Because of the giant whirlpool in front of it, Lepenski Vir is cyrillic for ‘Lepena Whirlpool’ or Лепенски Вир

In the middle of the Djerdap, iron gates gorge of the Danube river, where it exits Hungry. Around the steep clifs of Korso hills. Exists Lepenski Vir. One of the earliest establishments in Europe.

Lepenski Vir 1 habitations, w/ house locations ‘l’, as well as some radiocarbon dates based on charcoal samples. From: the iron gates mesolithic, 1. Radovanovic, with additions from Bonsali et al.

Vindicating a Serbian transition, it is one of the most important archaeological sites of the mesolithic iron gates culture in the Balkans. Between 11,000, and 8,000 years ago, radiocarbon and AMS data suggest a unique chronology. During 8300 to 8000 years ago, when humans were transitioning out of caves, the late Lepenski Vir architectural phase, saw numerous developments of unique trapezoidal buildings and monumental sculptures. The site itself consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. Numerous pristine sculptures and well built architectural remains. Where many archaeologist claim that ‘Lepena Whirlpools’, early European sculptures, and original architectural solutions define prehistoric European culture.

Houses, fish and human sculptures and growth
Considering the ice age had just ended. The thermic benefits of the limestone bluffs above Lepena whirlpool helped established the community. Throughout the 800 year phase of Lepenski Vir 1 and 2 occupations. Amongst the sandy landscapes, houses were laid out, and built in parallel. They were wooden homes. Floored with sandstone, lime and homemade concrete. And, the walls were often covered with hardened limestone plaster. Sometimes even burnished in colour, with red and white pigments from the surrounding clay and loam.

Most houses had a hearth, some a fish roasting spit, and that was centrally located for relaxation and eats. Several of the houses housed alters, and sculptures made of sandstone. Probably due to its proximity to the Danube river, and sexuality trends. The culture liked to combine humans and fish in there artistic creations. Once again defining early European culture. The community grew, expanded and loved.

Helping keep the settlement going. The whirlpools encouraged algae and fish. And, at the same time, while all of this was going on. Building, foragers and fishers. Farming communitys sprang up nearby. Known as Starcevo-Cris culture. They exchanged pottery and food with Lepenski Vir residents. For things like fish, stone tools, and what were probably becoming skilled techniques and skills in building construction.

Did you know? Derdap National Park. Established in the 1970s, and more recently a Unesco global geopark. Lepenski Vir, and about 510 square miles (1330 square km) around it, can be visited to explore, hike, camp and bike. The park was the first designation of its kind in Serbia.

like Catal Hoyuk in Turkey (which was built around the same time). ‘Lepena whirlpool’ provides a glimpse into mesolithic and early neolithic rituals, building, art and gender relationships. As well as the transformation from forgers, fisherman, and into agricultural. Lets hear it for what some say, was one of the first towns in Europe.

Bibliography: LEPENSKI VIR – SCHELA CLADOVEI CULTURE’SCHRONOLOGY AND ITS INTERPRETATION”. Rusu Aurelian, Brukenthal. Acta Musei, VI. 1, 2011. 2011.

Sormaz, A. (2023). Lepenski Vir. World History Encyclopedia.

“Upoznajte praistorijskog čoveka” [Meet the prehistoric man]. (in Serbian). 2021.

Hirst, K. K. (2020). Lepenski Vir: Mesolithic Village in the Republic of Serbia. ThoughtCo.

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