Starčevo culture

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Starčevo culture
Map showing territorial extent of the Starčevo culture
PeriodNeolithic Europe
Datescirca 6,200 B.C.E. — circa 4,500 B.C.E.
Type siteStarčevo
Preceded byIron Gates culture, Mesolithic Romania, Körös culture, Sesklo culture, Dimini culture, Neolithic Greece
Followed byVinča culture, Gumelnița–Karanovo culture, Kakanj culture
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The Starčevo culture, sometimes included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Körös–Criş culture,[1] is an archaeological culture of Southeastern Europe, dating to the Neolithic period between c. 6200 and 4500 BCE.[2][3]

The village of Starčevo, the type site, is located on the north bank of the Danube in Serbia (Vojvodina province), opposite Belgrade. It represents the earliest settled farming society in the area, although hunting and gathering still provided a significant portion of the inhabitants' diet.

Characteristics and related cultures[edit]

The pottery is usually coarse but finer fluted and painted vessels later emerged. A type of bone spatula, perhaps for scooping flour, is a distinctive artifact. The Körös is a similar culture in Hungary named after the River Körös with a closely related culture which also used footed vessels but fewer painted ones. Both have given their names to the wider culture of the region in that period.

Parallel and closely related cultures also include the Karanovo culture in Bulgaria, Criş in Romania and the pre-Sesklo in Greece.


The Starčevo culture covered sizable area that included most of present-day Serbia and Montenegro, as well as parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia and Romania.[4][5]

The westernmost locality of this culture can be found in Croatia, in the vicinity of Ždralovi, a part of the town of Bjelovar. This was the final stage of the culture.[6][7][8] Findings from Ždralovi belong to a regional subtype of the final variant in the long process of development of that Neolithic culture. It is designated as Ždralovi facies of the Starčevo culture or the Starčevo - Final stages.[citation needed]

In 1990, Starčevo was added to the Archaeological Sites of Exceptional Importance list, protected by Republic of Serbia.


Map showing territorial extent of the Starčevo culture

There are different opinions about the ethno-linguistic origin of the people of Starčevo culture. According to one opinion, Neolithic cultures of the Balkans were of non-Indo-European origin[9] and Indo-European peoples (originating from eastern Europe) did not settle in this area before the Eneolithic period. According to other opinions, Neolithic cultures of the Balkans were also Indo-European[10] and originated from Anatolia, which some researchers identified with a place of origin of Indo-European peoples.[10] These differing theories are termed the Kurgan hypothesis and the Anatolian hypothesis (see also; Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses).


In a 2017 genetic study published in Nature, the remains of five males ascribed to the Starčevo culture was analyzed. With regards to Y-DNA extracted, three belonged to subclades of G2a2, and two belonged to H2. mtDNA extracted were subclades of T, K, N, W and X.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trbuhović 2006, p. 62.
  2. ^ Istorijski atlas, Intersistem Kartografija, Beograd, 2010, page 11.
  3. ^ Chapman, John (2000). Fragmentation in Archaeology: People, Places, and Broken Objects. London: Routledge. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-415-15803-9..
  4. ^ Istorijski atlas, Intersistem Kartografija, Beograd, 2010, page 11.
  5. ^ "The Starčevo culture". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  6. ^ Jakovljević, G. Arheološka topografija Bilogore, Bjelovarski zbornik ‘89, Bjelovar, 1989, pp 108-119
  7. ^ Dimitrijević, S. Das Neolithikum in Syrmien, Slawonien und Nordwestkroatien - Einführung in den Stander Forschung, Archeologica Iugoslavica X, Belgrade, 1969, p 39-76 (45, 47)
  8. ^ Dimitrijević, S. Sjeverna zona - Neolitik u centralnom i zapadnom dijelu sjeverne Jugoslavije, Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja II, Sarajevo, 1979, pp 229-360 (252-253)
  9. ^ Mallory 2006, p. 312.
  10. ^ a b Mallory 2006, p. 352.
  11. ^ Lipson 2017.
  12. ^ Narasimhan 2019.


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  • D. Arandjelović-Garašanin, Starčevačka kultura (Ljubljana 1954).
  • Lipson, Mark (November 16, 2017). "Parallel palaeogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers". Nature. Nature Research. 551 (7680): 368–372. doi:10.1038/nature24476. PMC 5973800. PMID 29144465.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Mikić, Živko (1989). "Прилог антрополошком упознавању неолита у Србији". Гласник Српског археолошког друштва. Belgrade. 5: 18–26.
  • Narasimhan, Vagheesh M. (September 6, 2019). "The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 365 (6457): eaat7487. bioRxiv 10.1101/292581. doi:10.1126/science.aat7487. PMC 6822619. PMID 31488661.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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  • Manson, J.L., 1992. A reanalysis of Starcevo culture ceramics: Implications for neolithic development in the Balkans.
  • Kalicz, N., Virág, Z.M. and Biró, K.T., 1998. The northern periphery of the Early Neolithic Starčevo culture in south-western Hungary: a case study of an excavation at Lake Balaton.
  • Minichreiter, K., 2001. The architecture of Early and Middle Neolithic settlements of the Starčevo culture in Northern Croatia. Documenta Praehistorica, 28, pp. 199–214.
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  • Bartosiewicz, L., 2005. Plain talk: animals, environment and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin and adjacent areas. Un) settling the Neolithic. Oxbow, Oxford, pp. 51–63.
  • Barker, G., 1975, December. Early Neolithic land use in Yugoslavia. In Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (Vol. 41, pp. 85–104). Cambridge University Press.
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External links[edit]