Lepenski vir

Lepenski vir is one of the greatest and most significant Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeological sites in the world. It is on the Danube right bank, in the Đerdap Gorge, the Majdanpek Municipality. The people of Lepenski vir belong to one of the most significant and most complex prehistoric cultures. While conducting excavations on the lowest Danube terraces in the 1960’s, remains of some houses were discovered, dating between 6500 B.C. to 5500 B.C., all grouped in six settlements. The settlement are of a horseshoes shape, with a central space which served the purpose of a village square, facing the river. The houses resemble tents and their interior architecture is mathematically precise. The interior of each house includes a fireplace, a small shrine and tables – all made of stone and dug in the floor of red limestone. The houses had a triangular ground plan and on the long axis of the floorplan was the shrine – a river stone, a boulder, surrounded by fish-like sculpture, or in shapes of a deer and fish-like humanoids with strong brow arches, long noses and big mouths. The man of Lepenski vir was an artist, but first of all a fisherman and hunter-gatherer, then a farmer. He new how to domesticate animals and grow crops. They even had a some sort of written signs. In the mid 5th millennium, these most probably the oldest settlers of Serbia moved away, to an unknown destination.


A boulder was considered a source of life, an egg from which the human ancestors hatched, the fish-like humans, then the fish, the deer and other wildlife.


Because of the power plant construction and the elevation of the Danube waters, in order to avoid inundation, in 1970, the whole Lepenski vir site was moved to a higher level, 100 m away from the original place. In this way, this exceptional find was protected, but at the same time it could not be listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Dragoslav Srejović, an archaeologist