant pastoralism, where groups from the lowland villages moved their livestock to nearby upland areas on a seasonal basis. Cattle was more important than sheep and goats in Vina herds and, in comparison to the cultures of the FTN, livestock was increasingly kept for milk, leather and as draft animals, rather than solely for meat. Seasonal movement to upland areas was also motivated by the exploitation of stone and mineral resources. Where these were especially rich permanent upland settlements were established, which would have relied more heavily on pastoralism for subsistence.[8] Though increasingly focused on domesticated plants and animals, the Vina subsistence economy still made use of wild food resources. The hunting of deer, boar and auroch, shing of carp and catsh, shell-collecting, fowling and foraging of wild cereals, forest fruits and nuts made up a signicant part of the diet at some Vina sites. These, however, were in the minority; settlements were invariably located with agricultural rather than wild food potential in mind, and wild resources were usually underexploited unless the area was low in arable productivity.[8]

Generally speaking craft production within the Vina network was carried out at the household level; there is little evidence for individual economic specialisation. Nevertheless, some Vina artefacts were made with considerable levels of technical skill. A two-stage method was used to produce pottery with a polished, multi-coloured nish, known as 'Black-topped' and 'Rainbow Ware'. Sometimes powdered cinnabar and limonite were applied to the red clay for decoration. The style of Vina clothing can be inferred from gurines depicted with open-necked tunics and decorated skirts. Cloth was woven from both ax and wool (with ax becoming more important in the later Vina period), and buttons made from shell or stone were also used.[9]

The Vina site of Plonik has produced the earliest example of copper tools in the world. However, the people of the Vina network practised only an early and limited form of metallurgy.[10] Copper ores were mined on a large scale at sites like Rudna Glava, but only a fraction were smelted and cast into metal artefacts and these were ornaments and trinkets rather than functional tools, which continued to be made from chipped stone, bone and antler. It is likely that the primary use of mined ores was in their powdered form, in the production of pottery or as bodily decoration.[9]

Culture Major Vina sites

Drenovac Gomolava Gornja Tuzla Plonik Rudna Glava Selevac Trtria Turda Vina-Belo Brdo, the type site Vrac
An anthropomorphic gurine with incised lines depicting clothing.

See also
Trtria tablets Lady of Vina

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. ^ a b Chapman 2000, p. 239. ^ Chapman 1981, pp. 4051. ^ Chapman 1981, pp. 15. ^ Chapman 1981, pp. 3339. ^ Chapman 1981, pp. 1732; calibrated with CalPal ( . ^ Chapman 1981, pp. 132139. ^ Gimbutas 1976. ^ a b c d Chapman 1981, pp. 84116. ^ a b Chapman 1981, pp. 117131. ^ Cvekic 2007.
The Lady of Vinain iconic Vina anthropomorphic gurine

Chapman, John (1981). The Vina culture of south-east Europe: Studies in chronology,

economy and society (2 vols). BAR International Series. 117. Oxford: BAR. ISBN 0-86054-139-8. Chapman, John (2000). Fragmentation in Archaeology: People, Places, and Broken Objects. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-15803-9. Cvekic, Ljilja (12 November 2007). "Prehistoric women had passion for fashion" ( /idUSL0782181520071112?sp=true) . Reuters. /idUSL0782181520071112?sp=true. Retrieved 23 September 2010. Gimbutas, Marija A., ed. (1976). Neolithic Macedonia as reected by excavation at Anza, southeast Yugoslavia. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology, University of California.

Trt ria Turda

Vrac Gomolava Vina-Belo Brdo Gornja Tuzla Selevac Rudna Glava

Plonik Drenovac

Further reading
Vasi, Miloje (1932). Preistorijska Vina I locations of major Vina archaeological [Prehistoric Vina I]. Beograd. sites. Vasi, Miloje (1936). Preistorijska Vina II [Prehistoric Vina II]. Beograd. Vasi, Miloje (1936). Preistorijska Vina III [Prehistoric Vina III]. Beograd. Vasi, Miloje (1936). Preistorijska Vina IV [Prehistoric Vina IV]. Beograd.
Map of Serbia with markers showing the

External links
Gallery of Vina pottery and ceramic sculpture ( 3D reconstruction of a Vina house ( on YouTube Retrieved from " oldid=481766864" Categories: Vina culture Prehistory of Southeastern Europe Archaeological cultures in Serbia Archaeological cultures in Romania Neolithic Europe Neolithic Serbia Archaeology of Romania Archaeology of Bulgaria Archaeology of Serbia Archaeology of Macedonia Pre-Indo-Europeans Archaeology of Greece 5th millennium BC 4th millennium BC

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