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Author:

[Roksandic, Mirjana|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Roksandic, Mirjana] [Djuri?, Marija|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Djuri?, Marija] [Rako?evi?, Zoran|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Rako?evi?, Zoran] [Seguin, Kimberly|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Seguin, Kimberly]

Title:

Interpersonal Violence at Lepenski Vir Mesolithic/Neolithic Complex of the Iron Gates Gorge (Serbia-Romania)

Journal:

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

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129

Year:

2006

Pages:

339-348

Keywords:

prehistoric violence; prehistoric trauma; Mesolithic/Neolithic transition

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Abstract:

The Mesolithic populations of the Danube River's Iron Gates Gorge (Serbia/Romania) spanned over 1,500 years (from before 7000 BC to around 5500 BC) in one of the most favorable foraging environments of Europe. Over most of these 1,500 years, the dominant economy was foraging, but farming was practiced by communities in the region from around 6500 BC. This research examines individuals from four sites on the Danube (Lepenski Vir, Vlasac, Padina, and Hajduc?ka Vodenica) whose traumatic lesions can be most plausibly interpreted as resulting from violent interactions. Given over four hundred individuals buried at these sites (MNI ¼ 418), the episodes of violent interactions were few and without evidence of a specific temporal pattern. They probably represent sporadic episodes of interpersonal conflict that do not support the notion of endemic warfare deemed typical of the Mesolithic, or elevated levels of interpersonal/ intertribal conflict at the time of contact with farming communities. The difference in patterns of violence between the Mesolithic sites on the right bank of the Danube and a coeval site of Schela Cladovei on the left bank is explained in terms of differences in archaeological context, geographic location, and possibly specific local histories.
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