Serbia – Lepenski Vir (July 2013) The Lepenski Vir archaeological site is located in the Djerdap National Park 160 km southeast of Belgrade. During the preparation of the terrain for the construction of the Djerdap Hydroelectric Power Plant in the 1960s, the site Lepenski Vir was found. Several localities of the Lepenski Vir culture have been found on our own as well as on the Romanian side of the Danube. The site is extremely significant as it is one of the oldest Mesolithic sites in Europe. The site dates from 9000 – 6200 BC.
One of the important features was that during the Lepenski Vir I phase, the residents of the settlement decided to stay at this place for a whole year, which required the construction of a permanent settlement. The houses were basically trapezoidal in shape and had a hearth in the middle. In the central part of the settlement was a larger building, which was interpreted as a sanctuary. Another important detail is that the gatherer hunters who lived in this settlement domesticated the dog locally. The first European monolithic sculptures originate from this site
Found river pebbles up to 80 cm in height, which we now call early works of art, had a cult purpose for their creators. The sculptures were given new names: Grandparent, Founder, Water Fairy, Adam, Danubius, etc. we will never know their real names and significance, we can only assume that they played an important role in society. The burial within this culture was done in several ways, one of which is in the sitting position specific to the Mesolithic inhabitants of the Djerdap Gorge.
The site was relocated and protected after the completion of the hydroelectric power plant, but in 2010 it received an adequate museum building. The Lepenski Vir locality is one of the few prehistoric sites in Serbia that fulfills all the requirements in terms of facilities and infrastructure. Visiting the site is often organized as a day trip where you have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful gorge, but also to learn a lot about this mysterious civilization.