1. Prehistoric babies in the (bio)archaeological record. Sofija Stefanović. 22nd Neolithic Seminar: Modelling the Processes of Neolithisation, 6.11-7.11.2015. Ljubljana, Slovenia. (PDF)
Abstract: The whole evolution of human fertility is based only on indirect evidences, such as sites densities and paleodemographic reconstructions, and there is no evidence about number of babies born by prehistoric mothers. On those indirect evidences we have built one of the most important chapter of human evolution: people lived at the very low population densities until the beginning of the Neolithic when they experienced fertility increase. Starting point of the new ERC BIRTH project is that such important chapter of human evolution cannot be written without direct evidences about fertility rate and project intends to provide first direct, skeletal evidence about number of babies born by prehistoric mothers. The project developes an integrative framework for understanding skeletal, nutritional and cultural effects on fertility rates, and for the study of bioarchaeological evidence of birthing in the Central Balkans between 10000 5000BC. In this presentation, special attention will be on possible role of culture in prehistoric demographic shift, and some archaeological evidences about community attitudes to birthing process and childcare from prehistoric Balkans will be presented.
2. Demography of the Central Balkan Neolithic. Preliminary results of population dynamics reconstruction using summed radiocarbon probability distributions as population proxy. Marko Porčić, Tamara Blagojević, Sofija Stefanović. 22nd Neolithic seminar: Modelling the Processes of Neolithisation, 06-07.11.2015, Ljubljana, Slovenia. (PDF)
Abstract: The Central Balkans has great importance for understanding the spread of the Neolithic in Europe, especially the issues related to the Neolithic demographic transition, yet little is known about the population dynamics in the region during this critical period. In this study, which is a part of the ERC BIRTH project, we apply the method of summed calibrated probability distributions on the published radiocarbon dates from Serbia in order to make a preliminary reconstruction of population dynamics during the Neolithic in the Central Balkans. The results suggest that there were 3 potential demographic events: 1) an initial population increase episode related to the earliest Neolithic ~6000 cal BC, followed by a trough ~5800 cal BC which was in turn followed by a rebound; 2) another decrease between 5500 and 5400 cal BC, just before the transition from the Early (Starčevo) into the Late Neolithic (Vinča) period; 3) major population growth during the Late Neolithic period. It should be emphasized that these results should be taken as preliminary and tentative as they are based on a relatively small set of published radiocarbon dates collated from various sources motivated by different research agendas, which might have introduced some bias into the results.
3. The stress of farming: bodies and health during the Mesolithic and the Neolithic Transition in Serbia. Jelena Jovanović, Tamara Blagojević, Camille de Becdelievre, Sofija Stefanović. IUAES inter congress: World anthropologies and privatization of knowledge: engaging anthropology in public, Abstract Book, 04-09.05.2016, Dubrovnik, Croatia. (PDF)
Abstract: The Neolithic transition, the passage from mobile foraging to sedentary farming, was a major shift during human prehistory: a series of behavioral and ecological transformations substantially modified the daily lifestyles and eventually impacted human biology. Studies suggested that this transition positively impacted fertility rates, promoted reproduction and enhanced population fitness; however, bioarchaeological studies carried on human remains have also documented a general decline in health status and a global increase in morbidity, suggesting that the shift toward agriculture also paradoxically had an adverse effect on individuals’ physiological fitness. Using 200 Mesolithic and Neolithic skeletal remains (9500-5500 BC) discovered on the territory of Serbia, this research test the assumption that the transition to the Neolithic brought important biological changes which are reflected by a higher prevalence of various skeletal and dental pathological conditions, and by a global reduction in the size of populations under the effect of growth disturbances. Two lines of evidence are compared chronologically and spatially: nonspecific stress markers (Cribra orbitalia, Porotic hyperostosis, Enamel hypoplasia), indicators of diet (dental caries and calculus), and body proportions (body mass, stature and body mass index). This study suggests that the Neolithic transition – when Humans took the control over the (re)production of plants and animal species – can also be seen as a process of “Domestication of the Human species”.
4. Culture, demography and climate at the beginning of the Neolithic in Southeast Europe. Marko Porčić, Tamara Blagojević, Kristina Penezić, Sofija Stefanović. IUAES inter congress: World anthropologies and privatization of knowledge: engaging anthropology in public, Abstract Book, 04-09.05.2016, Dubrovnik, Croatia. (PDF)
Abstract: It has long been recognized in anthropology and archaeology that there is a complex relation between culture, demography and climate. This issue has been of central importance in the Neolithic archaeology in Europe, especially for the related questions of the spread of Neolithic and the Neolithic demographic transition. We present a critical review of the previous research along with new contributions based on the results of palaeodemographic reconstruction of population dynamics for the parts of Southeast Europe during the 7th and 6th millennia BCE. The summed radiocarbon calibrated probability distributions method was applied on published datasets from Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary, and the resulting curves were compared with the climate proxy data. We conclude that there are some indications that climate patterns were correlated with changes in culture and demography at various scales, but at present there is no sufficient data to establish causal links.
5. Ispitivanje ishrane prvih zemljoradnika i populacione dinamike u neolitu centralnog Balkana. Dragana Filipović, Camille de Becdelievre, Thomas Büdel, Jelena Jovanović, Kristina Penezić, Sofija Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XXXIX skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti, 02-04.6.2016., Belgrade, Vršac. (PDF)
Abstract: U svetskoj literaturi široko je prihvaćeno mišljenje da su pojava poljoprivrede i razvoj sedelačkog načina života doveli do porasta stepena fertiliteta u ljudskim zajednicama, što je dalje uzrokovalo uvećanje populacije i gustine naseljenosti, da bi, na kraju, doprinelo formiranju najranijih urbanih centara. Nije, međutim, do sada ispitan nijedan direktan dokaz, poput bioloških indikatora vidljivih na ili u skeletnim ostacima ljudi, koji bi definitivno dokazao tu pretpostavljenu vezu između “uzroka” (promene u ishrani) i “posledice” (demografski rast) ovog procesa. Projekat BIRTH (koji finansira Evropski istraživački savet/European Research Council) za cilj ima da ispita vezu između konzumiranja “nove hrane” i populacione dinamike tokom perioda u kom na Balkanu dolazi do prelaska na poljoprivrednu proizvodnju. Prethodne antropološke i analize stabilnih izotopa u ljudskim ostacima prikupljenim sa nekoliko mezolitskih i ranoneolitskih lokaliteta u regionu sugerišu mogući rast populacije počev od kraja kasnog mezolita, kao i varijacije u dužini perioda dojenja dece početkom neolita. U okviru BIRTH projekta, jedan od istraživačkih koraka je analiza biomarkera očuvanih na i u ljudskim kostima i zubima, kao i na alatkama. Prisustvo biomarkera biljaka poslužiće kao osnov za utvrđivanje uloge domestikovanih biljaka i životinja u arheološki prepoznatom povećanju stope fertiliteta u vreme razvoja poljoprivrede.
6. Starčevačka grupna grobnica na Vinči ili mesto neolitskog zločina. Sofija Stefanović, Jelena Jovanović, Maja Miljević, Saša Živanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XXXIX skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti, 02-04.6.2016., Belgrade, Vršac. (PDF)
Abstract: Tokom arheoloških istraživanja na Vinči 1931. godine, Miloje Vasić otkrio je grupnu grobnicu koja je pripadala starčevačkoj kulturi. Vasić je sahranu devet odraslih individua okarakterisao kao “kosturnicu sa dromosom”, a autori koji su se nakon njega bavili ovim nalazom, iako su imali različite stavove o arhitektonskim karakteristikama grobnice, nisu dovodili u pitanje da se radi o grupnoj grobnici. Međutim, nedavna analiza orginalne fotodokumentacije “grupne grobnice” koja se čuva u Arheološkoj zbirci Filozofskog fakulteta u Beogradu obavljena u Laboratoriji za bioarheologiju, pružila je sasvim drugačiju interpretaciju ovog nalaza. Naime, za četiri individue (grobovi 2, 3, 4 i 8) nedvosmisleno je utvrđeno da su sahranjene grudima i licem ka zemlji, što pored toga što naravno ne odgovora stračevačkoj pogrebnoj praksi, može da ukazuje ili na specifičnu pogrebnu praksu koja do sada u ovoj kulturu nije zabeležena ili, što je verovatnije, na to da su bar kada su u pitanju ove četiri individue, u pitanju ili nasilne smrti ili određen negativni odnos prema ovim pokojnicima ili pak da je sama lokacija mesto zločina. Da se najverovatnije radi o neolitskom mestu zločina govori naročito položaj individue iz groba 8 kod koje su, pored toga što je sahranjena grudima ka zemlji, femuri savijeni tako da su postavljeni na leđa, što je položaj do kojeg je moralo doći nasilnim aktom koji je vrlo verovatno podrazumevao i vezivanje. Cilj rada je da se pokaže kako forenzički pristup i samoj fotodokumentaciji može pružiti obilje novih podataka ne samo o pogrebnoj praksi nego eventualno može omogućiti i otkriće praistorijskih mesta zločina.
7. Kultura, demografija i klima početkom neolita u jugoistočnoj Evropi. Marko Porčić, Tamara Blagojević, Kristina Penezić, Sofija Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XXXIX skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti, 02-04.6.2016., Belgrade, Vršac. (PDF)
Abstarct: Svest o kompleksnosti odnosa kulture, demografije i klime već dugo je prisutna u arheologiji i antropologiji. Ova tema je od centralnog značaja u neolitskoj arheologiji Evrope, a posebno kada je reč o pitanjima koja se odnose na širenje neolita i neolitsku demografsku tranziciju. U ovom radu daćemo kritički osvrt na ranija istraživanja, kao i nove rezultate zasnovane na paleodemografskoj rekonstrukciji populacione dinamike u delovima jugoistočne Evrope tokom 7. i 6. milenijuma pre naše ere. Metod sumiranih distribucija verovatnoće kalibrisanih radiokarbonskih datuma primenjen je na publikovane datume sa teritorije Srbije, Bugarske i Mađarske, a dobijene krivulje poređene su sa podacima o klimatskim pokazateljima. Rezultati ukazuju na to da postoje određene naznake o tome da su klimatski obrasci povezani sa promenama u kulturi i demografiji na različitim skalama, ali da na trenutnom stepenu istraženosti ne postoje dovoljno jaki pokazatelji uzročnih veza među ovim pojavama.
8. New weaning food for prehistoric babies and origin of caries. Sofija Stefanović, Jelena Jovanović, Kristina Penezić, Tamara Blagojević. 20th Congress of the European Anthropological Association (EAA), European Anthropology in a Changing World: From Culture to Global Biology, 24-28.08.2016, Zagreb, Croatia. (PDF)
Abstract: Increase in caries is described in many Neolithic populations and often interpreted as a consequence of diet based more on carbohydrates. However, we suggest that intensification of caries is probably more connected to new way of food preparation with Neolithic than with new type of food. Special threat for deciduous teeth was new weaning food for babies, probably kind of porridge based on grinned cereals and milk which form a sticky paste around the teeth causing dental caries. We combine different lines of archaeological and bioarchaeological evidences from the territory of the Central Balkans which suggest appearance of new weaning food and increase of caries on deciduous teeth with Neolithic. First, we present our results of microscopic study of 40 Early Neolithic bone spoons from the sites Starčevo and Donja Branjevina, on which we had found evidences of deciduous teeth bite-marks, suggesting their usage for feeding the babies with porridge. Secondly, we present appearance of caries on children with stable isotope information on diet from the site of Ajmana, on which we had found correlation between diet and caries presence. Our results indicate that in further understanding of origin of caries more attention should be paid on new way of food preparation in Neolithic, rather than on food itself.
9. Children feeding practices and growth patterns during Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Danube Gorges. Jelena Jovanović, Camille de Becdelievre, Gwenaelle Goude, Estelle Herrscher, Sofija Stefanović. 8th World Archaeological Congress (WAC 8), 28.08-02.09.2016, Kyoto, Japan.The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition is the major shift in subsistence correlated with a general decline in health status and a global reduction of body proportions.(PDF, WAC-8.PDF)
Abstract: Recent stable isotope analyses performed on Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals from the Danube Gorges (Balkans, 9500-5500 BC) document significant differences in term of children feeding practices. Therefore, we examine here how different feeding practices could have influenced children growth patterns and health status. We reconstruct the evolution of growth patterns and health status per age categories (infant-early childhood-childhood), and interpret the results in the light of our current understanding of breastfeeding and weaning patterns.
10. Female stress during the Neolithic Demographic Transition in the Balkans: evidences from tooth cementum. Krsitina Penezić, Sofija Stefanović, Ursulla Wittwer-Backofen, Petra Urban, Jelena Jovanović. 8th World Archaeological Congress (WAC 8), 28.08-02.09.2016, Kyoto, Japan.(PDF, WAC-8.PDF)
Abstract:It is generally accepted that the first fertility increase occured in the Neolithic, during the process of the so-called Neolithic Demographic Transition. But this hypothesis is not based on biological skeletal evidence of fertility, but rather derived from indirect evidence. In order to provide direct evidences about female fertility ERC BIRTH project investigates “crisis lines” which correspond to stressful life events and are visible in tooth cementum. We compare number of “crisis lines” in Mesolithic and Neolithic females from the Balkans (10000-5000 BC) in order to investigate whether the number of stressful events increased with Neolithic as a possible consequence of increase of fertility.
11. Births, mothers and babies: a bioarchaeological perspective. Session. Sofija Stefanović, Gwenaelle Goude. 8th World Archaeological Congress (WAC 8), 28.08-02.09.2016, Kyoto, Japan. (PDF, WAC-8.PDF)
Abstract:Although births, mothers and babies present key pillars for human survival, their role has not been adequately studied, either by physical anthropology or archaeology. The attitudes of past communities towards pregnancy, birth and neonatal care must have played a key role in the success of the birthing process, but these have also not been satisfactorily addressed in archaeological writing. The aim of this session is to provide an overview of bioarchaeological research into the place of births, mothers and babies in ancient populations across time and space. Contributions will use multidisciplinary approaches and improved methodologies to address the roles and circumstances of birthing in human evolution. New methods for studying pregnancy, breastfeeding-weaning and social status of women and children, eg., through studies of nutrition, health, and growth, will be showcased.
12. Between the forest and the river: hunting and fishing in the Danube Gorges in the Mesolithic. Ivana Živaljević, Vesna Dimitrijević, Sofija Stefanović. 22nd Meeting of the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists), Abstract book. 31.08–4.09.2016, Vilnius, Lithuania. (PDF)
Abstract:Ever since the discovery of the site of Lepenski Vir, it was recognized that fishing had an important role in the settling of the Danube Gorges in the Mesolithic. The importance of wild game hunting has also been confirmed by the analyses of animal bones and emphasized ever since the first published archaeozoological reports. The issue of the role of terrestrial vs. aquatic resources in the diet has been addressed from the perspective of stable isotope analysis, with somewhat contrasting results. The analyses of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios have suggested that the Mesolithic inhabitants of the Danube Gorges consumed considerable amounts of fish, with gradual broadening of the dietary spectrum to include terrestrial resources at the onset of the Neolithic (Bonsall et al. 1997; 2000; 2004; Grupe et al. 2003; Borić et al. 2004), whereas the analysis of sulphur (δ34S) isotope ratio has suggested that there have been significant inter- and intra-site variabilities in dietary practices (Nehlich et al. 2010). However, this issue had not so far been addressed in greater detail from an archaeozoological perspective, mainly due to great difficulties and biases in cross-referencing quantified mammal and fish remains, but also due to the fragmentary nature of faunal assemblages from some of the sites. Although the assessment of precise proportion of wild game meat vs. fish in the diet is elusive, particularly due to the differences in mammalian and fish skeletons, and biases affecting their survival and recovery, we attempted to tackle this issue by estimating their dietary contribution and nutritive potential on the basis of the sum of average weight of the minimum number of individuals for both mammals and fish. In addition, we estimated the proportion (size and number) of economically most important fish (cyprinids, Wels catfish and acipenserids) in the assemblages from the sites of Lepenski Vir, Vlasac and Padina. Even with methodological biases concerning recovery techniques employed during the old and new excavations, and different areas of the sites they have encompassed, we found that fish species composition on the three sites varied to some extent. Given the site locations, their short distance from one another and similar landscape and environmental conditions (vicinity of cataracts and large whirlpools), this propensity towards fishing particular kinds of fish could suggest that the sites functioned as specialized fishing centres, and held different species of fish in special regard.
13. (Dis)continuities in fishing practices at the onset of Neolithic: a case study from Starčevo, Serbia. Ivana Živaljević, Sofija Stefanović. 22nd Meeting of the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists), Abstract book. 31.08–4.09.2016, Vilnius, Lithuania.(PDF)
Abstract:Whereas the significance of fishing is well documented at a number of Mesolithic and Early Neolithic (c. 9500 – 5500 cal BC) sites in the Danube Gorges (the Danube stretch between present-day Serbia and Romania) and is corroborated by archaeozoological, isotopic and archaeological evidence, this important activity has received less attention in the study of surrounding areas. The issue of determining the role of fishing is particularly relevant for the understanding of transitions from foraging to first food producing economies in the North-Central Balkans, the latter commonly associated with the Starčevo-Körös-Criş cultural complex (c. 6200 – 5500 cal BC). Existing data on isotopic dietary signatures of human remains from Early Neolithic Starčevo-Körös-Criş sites signal a more terrestrial diet (Whittle et al. 2002; 2005), however archaeozoological data from several Körös sites in Hungary (Bartosiewicz et al. 2012) suggest that the role of fishing, in addition to being obscured by inadequate recovery techniques, would have varied greatly depending on site location and other socio-economic factors. In this paper, we present and discuss the results of the analysis of fish remains from the eponimous, Early Neolithic site of Starčevo-Grad in Serbia. The site is situated on the former bank of the Danube at the edge of its floodplan, little over a 100 km upstream from the Danube Gorges as the crow flies. The faunal remains collected over the course of 1932 and 1969-1970 excavation campaigns (originating from both domestic and wild animals, waterfowl and fishes) were previously published by Clason (1980), and are indicative of a both stock-breeding and a hunting/fishing economy. The fish remains, albeit few, were collected mostly by hand; and the role of fishing was probably more substantial. The occurrence of large fish hooks and fishing net weights speak in favour of such hypothesis, as well as the environment of the site, which was located in the very proximity of the river. In addition to the re-analysis of the remains from older excavations of Starčevo-Grad, our study also included the analysis of fish remains collected during 2003-2008 excavation campaigns. The aim of this paper, as well as future analyses of Early Neolithic faunal assemblages is to problematize the presumed dichotomy between Mesolithic and Early Neolithic subsistence strategies and to assess the role of fishing at the advent of food producing economies in the Central Balkans.
14. Aurochs’ distribution and evidence of hunting in the pre-Neolithic and Neolithic Central Balkans. Vesna Dimitrijević, Tamara Blagojević, Sofija Stefanović. 22nd Meeting of the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists), Abstract book. 31.08–4.09.2016, Vilnius, Lithuania. (PDF)
Cattle played a dominant role from the very beginning of neolithization in the Central Balkans, unlike in southernmost Europe, where sheep and goat, mostly for environmental reasons, preceded and subsequently kept their key position in animal husbandry. As genetic evidence suggests, cattle was introduced to Europe from its initial centres of domestication in the Near East. However, incidences of local domestication cannot be completely ruled out, and, even more so, hybridization of domestic stock with wild progenitors. In order to understand whether these processes ever happened, data on the distribution of the wild ancestor of cattle in the region are important, as well as its features observed from skeletal remains and archaeological contexts of discovery. Although scarce, aurochs were present in the Central Balkans during the Late Pleistocene, as can be judged from the faunal remains from Palaeolithic sites and alluvial deposits. The steppe bison, another large bovid of comparable size and ethology, was more frequent. Its prevalence is documented both by the number of sites where its presence has been confirmed, and by the ratio of bison and aurochs remains at sites where both species were found. Steppe bison became globally extinct toward the end of the Pleistocene, although the more precise timing of its disappearance in the region is not known. It can be hypothesized that aurochs consequently became more numerous and substituted bison in an empty niche, but there is also a lack of data on the presence of aurochs at the end of the Last Glacial and the beginning of Holocene. The remains of aurochs from Pleistocene alluvial deposits mainly consist of cranial parts, whereas those from Palaeolithic sites include scattered bone fragments and teeth, which makes it largely impossible to determine whether they accumulated as prey of human hunters or large animal predators. The earliest occurrence of contextualized auroch remains is a partial skeleton discovered in a Mesolithic layer at the site of Velesnica in the Danube Gorges. The processing of the animal carcass is evident from the butchering marks on the articulated neck vertebra. During the Mesolithic, auroch remains are scarce at other sites in the Danube Gorges and other parts of the Central Balkans. In the Neolithic, the remains of aurochs became a regular component of settlement animal bone refuses, but mostly in modest proportions, show that the intensity of hunting was not high. Nevertheless, owing to its cognation to domestic cattle, potential local domestication trials and hybridization, or solely to its impressive appearance, the significant symbolic role of this large bovid, one that is going to endure throughout prehistory, was probably established already at the onset of the Neolithic. In this respect, the sudden and synchronous appearance of spoons made from auroch metatarsal bones in the Central Balkans, as well as within the large area stretching from Anatolia to Pannonian plane and Carpathian Mountains is intriguing.
15. Exploitation strategies of the animal environment of the last hunter-gatherers and first farmers in Europe. Monica Margarit, Adina Boroneant, Vesna Dimitrijević, Clive Bonsall. 22nd Meeting of the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists), Abstract book. 31.08–4.09.2016, Vilnius, Lithuania.(PDF)
The profound climatic changes and the need to identify solutions for the survival of humankind represent major topics of debate in contemporary society. Throughout their 200,000-year history modern humans have been faced with climatic changes some of them radical, which had a significant impact on the strategies employed for the exploitation and management of the environment, especially the animal life, and were reflected in the types of economic practices. Through this session proposal, we will analyze, quantify and compare the effects of this phenomenon and provide an integrated view of the ways in which the animal environment was exploited by prehistoric communities at the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer-stockbreeder, identifying and comparing different eco-cultural models developed across Europe. The investigations will cover two priority domains: biodiversity evolution (e.g., taxonomic richness; magnitude of faunal turnover) and correlative human societal transformations, especially in animal management and techniques of exploitation (bone manufacturing). Among others, the aim of our session includes the identification of the modifications that intervened in the relation between the exploitation of the animal environment and the way in which it was reflected in palaeo-economy, habitat, social or spiritual organization. We invite speakers to discuss these topics from different perspectives; both theoretical and practical approaches are encouraged.
16. Detecting the signal of the Neolithic demographic transition in Central Balkans using summed radiocarbon probability distributions: theoretical and methodological issues. Marko Porčić, Sofija Stefanović. Recent issues in palaeodemography, 22-24.11.2016, Rzeszow, Poland.
The theory of the Neolithic demographic transition predicts that the introduction of farming and sedentary lifestyle will lead to an increase in fertility resulting in a population increase. The aim of the ERC BIRTH project is to detect this signal in the Central Balkans region using skeletal and radiocarbon evidence. In this presentation the focus is on the summed radiocarbon probability distributions as a proxy for population dynamics. We first discuss potential demographic scenarios for the Early Neolithic of Central Balkans in the context of the Neolithic demographic transition theory. These scenarios are then converted into mathematical models of population dynamics. The theoretical models are explored by using the most likely parameter combinations from the literature in order to make a theoretical evaluation of potential demographic scenarios in Central Balkans. In the next step, we simulate the radiocarbon sampling process and apply the method of summed probability distributions to the simulated data in order to explore the possibilities and limitations of the method. The simulated data are analyzed in order to explore how sample size influences the ability of the method to detect the signal of the Neolithic demographic transition depending on it properties. Finally, the results of simulated scenarios are then compared to the preliminary results based on the application of the method to the empirical dataset of published Early Neolithic radiocarbon dates. We discuss the implications of the results in the context of the ongoing project of collecting new samples for radiocarbon dating for the purpose of paleodemographic reconstruction of population dynamics in the Early Neolithic in Central Balkans.
17. Collective burial or Neolithic crime scene? Sofija Stefanović, Nataša Šarkić, Saša Živanović. 44th Annual North American Meeting Westin Hotel, New Orleans, 17.4.2017 – 19.4.2017, New Orleans, USA. (PDF)
During the archaeological research in Vinča (Serbia) in 1931, a grave that belonged to the Starčevo culture was discovered. The grave of ten adults and one sub-adult, mostly males, was characterised as “a tomb with dromos”. Researchers who have subsequently worked with the material, although possessing different views on architectural features of the tomb, have not questioned that this is a grave with collective burial. However, a recent analysis of the original photo documentation, carried out by the Laboratory for Bioarcheology, provided a completely different interpretation of the findings. The three individuals are determined to be buried on their chest, face to the ground, which does not fit with usual burial practice in this culture. In another three cases the head was completely separated from the body and in the case of one individual both femurs were bent in position, which could be only possible if his back was broken. Very little skeletal material was preserved from this necropolis. However, by combining the analysis of the existing material and photographs, it was determined that at least eight of the individuals had ante-mortem traumas on the cranial and postcranial skeleton and there were at least three cases of decapitation. Radiocarbon dating confirmed that the burials of these individuals were not simultaneous. The goal of the current work is to illustrate how a forensic approach, even through photographic documentation, can provide a wealth of new information and even enable the discovery of a prehistoric crime scene.
18. Births, mothers and babies: Prehistoric fertility in the Balkans between10000-5000 cal. BC. Sofija Stefanović, Vesna Dimitrijević, Marko Porčić. MESO 2015 – The Ninth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe,14th-18th September, Belgrade, Serbia. (PDF)
BIRTH ERC project will investigate the key biological and cultural mechanisms affecting fertility rates resulting the Neolithic Demogaphic Transition, the major demographics in human evolution. Project integrate skeletal markers with micro-nutritional andmacro-scaled cultural effects on fertility rates during the Early-Middle Holocene (10000-5000 BC) in the Central Balkans. Human, animal and plant remains, will be analysed us-ing methods from bioarchaeological, forensic, chemical sciences in order to: 1) Investigate variability in the pattern of birth rates (number of pregnancies, interval(s) between themand the duration of the reproductive period) through histological analysis of irregularitiesin tooth cementum of women; 2) Determine paleoobstetric and neonatal body characteris-tics, health status and nutrition through analysis of skeletal remains; 3) Determine micro-nutritional changes during the Early-Middle Holocene through trace element (Zn, Ca andFe) analysis; 4) Investigate the micro and macronutritional value of prehistoric foodstuffs,through an analysis of animal and plant remains and to compare the nutritional intakein relation to health and fertility; 5) Establish a chronology of the NDT in the Balkansby summed radiocarbon probability distributions; 6) Explore the possible role of culturein driving fertility increases, through analysis of community attitudes to birthing troughinvestigation of neonate graves and artifact connected to the birthing process. Given thatthe issues of health and fertility are of utmost importance in the present as they were in thepast, the BIRTH project offers new understanding of biocultural mechanisms which led tofertility increase and novel approaches to ancient skeletal heritage.
19. Onsite Bioarchaeological Knowledge of the Neolithic settlements in the Balkans: The case of Vrbjanska Čuka, a tell-site in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia. Beneš, Jaromír, Naumov, Goce, Majerovičová, Tereza, Budilová, Kristýna, Živaljević, Ivana, Dimitrijević, Vesna, Bumerl, Jiří, Komárková, Veronika, Kovárník, Jaromír, Vychronová, Michaela, Stefanović, Sofija. 14th Conference of Environmental Archaeology “Humans and environmental sustainability: Lessons from the past ecosystems of Europe and Northern Africa” 26th-28th February 2018, Modena, Italy. (doi 10.5281/zenodo. 1216080)
The first part of this contribution comprises of an outline of bioarchaeological studies connected with the Neolithic settlements in the Balkans. A substantial proliferation of environmental studies is recorded in the last decade concerning archaeobotanical and archaeozoological evidence. Main attention is paid to archaeobotanical and archaeozoological studies which consider settlements and their bioarchaeological context. The second part is focused on the Neolithic tell-site of Vrbjanska Čuka in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia, where authors have been performing bioarchaeological research since 2016. In this paper, we present the results of the analyses of botanical macroremains and microremains (starch, phytoliths) and faunal remains collected in season 2016 in the broader context of the Neolithic Balkans in order to estimate the bioarchaeological potential of the site.
20. Bioarchaeology at the Tell-Site VrbjanskaČuka in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia: analytical results from field season 2016. Beneš, Jaromír, Naumov, Goce, Budilová, Kristýna, Bumerl, Jiří, Živaljević, Ivana, Dimitrijević, Vesna, Komárková, Veronika, Kovárník, Jaromír, Majerovičová, Tereza, Vychronová, Michaela, Stefanović, Sofija. Neolithic in Macedonia III, 13th December 2017, Skopje, Macedonia. (doi 10.5281/zenodo. 1216103)
The presentation focuses on archaeobotanical and archaeozoological evidence in the context of the tell-site Vrbjanska Čuka, Republic of Macedonia, where a joint Macedonian-Czech-Serbian team is performing detailed bioarchaeological research. In the field season 2016, selected contexts from the site were sampled for multiproxy analyses including botanical macroremains and microremains (starch, phytoliths), and faunal remains were collected from all contexts. Archaeobotanical research focused on samples from profile W1 in the western wall of excavated area, and randomly taken samples from other contexts indicative of the Neolithic, Classical and Medieval occupancy of the site. Macroremains analysis detected typical species for the Neolithic period (einkorn, emmer, barley, lentil, peas) and species typical in later (Classical or Medieval) periods (e.g. millet, rye). Investigation of plant phytoliths revealed good quality of microremains. Starch analysis was carried on grindstones from Neolithic contexts. Such grains could be interpreted as food remains.
The hand collected faunal sample, albeit small, is indicative of a predominantly stockbreeding economy. The majority of elements originate from domestic animals – namely cattle and caprines, and to a lesser extent pig and dog. The presence of dogs on site is also manifested by several bones with gnawing marks. A single element from wild boar suggests that occasional hunting also took place. Shells of freshwater mussel were also identified, originating from a single context and thus probably represent remnants of a meal. Faunal sample collected by flotation consisted of smaller bone fragments and isolated teeth of previously identified mammal taxa. In addition, sporadic remains of rodents, amphibians, reptiles and smaller fish (small-bodied cyprinids and salmonids) were also found. These taxa (apart from fish) were probably not used in human diet, but were inhabiting the environment of Vrbjanska Čuka. Given their minute size and a fairly small number of remains, it might be suggested that fishing occupied a secondary role in comparison to stockbreeding, and possibly represented a sporadic or opportunistic activity.
21. Neolithic fishing landscapes: case studies from Serbian sites in the gorges and in the plains. Živaljević, Ivana, & Stefanović, Sofija. 19th ICAZ Fish Remains Working Group Meeting “Fish and Fishing Communities: Understanding Ancient and Modern Fisheries through Archaeological Fish Remains” (ICAZ FRWG). 1st-7th October 2017, Alghero – Stintino, Italy. (doi 10.5281/zenodo. 1216122)
The Mesolithic-Neolithic settlements in the Danube Gorges (North-Central Balkans) flourished in a specific landscape, with rapid changes in the riverbed, whirlpools, cataracts and strong river currents. These features were particularly favourable for fishing, and led to the prolonged stay of human communities during the Mesolithic (ca. 9500-6200 cal BC) and the emergence of permanent
settlements in the Transformational Mesolithic-Neolithic phase (ca. 6200-5900 cal BC). Even with the appearance of domestic animals after 6000 cal BC, these settlements remained in use primarily as fishing centres, suggesting that subsistence strategies in the Danube Gorges remained unchanged even after the appearance of the first farming and stock breeding communities. Apart from the Danube Gorges, these ‘new’ communities settled in strikingly different landscapes – the hilly terrain of the Central Balkans and the flat terrain of the Pannonian plain, more suitable for farming and animal herding. However, the spatial clustering of Early Neolithic sites in the vicinity of rivers and lakes, as well as the occurrence of fish remains, signal that fishing occupied a significant role at least at some locations. The paper explores the role and extent of aquatic resource exploitation at the advent of food production, both in the Danube Gorges area where fishing represented a long local tradition, and in the newly established Neolithic sites in the Pannonian plain. The aim of this study, as well as future analyses of Early Neolithic faunal assemblages, is to problematise the presumed dichotomy between Mesolithic and Early Neolithic subsistence strategies, and the relationship between economic practices and particular landscapes.
22. Lov, stočarstvo i simbolički značaj životinja na Golokutu: nove analize arheozoološkog materijala. Živaljević, Ivana, Dimitrijević, Vesna, Radmanović, Darko, & Stefanović, Sofija. XL Godišnja skupština i godišnji skup Srpskog arheološkog društva (SAD), 5th-7th 2017. (doi 10.5281/zenodo. 1216135)
Domestikacija životinja i promene koje su time usledile smatraju se jednim od ključnih ‘neolitskih’ inovacija, zajedno sa pripitomljavanjem biljaka, pojavom grnčarije i artefakata od glačanog kamena, kao i novim oblicima društvene organizacije i ideologije. Ovi procesi, međutim, nisu bili ujednačeni, niti su neizostavno pratili jedni druge. Rad se osvrće na eksploataciju životinja na ranoneolitskom lokalitetu Golokut-Vizić na zapadnim obodima Fruške gore. Faunistički uzorak sa ovog lokaliteta ukazuje da su se njegovi stanovnici, osim uzgajanja domaćeg govečeta, ovce, koze i svinje, bavili i lovom na divlje goveče, jelena, srnu i divlju svinju i sakupljanjem školjki i puževa. I divlje i domaće životinje bile su zastupljene jedinkama različitih uzrasta, što bi ukazivalo da su se lov, tj. klanje domaćih životinja odvijali tokom različitih sezona. Katkada su ostaci životinja bili ‘ritualno’ deponovani, kakav je slučaj sa lobanjom divljeg govečeta pohranjenom u grobu žene u zgrčenom položaju. Pored toga, preliminarna arheozoološka analiza ukazala je i na različit sastav faune u kontekstima jama, što bi se takođe potencijalno moglo dovesti u vezu sa određenim obrascima strukturalnog deponovanja. Osim diskusije o udelu lova i stočarstva u kontekstu ranoneolitskog naselja na Golokutu, različitim sezonama ljudskih aktivnosti i tretmanu životinjskih ostataka, ovo istraživanje otvara mogućnosti za dobijanje podataka o dužini dojenja kod domaćih životinja putem analiza stabilnih izotopa, a time i bolje sagledavanje ljudskog uticaja na životinjsku biologiju u cilju eksploatacije mleka.
23. Behavioral Adaptations – Morphological Adaptations: new contributions from Morphometric Mapping for the understanding of Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations (Balkans; 10 000 – 5000 BC). De Becdelievre, C., Le Guen M.A., Porčić M., Jovanović, J.,Stefanović, S. Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution Vol. 6., 21st – 23th September 2017, Leiden, The Netherlands. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1218601)
A major transition occurred during the Early-middle Holocene: Humans entered a new adaptive niche by settling in favored environments and by domesticating other species. Today, a growing body of archaeological evidence documents the timing of this transition and the study of prehistoric human remains relates this process to specific bodily adaptations. However, it is noteworthy that: 1. varying methodologies and heterogeneous markers have been used; 2. these different markers of physical activity – of different nature and relating complementary biological information – have barely been compared; 3. because of the availability of well-preserved samples, these markers could not always be applied to ecologically homogeneous population or to population for which multiple archaeological line of evidence on subsistence strategies were available. The context of Danube Gorges prehistoric sites (Balkans, 9500-5500 BC) – where the remains of more than 500 human skeletons have been discovered – well-contextualized and covering a sequence spanning the whole Mesolithic and the Early Neolithic – provides the opportunity to analyze jointly behavioral and morphological adaptations on an homogeneous Early Holocene population. The sites of the Lepenski Vir culture document the gradual transformations of mobile hunter-gatherers and fishermen (Early Mesolithic) toward a population of sedentary fishermen (Late Mesolithic – Early Neolithic), which adopted ceramics and finally practiced animal husbandry (Neolithic). Recent results of geochemical analyses indicate that a number of Neolithic individuals were non-locals, originating in some geologically differentiated areas outside the Danube Gorges; these migrants may have brought Neolithic socio-cultural novelties in the gorges (ceramics, polished axes, new type of flint used for tools, different adornments, new funerary gestures…). Therefore, in this study, bone markers of physical activities (enthesopathology, osteoarthrosis) have been analyzed on a sample of 200 adults individuals, together with a new technique of virtual analysis specifically applied on humerus and femurs: morphometric mappings. This technique considers the diaphyses of long bones as “tubes” which can be virtually unrolled and read like maps; measurements of the external topography of diaphyses (the robusticity of muscles attachments), of the thickness of cortical bone (bone robusticity) and of the internal geometry of bones (second moments area) are virtually taken all along the diaphysis and then projected like maps. These morphometric maps enable thereby to locate with precision along the whole diaphysis the main differences in term of muscle attachments, cortical thickness and bone geometry. Plus, the technique also enable to obtain “average maps” of groups of individuals, which makes possible statistical comparisons. Results: 1. confirm long bone morphological adaptation to sedentism, especially a gradual and diachronic trend of systematic decline in lower limbs robusticity, a trend toward more circularity in the geometric sections of lower limbs mid-shaft diaphyses, a reduction in the robusticity of specific entheseal sites and a decline in the extent of pathological entheseal sites located on the lower limbs; 2. suggest a sexual dimorphism possibly correlated to the first development of a sexual division of labor; 3. indicate that the inner bone morphology as well as outer topography of muscle-attachments of nonlocals individuals are different from locals foragers (migrants from neighboring farming communities?). These results demonstrate the value of the Human Behavoral Ecology approach to our understanding of the broad process of human bio-cultural adaptations.
24. Children feeding practices in the Danube Gorges at the advent of the Neolithic. Jovanović, J., Goude, G., Novak, M., Bedić, Ž., De Becdelievre, C., Stefanović, S. The 23rd European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting, 30th August – 3rd September 2017, Maastricht, Netherlands. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1218595)
Examining individual life-histories provide a direct way to understand the mechanisms of population’s adaptation to major ecological and socio-cultural changes. The Mesolithic- Neolithic transformations offer a convenient frame to develop this bottom-up approach. The Neolithic transition, the passage from mobile foraging to sedentary farming, was a major shift during human prehistory. Focusing on the Balkan region where Early Neolithic started around 6200 cal BC, this paper presents stable isotope results (carbon, nitrogen, sulfur) of an intra-individual sampling strategy (data on bone and deciduous/permanent teeth) performed on 30 children from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites situated across Serbia and Croatia. Results suggest significant differences in the feeding practices of Mesolithic and Neolithic children as well as regional differences in mother’s dietary choices. This study opens new horizons on the relationship between individuals subsistence strategies and the dynamic of the group, implying that these bio-cultural differences may contribute to the important demographic changes observed at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition.
25. Who Were The Earliest Farmers? Interactions – Innovations – Adaptations At Earliest Neolithic Of The Central Balkans, Human Bioarchaeological Perspectives. De Becdelievre, C., Jovanović, J., Hofmanova, Z., Stefanović, S. The 23rd European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting, 30th August – 3rd September 2017, Maastricht, Netherlands. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1218593)
Abstract:A major transition occurred during the first part of the Holocene: Humans entered a new adaptive niche by settling in favored environment and by domesticating species of plants and animals. From primary “centers of domestication”, it is frequently considered that Neolithic farmers – as well as the idea of agriculture – spread to some “marginal” areas. Simultaneously, a main event of demographic expansion occurred, and it seems that this process impacted at various degrees both the human health and the human biology. Focusing on the analysis of the remains of more than 500 humans discovered in several regions of the Balkans (the Danube Gorges; the territory of the Central Balkans; the Great Pannonian Plain), and covering the Mesolithic (9500 BC – 6200 BC) and the Early Neolithic (6200 – 5500 BC), we discuss this usual perception of Neolithization as “an episode of ecological niche colonization” by addressing simple questions: who were the earliest famers in the Central Balkans? what were they looking like? and what about their living conditions? To better understand the behavioral mechanisms and the biological outcomes of the Neolithization process, we tackle the issues of migrations, diet, health and bodily adaptations by synthesizing data coming from recent analyses: physical anthropology, 3D morphometric, stable isotopes, aDNA. Taken as a whole, results suggest that Neolithization should be understood as a complex phenomenon combining both foragers innovations and farmers migrations, foragers and farmers interactions in some specific spots, local behavioral adaptations – particularly in term of subsistence patterns – to environmental conditions, a global health decline and a specific pattern of body adaptation to the new sedentary lifestyle. By offering a glimpse into the life of the first farming communities this study also emphasizes the contributions of Human Behavioral Ecology to our understanding of the mechanisms of bio-cultural adaptations.
26. Telesnost i prikazi trudnoće u kasnom neolitu: antropomorfne figurine sa lokaliteta Vinča – Belo brdo. A. Tripković, M. Radinović, M. Porčić, S. Stefanović. XLI Skupština i godišnji skup Srpskog arheološkog društva (SAD), Pančevo, Serbia, 31.05-02.06.2018. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1286814)
Abstract:Tokom iskopavanja naselja Vinča-Belo Brdo od 1908. do 1934. nađeno je više od 1000 predmeta figuralne plastike iz vremena vinčanske kulture. Figurine su do danas bile predmet više stilsko-tipoloških studija, a uobičajeno su tumačene kao predmeti kulta i umetnosti ili kao predstave božanstva plodnosti. Naše istraživanje figuralne plastike sa lokaliteta Belo Brdo u Vinči sprovedeno je u okviru projekta BIRTH (Births, mothers and babies: prehistoric fertility in the Balkans between 10000-5000 BC) koji ispituje demografske promene u periodu mezolit-neolit.Ukoliko sledimo široko prihvaćenu ideju da su neolitske populacije Balkana prolazile kroz demografsku tranziciju koja uključuje uvećanje stope rađanja i rast populacije, pretpostavka je da su biološki procesi kao rađanje i trudnoća možda reflektovani i u materijalnoj kulturi, pre svega na figuralnoj plastici. Neolitske figurine su svakako najpogodnije sredstvo za prikazivanje promena na ljudskom telu i naša namera je da testiramo da li su korišćene za ikonografsko predstavljanje jednog biološkog procesa-trudnoće. Analizirane su 874 antropomorfne figurine iz Arheološke zbirke Filozofskog fakulteta u Beogradu, pri čemu smo beležili prisustvo primarnih i sekundarnih polnih karakteristika, odnosno telesne atribute povezane sa trudnoćom, kao što su naglašen stomak, izgled pupka i oblik tela. Rezultati naše komparativne analize trebalo bi da pokažu da li su navedeni fizički atributi vezani za trudnoću, na pojavnom nivou, prikazani na figurinama i, ako jesu, kolika je njihova učestalost u uzorku.
27. Dužina sisanja kod teladi i počeci upotrebe kravljeg mleka u ljudskoj ishrani: potencijali izotopskih analiza. I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, S. Stefanović, M. Balasse. XLI Skupština i godišnji skup Srpskog arheološkog društva (SAD), Pančevo, Serbia, 31.05-02.06.2018. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1286776)
Abstract:Pored brojnih društvenih i ekonomskih promena, kao i promena u ljudsko-životinjskim odnosima, domestikacija životinja omogućila je i pojavu nove namirnice u ljudskoj ishrani: životinjskog mleka. Ranije se pretpostavljalo da eksploatacija mleka nije predstavljala ključni motiv u prvobitnim stadijumima domestikacije, već da se pojavila nekoliko milenijuma kasnije. Međutim, skorašnje analize lipida apsorbovanih u zidovima keramičkih posuda sa većeg broja ranoneolitskih nalazišta ukazuju da se mleko eksploatisalo od samih početaka stočarstva. Ipak, mnoga pitanja o ovom procesu i tretmanu životinja ostaju nedovoljno razjašnjena, budući da bi dostupnost mleka ljudima bila u direktnoj vezi sa dužinom laktacije kod životinja, ali i sa količinom neophodnom za ishranu mladunaca. Izotopske analize kojima se može pratiti dužina sisanja i prelazak na biljnu ishranu kod mladunaca, pokazale su se kao vredno oruđe za razmatranje ovih pitanja. Na osnovu metoda koji su razvile Balas i Trese, ispitale smo vreme prestanka sisanja na primeru nekoliko jedinki goveda sa ranoneolitskih nalazišta Starčevo-Grad, Topole-Bač i Magareći mlin. Budući da je goveče bilo najznačajnija i najzastupljenija domaća životinja u faunističkim uzorcima sa ovih nalazišta, kao i na većini ranoneolitskih nalazišta u centralnoj Srbiji, može se pretpostaviti da je u eksploataciji mleka naročiti značaj imalo kravlje mleko. Analiza je uključivala sekvenciono uzorkovanje prvog i drugog molara iz donje vilice, tj. posmatranje promena u vrednostima izotopa azota (δ15N) tokom različitih stadijuma formiranja ovih zuba (pre rođenja, tokom sisanja i nakon prelaska na biljnu hranu). Istovremeno, istraživanje je uključilo i utvrđivanje starosti jedinki u trenutku smrti, da bi se sagledali obrasci klanja i njihova potencijalna veza sa eksploatacijom mleka. U radu ćemo prikazati rezultate izotopskih i arheozooloških analiza, i diskutovati o njihovim implikacijama za bolje razumevanje prirode stočarstva i muže u ranom neolitu, uključujući i deljenje mleka između ljudi i teladi.
28. Exploring the demographic aspects of the Mesolithic – Neolithic transition in Central Balkans via tooth cementum analysis: preliminary results. K. Penezić, M. Porčić, S. Stefanović. The 23rd European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting, 30th August – 3rd September 2017, Maastricht, Netherlands. (doi 10.5281/zenodo.1218630)
The Neolithic way of life was accompanied with an increase in fertility and increase in other forms of physiological stress (e.g. disease, malnutrition). Evidence of this stress could be seen in tooth cementum. The formation of each incremental line in tooth cementum corresponds to one year of life and is related to calcium metabolism. Lines corresponding to physiological stress events are different in appearance and are referred to as “crisis lines”. Given the changes related to the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, we would expect to find a difference in the frequency of physiological stress events between the Mesolithic and Neolithic populations due to increased fertility and/or increased presence of pathology and disease. In this paper we present a method for determining and quantifying stressful events and for statistical comparison of the stress event frequency between populations. The method is applied to a sample of Mesolithic (9000 – 6400 calBC) and Neolithic (6200 – 5300 calBC) teeth from the Central Balkans.
29. Cow milk exploitation and calf weaning in the Early Neolithic Balkans: insights from intra-tooth variations in nitrogen isotope ratios.I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, S. Stefanović, M. Balasse. 13th ICAZ (International Council for Archaeozoology) Conference, 2nd – 7th September 2018, Ankara, Turkey. (doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1468245)
Human interdependence with domestic cattle (Bos taurus) in the North-Central Balkans can be traced to the origins of animal husbandry in the region, i.e. to the Early Neolithic (c. 6000-5400 cal. BC). The prevalence of cattle remains in the archaeozoological record and the ubiquity of bovid imagery are testimonies to their prominent role in the economic and symbolic sphere, as well as in their day-to-day interactions with humans. Furthermore, recent lipid analyses of organic residues from Early Neolithic pottery vessels from a number of Balkan sites (Ethier et al. 2017) indicate that dairying was not only present from the start, but also fairly widespread. However, cow milk exploitation would not have been straightforward, but heavily dependent on the length of lactation, the presence/absence of suckling calves, the amount left for human consumption and consequently on the calf weaning pattern. In this paper, following Balasse & Tresset (2002), we examine the weaning patterns in several individuals from Early Neolithic sites (Starčevo-Grad, Topole-Bač, Magareći mlin) by looking into the intra-tooth (M1, M2) variation in nitrogen isotope (δ15N) ratios of dentine collagen. Observed trophic changes related to different dietary stages (in utero, suckling and weaning) are cross-referenced with herd age structures, in order to make inferences about slaughter patterns. An emphasis on animal life-histories, by means of stable isotope analyses and ageing, provide new insights into the nature of early cattle husbandry, milk availability and sharing between humans and calves, as well as the management of animals in these processes.
30. A String of Marine Shells from the Neolithic site of Vršnik (Ovce polje, Republic of Macedonia). V. Dimitrijević, G. Naumov, S. Stefanović 13th ICAZ (International Council for Archaeozoology) Conference, 2nd – 7th September 2018, Ankara, Turkey. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1467173)
A string of marine shell beads from the Neolithic site of Vegnik (Ovce polje, Republic of Macedonia) Beads made of Spondylus gaederopus, Antalis vulgaris and Cyclope neritea, most likely forming a single string, are found in an anthropomorphic vessel at the Neolithic site of Vrgnik (Ovce polje, Republic of Macedonia). The discovery was made in the course of the excavations of the Neolithic settlement, conducted by Milutin and Draga Garaganin (1961). In the excavation report, the anthropomorphic vessel has been illustrated, and the find of shell beads just shortly mentioned. Later, this find has been forgotten and omitted on the maps of Spondylus/marine shells findings in the prehistoric Europe. Majority of beads are made of Spondylus and Antalis shells. Being that these two molluscs have shells of very different morphology and structure, beads are unexpectedly similar in size, shape and color. Assumption is imposed that exactly that was the intention of the beads’ producer, to make the like out of unlike row material.
The use of Cyclope shells on one side, and Spondylus beads on the other, point to interweaving of Mesolithic tradition and adoption of new, Neolithic trends in ornament production and exchange. At any rate, this find represents an important datum for the European Spondylus exchange network in the Neolithic period. Also, it adds to the appreciation of Antalis items’ share in the exchange network, which might be underestimated because of the difficulties of scaphopod identification. Putting this find back in focus is also a motive to undertake mapping of items made of marine shells, in Pelagonia, the valley of the river Vardar and Ovce polje in Macedonia, the region previously poorly researched in this respect.
31. Mothers, babies and figurines in the Neolithic of Central Balkans. A. Tripković, M. Radinović, M. Porčić, S. Stefanović. 24th Neolithic Seminar. Neolithisation Processes in Eurasia: Retrospect and Prospect 26-27.10.2018, Ljubljana, Slovenija.
Neolithization brought great changes to the prehistoric communities in different parts of Eurasia. One aspect of change, thoroughly studied in recent years, is the Neolithic demographic transition. It has been suggested that the demographic expansion on the onset of Neolithic was caused by increased fertility – increase in the number of pregnancies and consequently babies – which was feasible due to sedentary life and more stable food supplies. These changes in fertility and daily life could have been displayed in material culture. In this study we analyse anthropomorphic figurines as possible representations of body and corporeality. In order to test the hypothesis that Neolithic figurines are related to fertility (i.e., that they directly represent pregnant women), we record attributes of figurine bodies that are related to pregnancy and sex on figurines from different sites in the Central Balkans. If they are, the attributes related to fertility should be frequently depicted on figurines, especially in the initial stages of Neolithic, when the population boom happened.
32. Population trends in the Central Balkan Early Neolithic. M. Porčić, T. Blagojević, S. Stefanović. 24th Neolithic Seminar. Neolithisation Processes in Eurasia: Retrospect and Prospect 26-27.10.2018, Ljubljana, Slovenija.
The Balkan Neolithic demography has become an important research subject in the past few years. In several recent studies an attempt was made to reconstruct population trends by applying the method of summed calibrated radiocarbon probability distributions (SCPD) to the existing corpus of published radiocarbon dates. In this paper we present the preliminary results of the paleodemographic reconstruction of the Early Neolithic (6200-5350 BC) population trends in the Central Balkans based on the entirely new set of radiocarbon dates sampled specifically for the purposes of the SCPD method.
33. New insights into subsistence practices at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Central Balkans: data from dental calculus analysis. J. Jovanović, R. Power, S. Stefanović. 24th Annual Meeting of European Archaeologists. 5-8.9.2018, Barcelona, Spain.
One of the major debates in European prehistory concerns the nature of the Neolithic Transition. The Neolithic way of life, where a sedentary farming spreading from the Near East to the Central Europe replaced forager lifestyles, changed human biology, dietary choices and subsistence strategies. The Balkans represents one of the key areas for studying the process of Neolithisation, as it is located at the crossroad between the Near East and Central Europe. Results of previous dietary studies in the Central Balkan area, based on stable isotope data (C, N, S) indicate that many Neolithic humans remained reliant on aquatic resources. The speed of the Neolithisation process and the extent that the rich resources of some of the river environments within Central Balkans delayed uptake of domestic cultigens is unclear. The identification of microbotanical remains in human dental calculus is a powerful tool to access direct evidence of ancient diets. Dietary reconstructions based on plant microfossils, such as starch grains and phytoliths entrapped in calculus, have been useful in increasing our knowledge of plant consumption in ancient populations. The rich skeletal
collection record from sites in the Central Balkans with its long Mesolithic-Neolithic sequence (9500-5200 cal. BC), provides the opportunity to reconstruct plant use and local subsistence practices by using dental calculus analysis. The resulting data sheds light on the nature of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation and provide better understanding of the dynamics of the Neolithisation process across the continent..
34. Influence of specimen preparation and nanoindentation protocol on the mechanical properties of bovine bone. S. Vučinić, B. Petrović, S. Kojić, M. Šipovac, S. Stefanović, G. Stojanović. 5th International Conference IcETRAN 2018 (IcETRAN), Palić, Serbia, 11-14.06.2018.
The physical properties of bone tissue have been investigated at different levels, macro, micro and nano scale. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of two specimen preparation techniques and six nanoindentation protocols on modulus and hardness of bovine bone specimens. Embedding in resin do not affect the mechanical properties of bone samples. More precise and repeatable results are obtained using higher indentation forces. Larger number of measurements are required for bone indentation analysis using lower forces.
35. Керамика, липиди и изотопи: увид во неолитската кујна на Врбјанска Чука. D. Stojanovski, J. Dunne, G. Naumov, R. Evershed, & S. Stefanović. Неолитот во Македонија IV, 2018, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, 12.12.2018.
Во текот на 2017 и 2018 година, 27 фрагменти садова керамика од неолитските слоеви во Врбјанска Чука беа селектирани и подложени на екстракција на органски материи содржани во микроскопските пори од нивната структура. Од нив, вкупно 8 примероци дадоа позитивни резултати, односно содржеа доволни количини липиди неопходни за понатамошна анализа. Со помош на масна спектрометрија беа детектирани конкретни хемиски соединенија кои ни даваат информација за нивното потекло. Со помош на мерење на вредностите на стабилниот изотоп на јаглеродот (13C) кај овие молекули, дополнително се прецизира оригиналната содржина на керамичките садови. Со ова истражување добивме директен доказ за големата разновидност на неолитската кујна на Врбјанска Чука, каде освен користењето на вообичаените неолитски продукти (житарици и месо од домашни животни), беше потврдено производството и користењето на млечни продукти, како и консумирањето на водни животни и употребата на пчелни продукти.
36. Da li ima mezolita u Srbiji van Đerdapa? Novi radiokarbonski datumi i dokazi sa nalazišta Magareći mlin i Grabovac-Đurića vinogradi. I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, J. Pendić, A. Putica, V. Uzelac, J. Bulatović, M. Spasić, T. Blagojević, S. Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo – Praistorijska sekcija (SAD), Novi Sad, Serbia, 14.12.2018
Sa izuzetkom dobro poznatih mezolitskih nalazišta u Đerdapu, koja pružaju obilje podataka o manje ili više kontinuiranom prisustvu ljudskih zajednica tokom 9500-5500. godina pre n. e., šira teritorija centralnog Balkana predstavlja nepoznanicu u pogledu ljudskog naseljavanja tokom ovog perioda. Fenomen „nedostajućeg mezolita“ dovođen je u vezu sa promenama životne sredine u ranom holocenu, pretpostavkama o malobrojnosti mezolitskih populacija, mogućnostima očuvanja i vidljivosti mezolitskih staništa, kao i sa nedostatkom adekvatnih istraživanja. Međutim, do određenih saznanja o nedovoljno poznatom mezolitu centralnog Balkana moguće je doći ne samo novim iskopavanjima, već i ponovnim pregledanjem postojećih arheoloških zbirki. U tom pogledu posebno su indikativna ranoneolitska nalazišta, koji svedoče o intenzivnom naseljavanjui/ilivećoj vidljivosti ljudskog prisustva počev od 6000. godina pre n. e. U okviru tekućeg ERC BIRTH projekta datovana je velika serija uzoraka ljudskih i životinjskih kostiju sa ovih nalazišta, koji su se većinom uklapali u očekivani ranoneolitski raspon. Međutim, po jedan uzorak sa nalazišta Magareći mlin (fragment ljudske lobanje) i Grabovac-Đurića vinogradi (kost divljeg govečeta) datovani su u 8. milenijum pre n. e. U ovom radu predstavićemo nove radiokarbonske datume sa Magarećeg mlina i Grabovca, diskutovati o kontekstima nalaza uzorkovanih kostiju, i razmotriti implikacije ovih rezultata za razumevanje problema „nedostajućeg“ mezolita na centralnom Balkanu.
37. Ancient Genomic Diversity Reveals Differences in Cultural Practices and Cultural Barriers between Prehistoric Farmers and Hunter-gatherers in Europe. Z. Hofmanova, V. Link, I. Schulz, J. Bloecher, L. Winkelbach, S. Stefanović, J. Burger, D. Wegmann. Annual Meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Yokohama, Japan, 8-12. July 2018, 135. ( DOI /10.5281/zenodo.2574629)
Abstract: Humans differ from most other species in that we create our own ecological niche. Culture has thus shaped human genetic variation over millennia. While surprisingly little is known about prehistoric cultural practices, there is vested hope that patterns of ancient genetic diversity will elucidate how past societies were organized and interacted with each other. Yet such inferences remain challenging due to generally low numbers of individuals and especially the lack of population-level samples. Here we present novel samples from the region of the Danube Gorges (Balkans), located in the heart of the migration corridor through which farming was brought from Anatolia to Central Europe. Our archaeologically well-defined samples (~10000-5500 calBC) represent multiple closeby-settlements of a sedentary society before and during Neolithisation. Contrasting population-genomic and cultural affinities of our samples revealed that settlements differed strikingly in their interaction with immigrating farmers: while some exhibited strong barriers to gene flow, others incorporated multiple individuals of genetic ancestry common to Aegean farmers. To elucidate important aspects of social practices before, during and after this demographic shift, we accurately inferred within and between individual genetic diversity of our population sample by sequencing either whole genomes or many putatively neutral regions, and by using novel methods that account for post-mortem damage and the heterochronous nature of our reference panel. Notably, we found a lower within-individual diversity as well as a lower X to autosomes diversity in hunter-gatherers than farmers prior to their contact, consistent with an elevated population size and stronger patrilocality in farmers.
38. Novel statistical tools bring to light complex interactions during prehistoric demographic turnovers: The case of Lepenski Vir. Z. Hofmanova, V. Link, I. Schulz, J. Bloecher, L. Winkelbach, S. Stefanović, J. Burger, D. Wegmann. 24th Annual Meeting of European Archaeologists , Barcelona, Spain, 5-8.9.2018, 233-234. ( doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2575350)
Abstract: Availability of palaeogenomic information depends on the survival of ancient DNA (aDNA) in human remains. Therefore, studies often include only a limited number of individuals or rely on pre-selected genomic sites that restrict further analysis and do not utilize full information potential of the samples despite destructive aDNA sampling. While this is changing with the availability of whole genome sequencing, aDNA analysis is still easily influenced by contamination, poor DNA preservation, sequencing errors and reference bias. Incorporating these uncertainties directly to the analysis through genotype likelihoods results in increased power and accuracy for population genetic inferences. Our suite of statistical tools, ATLAS, enables users to build complete customised analysis pipelines, takes into account diverse sources of error and accurately estimates genotype likelihoods and allele frequency spectra to be further used in explicit modelling. It also provides several standalone inference methods that – among others – include reference-free determination of genetic diversity within and between individuals and populations. These genetic measures can be, together with individual ancestral affinities, directly compared to archaeological distance measures and interpreted in relation to archaeologically associated cultural markers. We demonstrate the utility of these approaches on palaeogenomic data obtained from up to 9,000 years old samples from sites associated with Lepenski Vir culture, including the settlement at the eponymous site. Genetic and cultural affinities of individuals from Mesolithic, Transition and Neolithic periods provide insights into an active role of these fisher-hunter-gatherers during the Neolithisation of the area of Central Balkans and the structure of their sedentary society.
39. Analiza mikrostrija na gleđi ljudskih zuba iz perioda mezolitsko-neolitske tranzicije sa teritorije centralnog Balkana i južnog dela Panonske nizije. Jelena Marković, Alexandro Romero & Sofija Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XLII skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti , 30.05-02.06.2019. Negotin, Srbija. ( doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3244018)
Abstract: Jedna od najznačajnijih promena u ljudskoj prošlosti desila se u periodu mezolitsko – neolitske tranzicije, kada ljudi sa lovačko-sakupljačkog prelaze na sedelački način života i bavljenje poljoprivredom. Ovaj proces naziva se neolitska demografska tranzicija i značajno je uticao na biologiju ljudi i njihovu ishranu. Veliki potencijal za razumevanje ovih promena predstavlja analiza zuba koja omogućuje da saznamo npr. stepen abrzivnosti hrane, prisustvo proteina u ishrani na koje ukazuje zubni kamenac ili ugljenih hidrata koji utiču na pojavu karijesa. Pored makroskopskih metoda, postoje i mikroskopske analize zuba poput proučavanja mikrostrija na gleđi zuba, koje, takođe, pružaju značajan uvid u način ishrane mezolitsko-neolitskih zajednica. Mikrostrije nastaju kao posledica procesa mastikacije hrane. Naime, različite vrste namirnica sadrže drugačije abrazivne čestice koje čovek unosi u organizam zajedno sa hranom. Tako se, na primer, u biljkama nalaze fitoliti, na koži ribe silikatne čestice, a u mlevenom brašnu čestice kamena, koje sve mogu ostaviti mikroskopski vidljive tragove na zubima.
U ovom radu će biti prikazani preliminarni rezultati analize mikrostirija kod 40 individua iz perioda od 9500. do 5500 g. p.n.e., koje potiču sa teritorije Đerdapske klisure, južnog dela Panonske nizije i Šumadije. Za potrebe analize mikrostrija izrađeni su silikonski kalupi, pomoću kojih su napravljene replike zuba od epoksi smole. Dobijene replike analizirane su posmatranjem pod skenirajućim elektronskim mikroskopom.
Preliminarni rezultati pokazali su da postoji značajna razlika u obrascima mikrostrija između mezolitskih i neolitskih zuba. Na mezolitskim zubima uočeni su kompleksniji obrasci sa većim brojem mikrostrija, što upućuje na zaključak da su se ljudi u mezolitu hranili mnogo abrazivnijom hranom od ljudi u neolitu. Ovakav rezultat može biti rezultat promene u vrsti i načinu obrade hrane u neolitu.
40. Arheološka istraživanja između Dunava i Tamiša: Pančevački rit u multidisciplinarnom svetlu. Kristina Penezić, Jelena Bulatović, Dragana Filipović, Milan Ignjatović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XLII skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti , 30.05-02.06.2019. Negotin, Srbija. ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3244019)
Abstract: Oblast od oko 400 kvadratnih kilometara između današnje pozicije Dunava i starih i novog toka Tamiša u blizini Beograda je do sredine prošlog veka bila mozaik močvara i suvog terena koji je često plavljen. Pre nekoliko decenija, rekognosciranja ovog predela su dokumentovala postojanje tragova oko tridesetak lokaliteta razbacanih po celom području, iz različitih praistorijskih i istorijskih perioda. Ovo je ukazalo da je uprkos čestom plavljenju, ova oblast bila atraktivna za ljudsku upotrebu, a moguće i naseljavanje i to hiljadama godina pre savremenih drenaža terena.
U proteklih nekoliko godina je sprovedena multidisciplinarna studija sa ciljem evaluacije potencijala ovog predela kao mesta trajnog naseljavanja. U prvoj fazi istraživanja je obavljeno rekognociranje, ispitivanje satelitskih i aerosnimaka, geomagnetna snimanja i geoarheološka bušenja. Ovi rezultati su poslužili za drugu fazu terenskih istraživanja koja su uključivala iskopavanje sondi, prikupljanje materijala i analizu arheobotaničkih i zooarheoloških nalaza. Na ovaj način, došlo se do saznanja o nastanjivanju ovog predela u prošlosti, u hidrološki bogatom i dinamičnom okruženju.
41.Geofizička istraživanja na kasnoneolitskom nalazištu Srednje polje u Bradarcu kod Aleksinca. Dragan Milanović, Petar Milojević, Jugoslav Pendić. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XLII skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti , 30.05-02.06.2019. Negotin, Srbija. ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3244027)
Abstract: Tokom realizacije projekata Arheološkog instituta Arheološka prospekcija Aleksinačke opštine i Arheološka prospekcija donjeg toka Južne Morave na prostoru od Niša do Ražnja evidentirano je devet lokaliteta iz kasnog neolita. Oni su raspoređeni od juga ka severu duž prve rečne terase Južne Morave na približno ujednačenim međusobnim rastojanjima. U dva slučaja konstatovana su neubičajeno mala rastojanja između naselja, a distribucija površinskih nalaza na dva lokaliteta, koja su prostorno blizu susednim, je sugerisala da je reč o naseljima koja su znatno manja od susednih. Jedan od ta dva slučaja odnosi se na lokalitet Srednje polje u Bradarcu, čija je veličina na osnovu distribucije površinskih nalaza procenjena na 7,5 ha. Stoga su u periodu 2017–2018. godine na tom nalazištu preduzeta geofizička istraživanja sa ciljem da se utvrdi precizna površina i granice naselja sa položajem i rasporedom struktura, kao i eventualne promene u kvalitetu sedimenata, koje bi se mogle dovesti u hronološku vezu sa registrovanim arheološkim ostacima. Površinski nalazi su ukazivali da bi trebalo očekivati naselje iz kasnih faza vinčanske kulture sa strukturama koje su bile izložene dejstvu visokih temperatura. Кonfiguracija terena i pedološki pokrivač su sugerisali da je istočno od lokaliteta bila povoljna pozicija za kultivaciju aluvijalnih zemljišnih tipova.
Metodom fluksgejt magnetometrije ukupno je snimljena površina od 5,2 hektara. Dokumentovan je plan naselja iz kasnih faza vinčanske kulture u aluvijalnom predelu između Mozgovačke i Puljanske reke. Naselje je zauzimalo površinu od 7 hektara i bilo je ograđeno sa dva sistema rovova, odnosno trostrukim i dvostrukim rovovima, koji najverovatnije potiču iz različitih faza trajanja naselja. U sredini severnog sistema rovova je evidentiran ulaz u selo, a u južnom delu naselja veći prostor nezaposednut građevinama. Ukupno je dokumentovano oko 130 gorelih struktura, različitih veličina, raspoređenih u grupama oko slobodnih prostora. Na istočnoj periferiji naselja konstatovani su aluvijalni rečni nanosi, koji se prostiru do Mozgovačke reke.
Dosadašnja arheološka istraživanja na teritoriji Niško-aleksinačke kotline bila su fokusirana na analizu prostorne distribucije neolitskih naselja u vezi sa pedološkim pokrivačem u bližoj okolini, čime se došlo do značajnih podataka o trendovima naseljavanja tokom kasnog neolita centalnog Balkana. Geofizička istraživanja na lokalitetu Srednje polje u Bradarcu su omogućila uvid u unutrašnju organizaciju jednog kasnoneolitskog naselja koje se sastojalo od gusto raspoređenih stambenih i drugih struktura, orijentisanih ka manjim i većim slobodnim prostorima i kompleksnim sistemom rovova sa ulazom. Integracija dobijenih podataka sa nizom podataka o geografskom kontekstu naselja ukazuje na pravce kretanja i na mesta ekonomskog i društvenog fokusa stanovnika naselja u neposrednom okruženju. Ovakav pristup zasnovan na kombinovanju različitih vrsta nedestruktivnih arheoloških istraživanja je pokazao da može značajno upotpuniti naša saznanja vezana za društvene i ekonomske aspekte naseljavanja u različitim periodima praistorije.
42. Ikonografija i telo: prikaz pola na antropomorfnim figurinama sa lokaliteta Vinča-Belo brdo. Ana Tripković, Mihailo Radinović, Marko Porčić & Sofija Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XLII skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti , 30.05-02.06.2019. Negotin, Srbija. ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3244031)
Abstract: Sa lokaliteta Vinča-Belo brdo potiče više od hiljadu primeraka antropomorfne plastike koje su bile predmet više različitih analiza. U ovom radu ispitujemo zastupljenost polnih karakteristika na vinčanskim figurinama i njihov odnos sa drugim telesnim odlikama. Opservacija pola na statuetama i ponekad iz njega izvedene ideje o prepoznavanju roda poslednjih godina izazvale su disonantna mišljenja o opravdanosti ovog metodološkog pristupa. Cilj našeg rada je nastavak diskusije o korisnosti istraživanja ikonografske elaboracije antropomorfnih figurina kao analitičkog puta za razumevanje prikaza pola na predmetima ove vrste. Istraživački uzorak čini 875 fragmentovanih i celih figurina sa lokaliteta Vinča-Belo Brdo, iz fonda Arheološke zbirke Filozofskog fakulteta u Beogradu. Prisustvo ili odsustvo polnih obeležja biće prikazani u odnosu na druge formalne karakteristike poput stepena složenosti izrade, položaja tela (dinamike pokreta), položaja gornjih i donjih ekstremiteta, kao i prikaza nakita i odeće. Na kraju, izložićemo i razmotriti zastupljenost određenih asocijativnih obrazaca u našem uzorku i njihovu potencijalnu vrednost za dalja istraživanja ikonografije vinčanskih figurina.
44. Lov, stočarstvo i “hibridne” zajednice u neolitu Balkana. Ivana Živaljević, Vesna Dimitrijević & Sofija Stefanović. Srpsko arheološko društvo, XLII skupština i godišnji skup. Programi, izveštaji i apstrakti , 30.05-02.06.2019. Negotin, Srbija. ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3244033)
Abstract: Sa stanovišta istorije ljudsko-životinjskih odnosa, period neolita predstavlja svojevrsnu prekretnicu, koja je dovela do novih oblika suživota ljudi i životinja. Neolitske zajednice se otuda mogu razumeti kao „hibridne“ zajednice tj. kao skupine različitih (ljudskih i ne-ljudskih) vrsta, što je podrazumevalo deljenje životnog prostora i hrane, zajednički rad, međusobno poverenje i zasnivanje neke vrste partnerstva. Istovremeno, ova koegzistencija omogućila je ljudima da po prvi put pored mesa mogu konzumirati i sekundarne životinjske proizvode poput mleka. Međutim, deljenje istog okruženja i kontakt sa različitim divljim životinjama, kao i poznavanje njihovih navika, sezona i putanja migracija, moralo je biti od izuzetne važnosti i u lovačko-sakupljačkim zajednicama. Osim toga, intenzivni kontakt doveo je do pripitomljavanja određenih vrsta (poput psa) već tokom mezolita. Kompleksnost ljudsko-životinjskih odnosa, mogućnost uočavanja (katkad suptilnih) razlika između selektivnog lova i domestikacije, kao i činjenica da generacije životinja mogu provesti dugo vremena sa ljudima pre nego što se biološki mogu okarakterisati kao „domaće“, predstavljaju čitav niz izazova u proučavanju zajedničkih ljudskih i životinjskih istorija, posebno tokom „transformativnih“ perioda – kasnog mezolita i neolita. Arheozoološka svedočanstva sa teritorije Balkana ukazuju da su i divlje i domaće životinje imale važnu ulogu tokom ranog neolita (6200–5500 kalibriranih g. pre n.e.), tj. da su ljudske strategije opstanka i interakcije sa životinjama bile raznolike i (mikro)regionalno i kulturno specifične. U ovom radu, prikazaćemo nove rezultate arheozooloških i izotopskih analiza relevantne za bolje razumevanje lova, stočarstva i prvobitne eksploatacije životinjskog mleka u neolitu Balkana, i razmotriti ekološke, socijalne i ekonomske aspekte suživota ljudi i različitih životinja..
45. People of Lepenski Vir: Sharing and caring for the 3D osteoarchaeological record. Jugoslav Pendić, Jelena Jovanović, Jelena Marković, Sofija Stefanović, Dragoslav Stojanović. 25th Annual Meeting of European Archaeologists (EAA), Book of Abstracts, 4-8.9.2019. Bern, Switzerland, ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3416182)
In the past years, means of acquisition of 3D information became all present – the requirements to successfully create an accurately
reconstructed copy of an object in 3D dramatically plummeted and made the process broadly available to both professionals and enthusiasts alike. The IBM (Image Based Modelling) on it’s basic levels required only a camera and some overcast sky or studio light, to have your site, your trench or a newly uncovered artifact, preserved as accurately scaled digital copy, for as long as the storage units would hold the data. The more important question has been treated as of late – what to do with created models, and what value do they add to the research work, if any?
Project ”People of Lepenski Vir: protocols for digitalization of bioarchaeological heritage” used number of techniques to capture and store 3D data of the osteoarchaeological record from Danubian gorge, dated to Mesolithic and Neolithic period. Laboratory for Bioarchaeology aimed to provide open access to the so created 3D models. In order to enrich the experience, basic functions of metric data collection, surface model visualizations, model section analysis were added; but more importantly a robust database structure was created and populated to provide for metadata for each scanned fragment of bone. This structure allowed for further expansion of the collection, to other sites and periods.
In this paper, we present experiences gained, with special note on the benefits of having an open access to 3D collections of the archaeological material, for the purposes of education and information exchange.
46. Can we detect prehistoric pregnancies? Potential of the tooth cementum analysis for the reconstruction of fertility. Kristina Penezić, Marko Porčić, Filip Ristović, Sofija Stefanović, 25th Annual Meeting of European Archaeologists (EAA), Book of Abstracts, 4-8.9.2019. Bern, Switzerland, ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3416269)
The importance of fertility in paleodemography cannot be overemphasized as it is the major determinant of preindustrial population dynamics and the crucial concept in anthropological and archaeological theory of demographic transitions. The possibility that a permanent record of the number pregnancies and age of mother at which the pregnancies occurred is preserved at the microscopic level in the tooth cementum may be of fundamental importance for further studies of fertility and motherhood. Certain life-events have been shown to interfere with the deposition of tooth cementum, among which pregnancy was mentioned.
This important fact was however only referred to in a limited number of publications. In order to gain more specific knowledge of theses occurrences we conducted a small-scale clinical study focusing on the detection of pregnancies recorded in the tooth cementum. Results obtained from this study are used for further interpretation of TCA (Tooth cementum annulation) analysis applied on a sample of teeth from archaeological contexts. All samples derived from archaeological sites are from individuals dating either to the Mesolithic or Neolithic period in the Central Balkan area. The aim of this study is to evaluate results from the clinical study and compare it to the results obtained from the archaeological sample. In this manner, we hope to tackle the complex question of pregnancies, fertility rates, and paleodemography at the advent of the Neolithic period.
47. Bone spoons for prehistoric babies: detection of primary teeth marks on the neolithic artefacts. Sofija Stefanović, Bojan Petrović, Marko Porčić, Jugoslav Pendić, Kristina Penezić. 25th Annual Meeting of European Archaeologists (EAA), Book of Abstracts, 4-8.9.2019. Bern, Switzerland, ( doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.3416312)
Around 8000 years ago, throughout the Neolithic world a new type of artefact appeared, small spoons masterly made from cattle bone, usually interpreted as tools, due to their intensive traces of use. Contrary to those interpretations, the small dimensions of spoons and presence of intensive traces of use led us to the assumption that they were used for feeding babies. In order to test this assumption, we compared 2230 marks on spoons from the Neolithic site of Grad-Starčevo in Serbia (5800−5450 cal BC) with 3151 primary teeth marks produced experimentally on fresh cattle bone. This study has shown that marks on spoons were made by primary teeth, which proves their usage in feeding babies. Our interpretation of the bone spoons’ function, jointly with their wide distribution, could suggest that new kinds of gruel were also an important part of the ‘Neolithic package’. The novelties in baby-feeding practices, indicated by spoons, could have had an important effect on the evolution of human fertility through shortening the length of the breastfeeding period.
48. Mesolithic lifeways on the shores of Skadar Lake: the evidence from Seocka pećina, Montenegro. I. Živaljević, M. Vander Linden & J. Gaastra. 10th International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe MESO, 7.09-11.09.2020. Toulouse, France. (DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3999309)
Abstract: Apart from notable exceptions, such as the Danube Gorges and the Adriatic coast, the evidence of Mesolithic occupancy in the Balkan Peninsula is generally scant. Consequently, the eastern Adriatic and its hinterlands (the territory of present-day Montenegro), where several caves and rock shelters with Mesolithic sequences have been discovered, represents one of the key areas for understanding regional Early Holocene adaptations and lifeways. However, previous archaeological research has mainly been focused on karstic features in the northern, mountainous parts of Montenegro. Over the course of the ERC Project The Transmission of Innovations: Comparison and Modelling of Early Farming and Associated Technologies in Europe (EUROFARM), Mesolithic deposits were recorded for the first time in the Skadar Lake area, at the cave site of Seocka pećina. The cave is located on a small, low peninsula defined by a meander of the Rijeka Crnojevića (the River of Crnojević) flowing into the northern part of the lake. Various site-formation processes at play (the erosion linked to human-induced deforestation) led to the disturbance of sediments, i.e. to the mixing and redeposition of materials from layers originally located towards the entrance of the cave. Nevertheless, a certain stratigraphic coherence was noted, including chipped stone tool finds (including bladelets) and faunal remains originating from wild animals (red deer, roe deer, chamois, wild boar, beaver, badger; some of them with butchery marks) and fish. The bones were dated by an extended series of AMS dates between 8750 and 7080 cal BC, which, along the total absence of domestic species, suggests that the bulk – if not all – of faunal material and the occupancy of the cave can indeed be related to the Early Holocene. Moreover, Seocka pećina is currently the only known Mesolithic site in the Balkans located in a lacustrine environment, thus providing unique opportunities to explore particular, site-specific adaptations of local hunter-gatherer-fisher communities and their interactions with the landscape.
In this paper, we present the results of the analysis of the faunal assemblage from Seocka pećina, with a special focus on fish remains. Given the complex taphonomic history of the site, we look into the taxonomic composition of the fish faunal sample, the skeletal element distribution, fish size classes and bone taphonomy, in order to determine whether the acummulated remains can be unequivocaly attributed to organized fishing activities. Due to the wide variety of aquatic habitats, the ichthyofauna of Skadar Lake and its catchment area is characterized by great biodiversity and an extraordinary high degree of endemism, being one of the most notable Balkan ecosystems in that respect. The north-western part of the lake and its floodplains, including the mouth of Rijeka Crnojevića (where the site is located), historically represented some of the best fishing spots in the region. Numerous deep lacustric springs with consistent water temperature attract various cyprinid species to aggregate in autumn and winter, whereas the swift Rijeka Crnojevića represents an optimal habitat for salmonids, which migrate to the lake in spring. The representatives of these two families have been identified in the fish faunal assemblage from Seocka pećina. In case of some cyprinid species (namely the common nase), the occurrence of sporadic clustering of bones of uniform colour, originating from several individuals of similar size, indicate that shoals of fish were targeted during the spawning season and that their remains were deposited in a single or closely related events. It seems plausible that the location of Seocka pećina was chosen by Mesolithic communities precisely because of its proximity to prolific fishing spots and ample opportunities for seasonal fishing. In addition to providing new evidence of Mesolithic fishing practices, seasonality and settlement within a specific lacustrine landscape, this study has important implications for exploring the regional diversity of Early Holocene adaptations in the Balkans.
49. To fish or not to fish? Fish processing at Iron Gates: an experimental approach. A. Petrović, C. Lemorini, S. Nunziante-Cesaro, I. Živaljević. 10th International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe MESO, 7.09-11.09.2020. Toulouse, France. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3999335)
Abstract: It is well known that many Mesolithic and Early Neolithic sites have been recovered during the past century in the Iron Gates region (Eastern Serbia). The application of diverse analysis on human remains and artefacts raised many questions, but also offered new ideas about the transitional period in the middle and lower course of Danube. New methods and studies of the artefacts enabled the researchers to have a look at the everyday life of the hunter-gatherer-fishermen groups who inhabited the area during Late Glacial and Early Holocene.
Communities in Iron Gates consumed fish and exploited the bank in the prehistory. This is visible in the results of isotope analysis done on the human individuals implying that they fed on aquatic resources, in some periods more than in others. Fish remains were also found in the settlements and based on the iconography present on the sculpted boulders and other artefacts, the bond between the people, river, and eco-system was compelling.
The idea of this communication is to present the possible fish working using chipped stone tools in the Iron Gates region during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. The traces are observed by various methods, having in mind how hard is to detect activity specific as fish processing. The analyses consisted of both low- and high-power approach combined with FTIR analysis.
The experimental approach has also been applied as a usual procedure in the use-wear analysis. A couple of experimental sets were done on the larger fish, like common carp (Cyprinus carpio) with an idea to reproduce use-wear traces on chipped stone replicas. Diverse activities as scale removal, hide working, organ removal and filleting were done. In the case of experimental tools,
FTIR analysis was of additional help to test the tracing of chemical elements that could be connected to activities on diverse fish parts and organs.
Finally, the experimental results represented by macro traces and polish are being compared to the use-wear traces found on the archaeological sample. Traces of filleting, butchering and decapitation found on the bones were also compared to the ones found on Lepenski Vir, Vlasac and Padina site. This combined and specfiic study helped us understand the processing of fish in the prehistoric period in detail, from the tool selection to the hide tanning.
50. The pathways of humans and animals in the Early Neolithic Balkans: an archaeozoological perspective. I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, S. Stefanović. The 26th EAA Virtual Meeting , 26.08-30.08.2020. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4001655 )
Abstract: Over the last couple of decades, extensive archaeozoological and aDNA studies have securely placed the origin of animal domestication in the Middle East. From this area, humans and domesticated animals (sheep, goat, cattle and pig) gradually spread to the Balkans, and ultimately to the rest of Europe. Nevertheless, the faunal record from the Early Neolithic (c. 6500‒5500 cal BC) sites in the Balkans indicates that this process had been far from uniform. There seem to have been pronounced regional differences in herding strategies, mainly between the southern parts of the Balkan peninsula, and its central and northern parts, bordering with the Great Pannonian plain. In the former, animal husbandry was mainly oriented towards caprovines, whereas in the latter, in addition to sheep and goat, cattle husbandry played a more significant role. In this paper, we present new results of the analysis of faunal assemblages from Early Neolithic sites in Serbia and North Macedonia, the latter representing an area which had
previously been insufficiently studied from an archaeozoological perspective. By comparing taxonomic compositions and mortality profiles of domestic animals in the two studied regions, we aim to provide additional insights into different animal husbandry
practices, and look into possible reasons for this divergence – adaptations to new environments, cultural attitudes to various animals, and/or adherence to particular traditions.
51. Revealing the “hidden” Central Balkan and Pannonian Mesolithic: new radiocarbon evidence from Serbia. I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, J. Jovanović, T. Blagojević, J. Pendić, A. Putica, V. Uzelac, J. Bulatović, M. Spasić, D. Anđelić, M. Bajčeta, N. Jončić, S. Stefanović. 10th International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe MESO, 7.09-11.09.2020. Toulouse, France. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3999388)
Abstract: With the exception of well known Mesolithic sites in the Danube Gorges, which provide ample evidence of (more or less) continuous human occupation between 9500 and 5500 cal BC, the wider areas of the Central Balkans and southern fringes of the Great Pannonian Plain still represent a terra incognita when it comes to the presence and settlement patterns of Mesolithic communities. In the archaeological literature, the absence of Mesolithic sites in the region was associated with environmental changes in the Early Holocene, presumed low human population densities, the visibility and state of preservation of organic material (often the only indicator of human activity), or the lack of adequate research. However, valuable insights into the obscure regional Mesolithic can be gained not only by new archaeological excavations, but also by revisiting and reanalysis of existing archaeological collections. Particularly informative in this respect are the Early Neolithic sites, which are indicative of the extensive spread of farming communities starting from 6200 cal BC, and/or their greater visibility in the archaeological record. Within the ongoing ERC BIRTH project (Births, mothers and babies: prehistoric fertility in the Balkans between 10000 and 5000 cal BC), a large sample of human, animal and plant remains from these sites was AMS dated. Unsurprisingly, the majority of obtained dates corresponded to the expected (Early Neolithic) range between 6200-5500 cal BC. However, several animal bone samples and one human bone sample from the sites of Magareći mlin, Grabovac-Đurića vinogradi and Gospođinci-Nove zemlje produced Mesolithic dates, i.e. were dated to the 8th millennium cal BC. In this paper, we present new AMS radiocarbon dates, discuss the contextual provenance of dated bones, and explore the implications of these results for a better understanding of the problem of the “missing” and “invisible” Mesolithic in the Central Balkans and Southern Pannonia.
52. Mutual becomings in life and death: human and non-human animals in the Mesolithic Danube Gorges. I. Živaljević. 40th Theoratical Archaeology Group Conference TAG , 17.12-19.12.2018. Deva, Romania. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998772)
Abstract: The post-Cartesian ‘Animal Turn’ marked a shift from anthropocentric attitudes to non-human animals as economic or symbolic resources to be exploited, to new understanding of interspecies relations as mutually impactful and inherently social. Borrowing heavily from ethology and relational ontologies, these approaches bear important implications for studies of prehistory and cultural contexts where hunting and fishing afforded particular forms of interspecies interaction. In this paper, I focus on disintegrated and reassembled human and animal bodies in the context of Mesolithic Danube Gorges, and insights they offer into new kinds of entities emerging post-mortem. However, even if death remains materialized and consequently more visible in the archaeological record, it is far from being the only event in human and non-human histories of engagement. The paper therefore considers not only structurally deposited animal remains, but also living animals as subjects and agents in shaping worlds populated by a multitude of beings.
53. An inquiry into the “missing” Central Balkans Mesolithic: faunal remains from Bukovac cave, Serbia. I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, T. Dogandžić, S. Talamo & D. Mihailović. 13th International ICAZ Conference, 02.09-07.09.2018. Ankara, Turkey. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998742 )
Abstract: Apart from the well-known Mesolithic sites in the Danube Gorges, occupied more or less continuously between c. 9500-5500 cal BC, the evidence of human presence in the North-Central Balkans in the Early Holocene is virtually non-existent. This puzzling phenomenon has been associated with presumed low population densities, changing environmental conditions, geomorphological effects on site survival and visibility, or the lack of research. In that respect, recent excavations at the cave site of Bukovac near Despotovac in the Resava river valley (tributary of Velika Morava, Central Serbia) (Dogandzic et al. 2014; 2017) provide important new data relevant to the understanding of the phenomenon. The stratigraphic sequence at Bukovac is predominantly related to the Upper Palaeolithic (mainly Gravettian) occupancy, manifested by a rich lithic assemblage, hearths, bone tools and abundant faunal material. However, the Early Holocene use of the cave had also been confirmed, on the basis of partially preserved layer along the cave wall, containing animal bones which produced a Mesolithic date. Apart from dating, the taxonomic composition of the sample (including remains of wild game, mustelids, rodents, birds and a significant amount of fish bones) is unequivocally reflecting Early Holocene biodiversity and foraging (hunting and fishing) patterns. In this paper, we present the results of archaeozoological analysis of the faunal sample from the Bukovac Mesolithic layer, but also discuss the implications of its state of preservation in the broader context of Mesolithic „invisibility“ in the archaeological record.
54. Food procurement and sustenance in the Mesolithic Iron Gates, southeastern Europe. D. Filipović, I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević. Subsistence Strategies in the Stone Age, Direct and Indirect Evidence of Fishing and Gathering, 15.05-18.05.2018. Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998733)
Abstract: The Iron Gates region in Serbia yielded abundant and exceptional evidence of human habitation in the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic periods (c. 9500-5500 BC). At the Mesolithic sites, remains were discovered of plants, animals, structures and tools testifying to the intensive exploitation of resources from the surroundings of the settlements that were used over extended periods of time. Our paper explores the daily sustenance of these communities wich was provided through gathering, fishing and hunting.
55. Onsite Bioarchaeological Knowledge of the Neolithic settlements in the Balkans: The case of Vrbjanska Čuka, a tell-site in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia. j. Beneš, G. Naumov, T. Majerovičová, K. Budilová, I. Živaljević, V. Dimitrijević, J. Bumerl, V. Komárková, J. Kovárník, M. Vychronová, S. Stefanović. 14th Conference of Environmental Archaeology , 26.02-28.02.2018. Modena, Italy (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1260413)
Abstract: The first part of this contribution comprises of an outline of bioarchaeological studies connected with the Neolithic settlements in the Balkans. A substantial proliferation of environmental studies is recorded in the last decade concerning archaeobotanical and archaeozoological evidence. Main attention is paid to archaeobotanical and archaeozoological studies which consider settlements and their bioarchaeological context. The second part is focused on the Neolithic tell-site of Vrbjanska Čuka in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia, where authors have been performing bioarchaeological research since 2016. In this paper, we present the results of the analyses of botanical macroremains and microremains (starch, phytoliths) and faunal remains collected in season 2016 in the broader context of the Neolithic Balkans in order to estimate the bioarchaeological potential of the site.
56. Ljudsko‒životinjski odnosi u antropologiji i arheologiji. S. Žakula, I. Živaljević. Retrospektive i perspektive etnologije i antropologije. Međunarodna naučna konferencija povodom 70 godina Etnografskog instituta SANU, 08.09-10.09.2017. Sirogojno, Srbija (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998708 )
Abstract: Ovim izlaganjem želimo da ukažemo na formiranje istraživačkog polja ljudsko-životinjskih odnosa kako u etnologiji i antropologiji tako i u arheologiji, i da skrenemo pažnju na potencijal za interdisciplinarna istraživanja koji ovo novo polje donosi. Iako je interesovanje za ulogu životinja u ljudskim društvima staro gotovo koliko i discipline iz kojih dolazimo, promene i previranja kroz koje su društvene i humanističke nauke prolazile osamdesetih godina 20. veka, uslovile su preispitivanje starih osnova na kojima je ovo interesovanje u arheologiji i antropologiji počivalo. U ovom izlaganju ćemo mapirati promene i konvergentne tendencije u arheologiji i antropologiji koje su dovele do postavljanja novih i drugačijih pitanja u vezi sa odnosima između ljudi i drugih životinja u prošlosti i sadašnjosti. Pored toga, pokušaćemo da predstavimo teorijske i metodološke inovacije koje ljudsko-životinjske odnose tretiraju kao dvosmerne odnose između ravnopravnih aktera i nude mogućnosti za dublje i podrobnije razumevanje ljudskih društava u prošlosti i sadašnjosti.
57. Uloga pejzaža i ribolova u naseljavanju đerdapske klisure tokom 13,000 – 5500. pre n. e. I. Živaljević. XL Skup i Skupština Srpskog arheološkog društva SAD, 05.06-07.06.2017. Beograd, Srbija (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998627)
Abstract: Specifičan pejzaž Đerdapa nastao je brzim i moćnim tokom Dunava, koji je probijajući se kroz južne obronke Karpatsko-balkanskih planina usekao četiri klisure strmih strana, međusobno odvojene kotlinskim proširenjima. Protičući kroz različite oblike reljefa, reku su karakterisale razlike u izgledu rečnog korita, promene u vodenom režimu, brzini toka, rečnog pada i akumulaciji, kao i mnoštvo meandara, katarakti i virova. Ovakve osobenosti pejzaža bile su posebno pogodne za ribolov na slatkovodne ali i migratorne vrste riba, te je đerdapski prostor počev od srednjeg veka predstavljao jedno od najunosnijih ribolovišta u širem regionu. Dobri uslovi za ribolov, međutim, predstavljali su jedan od ključnih razloga za nastanjivanje ljudskih zajednica na ovom području i tokom praistorije, tačnije tokom epipaleolita, mezolita i ranog neolita (13,00-5500. pre n. e.). Iako riba nije predstavljala glavni izvor hrane u ranim fazama đerdapske sekvence, određene pećine i potkapine na levoj, i rečne terase na desnoj dunavskoj obali postaju mesta na koje su se ljudske zajednice iznova vraćale, sahranjivale svoje mrtve i sporadično se bavile ribolovačkim aktivnostima. Počev od kasnog mezolita (7400-6300/6200. pre n. e.) dolazi do produženog boravka ljudi na rečnim terasama, a značajne količine otkrivenih ribljih ostataka i povišene vrednosti izotopa u kolagenu iz ljudskih kostiju ukazuju da su sedentizam i intenzivniji ribolov predstavljali dva usko povezana fenomena. Upućenost na reku i ribolov nastavlja se i u narednoj, transformacionoj mezolitsko-neolitskoj fazi (6300/6200-6000/5900. pre n. e.), vremenu koje koincidira sa nastankom kompleksnih naselja na Lepenskom Viru i Padini. Ovi podaci ukazuju da je ribolov imao važnu (iako varirajuću) ulogu tokom čitave đerdapske sekvence, i to specifičan način ribolova na virovima. Rad se osvrće na ulogu pejzaža u izboru lokacija za nastanjivanje i u stvaranju specifičnih ribolovačkih rešenja, na izbor i značaj određenih ribljih vrsta, kao i na različite oblike ribolova u zavisnosti od lokacije i u dijahronijskoj perspektivi.
58. “Stepeni artificijelnosti” ili gde počinju artefakti? Životinjska tela u arheologijiI. Živaljević. Srpska arheologija između teorije i činjenica V: arheologija između artefakata i ekofakata , 01.04-02.04.2017. Beograd, Srbija (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3998584)
Abstract: Duga tradicija dihotomizacije prirode i kulture u evropskoj misli u velikoj je meri oblikovala nauke kakvim ih danas poznajemo, i dovela do disciplinskog jaza između prirodnih i društvenih nauka. Ovaj jaz imao je velikih posledica po arheologiju, koja je po prirodi svog istraživanja čvrsto ukorenjena u podeli na domen kulturnog (studije artefakata i fenomena ‘ljudskog duha’) i prirodnog (studije ljudskih, životinjskih, biljnih ostataka). I sa smenama različitih paradigmi – doživljaju arheologije kao humanističke discipline tj. kao empirijske nauke, fokus je bio na jednom ili drugom pristupu, a mnogo ređe na njihovoj integraciji. U tom pogledu, ljudska tela u arheologiji imaju specifičan i dvojak tretman, budući da istovremeno predstavljaju medijume za razmatranje pitanja osobnosti, roda i identiteta, dok sa ontološkom transformacijom kroz prestanak života postaju skeleti koji se tretiraju kao naučni objekat. Sa druge strane, životinjski ostaci se po pravilu smeštaju u potonju kategoriju, a njihovo proučavanje velikim se delom temelji na biološkim i zoološkim znanjima i pristupima. Životinjska tela tako ostaju u domenu prirode (kome ljudi pripadaju samo fiziološki ali ne i suštinski), odvojena od artefakata (direktnih proizvoda ljudske dejstvenosti) prilikom arheoloških iskopavanja, proučavanja i publikovanja. Momenat prelaska u sferu kulturnog jeste momenat ljudske intervencije, te se proučavanje alatki načinjenih od životinjskih kostiju (ili, artefakata u ‘pravom smislu’) razvilo u posebnu poddisciplinu, prepuštajući uglavnom ‘nemodifikovane’ primerke arheozoolozima. Međutim, i samo prisustvo životinjskih kostiju u arheološkom zapisu upravo je posledica ljudske dejstvenosti – događaja koji uključuju usmrćivanje životinje, kasapljenje i deljenje hrane, konzumaciju mesa, odbacivanje ostataka, njihovo strukturalno deponovanje ili dalje korišćenje u izradi alatki i drugih predmeta. U proizvodnom lancu (chaîne opératoire) tokom kog se sirovina pretvara u gotov proizvod, teško je podvući granicu kada kost u svom ‘prirodnom’ obliku postaje artefakt. Insistiranje na ovakvim granicama svakako je posledica načina na koji su akademske discipline ustrojene, kao i rastuće specijalizacije i fragmentacije u arheologiji, ali u kolikoj meri je ono produktivno? U pokušaju da razvrstamo materijalni svet našeg okruženja na elemente zatečene u okviru pejzaža i na one ljudskim dejstvom transformisane u artefakte, videćemo da se nijedna stvar ne može u potpunosti pripisati jednoj ili drugoj kategoriji. Kako ističe Tim Ingold (Tim Ingold), stvari mogu varirati u pogledu “stepena artificijelnosti”, i to samo zato što su u slučaju nekih (više nego drugih) ljudi odigrali određenu ulogu u njihovom oblikovanju, karakteru i mestu gde su se zatekle, a ne usled njihovih ‘urođenih’ svojstava. Pitanje artificijelnosti danas je u žiži više nego ikad, u vreme kada je ljudsko iskustvo isprepletano i neodvojivo od veštačke inteligencije te okarakterisano i kao posthumanizam. Međutim, ljudi su oduvek bili isprepletani sa materijalnim svetovima svog okruženja, koje su oblikovali i u tom procesu i sami bili oblikovani. U dekonstrukciji modernističkih binarnih opozicija (subjekta i objekta, živog i neživog, prirode i kulture), od posebnog je značaja preispitati ovakve opozicije u kontekstu arheologije, budući da su upravo one u korenu nastanka i razvoja discipline.
59. The importance of milk in the Early Neolithic diet of the Northern parts of the Balkan Peninsula. D. Stojanovski, J. Dunne, S. Stefanović. 1st Conference on the Early Neolithic of Europe (ENE), Barcelona, Spain , 06.11-08.11.2019. Barcelona, Spain (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3548253 )
Abstract: Farming was introduced in the Balkans together with other technical novelties (pottery, polished stone tools, architecture…) during the 7th and 6th millennium cal BC, and these events marked the beginning of the Neolithic period. Modern genetic investigations suggest that all domesticated species that took part in early farming activities in the Balkans, were introduced from Southeast Asia. The relative importance of different products/species, however, varies from region to region )conditioned mainly by the environment). One of the biggest environmental challenge for the early farmers in Europe was the shift from Mediterranean to temperate climate, which happened in the central Balkans. Here we present the results from chemical and isotopic analyses of ancient lipids extracted from pottery, combined with typology assessment. We focus on sites from the temperate zones of the northern Balkan Peninsula (Vojvodina, Serbia), which belong to the Starčevo Neolithic group. The results suggest that milk and dairy products played an important role in the subsistence of the people in the North, which is very different from the image we have so far fro the more southern areas of the peninsula (Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria). The neolitisation of the Balkans reveals itself once again not as a homogeneous event, but as a complex process, during which pockets of different “Neolithics” developed within the diverse landscape.
60. Dental buccal microwear and dietary strategies in the Early Neolithic of Southeast Europe. J. Marković, A. Romero, & S. Stefanović. 1st Conference on the Early Neolithic of Europe (ENE), Barcelona, Spain , 06.11-08.11.2019. Barcelona, Spain (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3547533)
Abstract: One of the most significant changes in human history occurred during the period of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, when people switched from the hunter-gatherer to the sedentary way of life and farming. This process is called Neolithic Demographic Transition, and it had a substantial impact on human biology and dietary habits. The territory of the central Balkan and southern part of Great Pannonian Plane represents one of the key areas for studying the process of Neolithisation since it is located at the crossroad between the Near East and central Europe. The rhythm and spread of Neolithisation in this region and how descendants of last hunter gatherers living in river environments accepted this new way of life and novel food resources is a hotly debated topic. Dental microwear analyses provide insights into the food abrasiveness as novel approach for understanding and delineate dietary changes among human populations. Different food types contain specific abrasive particles ingested with food. For example, plants contain phytoliths; fish skin contains other silica-based particulates, and gourd flourstone gritty containants, which all can leave microscopic traces on non-occlusal enamel surfaces during food chewing. The rich osteological collections from Early Neolithic sites (6200-5200 cal. BC) located across the Central Balkans and southern part of Great Pannonian Plain provides the opportunity to better understand the mechanisms of population’s adaptation to major ecological and socio-cultural changes, and to reconstruct regional subsistence variability by using dental microwear analysis. In this study, we present for the first time results of buccal microwear analysis of 50 individuals recovered from 11 Early Neolithic sites. The results shed light on the physical and mechanical aspects of foods providing also new data about the spread and dynamics of Neolithisation process in this part of Europe.
61. Dietary adaptations at the Early Neolithic in the Danube Gorges: Neolithized foragers of Mesolitized farmers? C. de Becdelievre, J. Jovanović, Z. Hofmanova, Zuzana, G. Goude & S. Stefanović. 1st Conference on the Early Neolithic of Europe (ENE), Barcelona, Spain , 06.11-08.11.2019. Barcelona, Spain (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3547524)
Abstract: It is now considered that migrants originating from Near-Eastern Neolithic communities brought the farming way of life into Europe, reshaping then the ecological niche, the socio-cultural organization, as well as major bio-demographic features. Although the Neolithic expansion is well-documented at a regional level, the nature and consequences of local interactions with foragers are still debated. The Danube Gorges prehistoric sites represent an archaeological complex of particular importance to tackle these issues because of its location between southeastern and central Europe, its temporal continuity (Mesolithic-Neolithic occupation, 9500-5500 cal. BC), and unique bioarchaeological record. Over the past decades, knowledge about the local process of Neolithization has greatly expanded thanks to the application of various biogeochemical analyses: stable isotope analyses have reconstructed subsistence practices, radiogenic strontium analyses have identified the presence of non-local individuals at the Early Neolithic and genome-wide data analyses have evidenced the presence of individuals descended from Near-Eastern Neolithic communities. These different markers are here compared in order to reconstruct the diet of migrants, of locals, and of their putative descendants, and thereby to explore the mechanisms of dietary adaptations upon successive generations at the earliest Neolithic communities (first generation migrants) had a more terrestrial diet. While the descendants of local fisher-hunter-gatherers mostly continue to perpetuate their dietary traditions, the descendents of migrants also mostly adopted the local fishing practices, suggesting a local process of “Mesolithization”. Examined within the funerary context, these bioarchaeological markers also indicate that the Neolitization of the Gorges should not be seen as a straightforward pattern of acculturation but rather as a complex mosaic of cultural and behavioral interactions. This study thus illustrates how the life history perspective may contribute to a finest understanding of the Neolithization process.
62. Neolithic Demographic Transition in the Central Balkans: population dynamics reconstruction based on new radiocarbon evidence. T. Blagojević, M. Porčić & S. Stefanović. 1st Conference on the Early Neolithic of Europe (ENE), Barcelona, Spain , 06.11-08.11.2019. Barcelona, Spain (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3547434)
Abstract: The use of summed calibrated radiocarbon probability distributions method(SCPD) has been widely used in palaeodemographic reconstructions of population dynamics worldwide. Recent application of the method in the Central Balkans, based on published C14 dates, has shown partial correspondence with the predictions for the first phase of the Neolithic demographic transition, but instead of detecting one episode of major population increase in the population proxy curve, as we would expect based on the theory, the resulting pattern was a bimodal curve suggesting two episodes of population increase and two episodes of decrease. In order to clarify the situation and make a robust and valid reconstruction of the Early Neolithic population dynamics in the Central Balkans, more than 200 new radiocarbon samples were collected in a probabilistic manner from the Early Neolithic sites in Serbia by the ERC funded project BIRTH – Births, mothers and babies: Prehistoric fertility in the Balkans between 10000-5000 cal BC. We present and discuss the new results based on the new set of samples taken specifically and exclusively to meet the requirements of the SCPD method.