Lepenski Vir

Lepenski Vir is unique with its uninterrupted sequence of Final Mesolithic and Early Neolithic layers. It has been chosen as a target site in this project to address the impact of indigenous hunter-gatherers on adaptations of farming diet, food preferences, and food processing technology.

The site was excavated in 1965-1971 by D. Srejović (Srejović 1969). In Phase I-II it was occupied by a sedentary community of hunter-gatherers with elaborate material culture, who exploited aquatic resources (Radovanović and Voytek 1997; Borić 2002). Phase III shows the introduction of a new material culture, e.g. crouched inhumations, pit houses, domed ovens, domesticates, pottery and the use of saddle querns (Borić 2002Perić and Nikolić 2004; Antonović 2006). Botanical macrorests could not be recovered at Lepenski Vir (see Bonsall et al. 1997, 57) but flotation at Schela Cladovei revealed wild plants (Mason et al. 1996). Domestic species were rare in the neolithic faunal assemblage (Bökönyi 1972; Dimitriević 2000). Palaeodietary studies of stable N and C isotopes of human bones demonstrated a gradual transition from aquatic to terrestrial resources (Bonsall et al. 1997; Bonsall et al. 2000; Bonsall et al. 2004). Strontium isotope analyses showed individuals of non-local origin (Borić & Price 2013).

Several programs for radiocarbon dating of Lepenski Vir provide a span of 6200-5900 calBC for the “mesolithic” Phases I-II and 5900-5400 calBC for the “neolithic” Phase III (Cook et al. 2002; Bonsall et al. 2004).