The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. Stone Age artifacts include tools used by modern humans and by their predecessor species in the genus Homo, by the earlier contemporaneous genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Bone tools were used during this period as well but are preserved in the archaeological record; the Stone Age is further subdivided by the types of stone tools in use. The Stone Age is the first period in the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: The Stone Age The Bronze Age The Iron Age The Stone Age is contemporaneous with the evolution of the genus Homo, the only exception being the early Stone Age, when species prior to Homo may have manufactured tools. According to the age and location of the current evidence, the cradle of the genus is the East African Rift System toward the north in Ethiopia, where it is bordered by grasslands.
The closest relative among the other living primates, the genus Pan, represents a branch that continued on in the deep forest, where the primates evolved. The rift served as a conduit for movement into southern Africa and north down the Nile into North Africa and through the continuation of the rift in the Levant to the vast grasslands of Asia. Starting from about 4 million years ago a single biome established itself from South Africa through the rift, North Africa, across Asia to modern China, called "transcontinental'savannahstan'" recently. Starting in the grasslands of the rift, Homo erectus, the predecessor of modern humans, found an ecological niche as a tool-maker and developed a dependence on it, becoming a "tool equipped savanna dweller"; the oldest indirect evidence found of stone tool use is fossilised animal bones with tool marks. Archaeological discoveries in Kenya in 2015, identifying the oldest known evidence of hominin use of tools to date, have indicated that Kenyanthropus platyops may have been the earliest tool-users known.
The oldest stone tools were excavated from the site of Lomekwi 3 in West Turkana, northwestern Kenya, date to 3.3 million years old. Prior to the discovery of these "Lomekwian" tools, the oldest known stone tools had been found at several sites at Gona, Ethiopia, on the sediments of the paleo-Awash River, which serve to date them. All the tools come from the Busidama Formation, which lies above a disconformity, or missing layer, which would have been from 2.9 to 2.7 mya. The oldest sites containing tools are dated to 2.6–2.55 mya. One of the most striking circumstances about these sites is that they are from the Late Pliocene, where previous to their discovery tools were thought to have evolved only in the Pleistocene. Excavators at the locality point out that: "...the earliest stone tool makers were skilled flintknappers.... The possible reasons behind this seeming abrupt transition from the absence of stone tools to the presence thereof include... gaps in the geological record."The species who made the Pliocene tools remains unknown.
Fragments of Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus aethiopicus and Homo Homo habilis, have been found in sites near the age of the Gona tools. In July 2018, scientists reported the discovery in China of the oldest stone tools outside Africa, estimated at 2.12 million years old. Innovation of the technique of smelting ore began the Bronze Age; the first most significant metal manufactured was bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, each of, smelted separately. The transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age was a period during which modern people could smelt copper, but did not yet manufacture bronze, a time known as the Copper Age, or more technically the Chalcolithic, "copper-stone" age; the Chalcolithic by convention is the initial period of the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age; the transition out of the Stone Age occurred between 6000 BCE and 2500 BCE for much of humanity living in North Africa and Eurasia. The first evidence of human metallurgy dates to between the 5th and 6th millennium BCE in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek and Pločnik in modern-day Serbia, though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", this provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy.
Note the Rudna Glava mine in Serbia. Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy from about 3300 BCE carried with him a flint knife. In regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Stone Age was followed directly by the Iron Age; the Middle East and southeastern Asian regions progressed past Stone Age technology around 6000 BCE. Europe, the rest of Asia became post-Stone Age societies by about 4000 BCE; the proto-Inca cultures of South America continued at a Stone Age level until around 2000 BCE, when gold and silver made their entrance. The Americas notably did not develop a widespread behavior of smelting Bronze or Iron after the Stone Age period, although the technology existed. Stone tool manufacture continued after the Stone Age ended in a given area. In Europe and North America, millstones were in use until well into the 20th century, still are in many parts of the world; the terms "Stone Age", "Bronze Age", "Iron Age" were never meant to suggest that advancement and time periods in prehistory are only measured by the type of tool material, rather than, for
The Cucuteni–Trypillia culture known as the Tripolye culture, is a Neolithic–Eneolithic archaeological culture of Eastern Europe. It extended from the Carpathian Mountains to the Dniester and Dnieper regions, centred on modern-day Moldova and covering substantial parts of western Ukraine and northeastern Romania, encompassing an area of 350,000 km2, with a diameter of 500 km; the majority of Cucuteni–Trypillia settlements consisted of high-density, small settlements, concentrated in the Siret and Dniester river valleys. During the Middle Trypillia phase, populations belonging to the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture built the largest settlements in Neolithic Europe, some of which contained as many as 3,000 structures and were inhabited by 20,000 to 46,000 people. One of the most notable aspects of this culture was the periodic destruction of settlements, with each single-habitation site having a lifetime of 60 to 80 years; the purpose of burning these settlements is a subject of debate among scholars.
One particular location. The culture was named after the village of Cucuteni in Iași County, Romania. In 1884, Teodor T. Burada, after having seen ceramic fragments in the gravel used to maintain the road from Târgu Frumos to Iași, investigated the quarry in Cucuteni from where the material was mined, where he found fragments of pottery and terracotta figurines. Burada and other scholars from Iași, including the poet Nicolae Beldiceanu and archeologists Grigore Butureanu, Dimitrie C. Butculescu and George Diamandy, subsequently began the first excavations at Cucuteni in the spring of 1885, their findings were published in 1885 and 1889, presented in two international conferences in 1889, both in Paris: at the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences by Butureanu and at a meeting of the Society of Anthropology of Paris by Diamandi. At the same time, the first Ukrainian sites ascribed to the culture were discovered by Vikentiy Khvoyka, a Czech-born Ukrainian archeologist, in Kyiv at Kyrylivska street 55.
The year of his discoveries has been variously claimed as 1893, 1896 and 1887. Subsequently, Chvojka presented his findings at the 11th Congress of Archaeologists in 1897, considered the official date of the discovery of the Trypillia culture in Ukraine. In the same year, similar artifacts were excavated in the village of Trypillia, in Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine; as a result, this culture became identified in Ukrainian publications, as the'Tripolie','Tripolian' or'Trypillia' culture. Today, the finds from both Romania and Ukraine, as well as those from Moldova, are recognised as belonging to the same cultural complex, it is called the Cucuteni culture in Romania and the Trypillia culture in Ukraine. In English, "Cucuteni–Tripolye culture" is most used to refer to the whole culture, with the Ukrainian-derived term "Cucuteni–Trypillia culture" gaining currency following the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in the territory of what is now Moldova, northeastern Romania and parts of Western and Southern Ukraine.
The culture thus extended northeast from the Danube river basin around the Iron Gates to the Black Sea and the Dnieper. It encompassed the central Carpathian Mountains as well as the plains and forest steppe on either side of the range, its historical core lay around the middle to upper Dniester. During the Atlantic and Subboreal climatic periods in which the culture flourished, Europe was at its warmest and moistest since the end of the last Ice Age, creating favorable conditions for agriculture in this region; as of 2003, about 3,000 cultural sites have been identified, ranging from small villages to "vast settlements consisting of hundreds of dwellings surrounded by multiple ditches". Traditionally separate schemes of periodisation have been used for the Ukrainian Trypillia and Romanian Cucuteni variants of the culture; the Cucuteni scheme, proposed by the German archaeologist Hubert Schmidt in 1932, distinguished three cultures: Pre-Cucuteni and Horodiştea–Folteşti. The Ukrainian scheme was first developed by Tatiana Sergeyevna Passek in 1949 and divided the Trypillia culture into three main phases with further sub-phases.
Based on informal ceramic seriation, both schemes have been extended and revised since first proposed, incorporating new data and formalised mathematical techniques for artifact seriation. The Cucuteni–Trypillia culture is divided into an Early, Late period, with varying smaller sub-divisions marked by changes in settlement and material culture. A key point of contention lies in; the following chart represents this most current interpretation: The roots of Cucuteni–Trypillia culture can be found in the Starčevo–Körös–Criș and Vinča cultures of the 6th to 5th millennia, with additional influence from the Bug–Dniester culture. During the early period of its existence, the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture was influenced by the Linear Pottery culture
Sesklo is a village in Greece, located near Volos, a city located within the municipality of Aisonia. The municipality is located within the regional unit of Magnesia, located within the administrative region of Thessaly; the settlement at Sesklo gives its name to the earliest known Neolithic culture of Europe, which inhabited Thessaly and parts of Macedonia. The Neolithic settlement was discovered in the 1800s and the first excavations were made by the Greek archaeologist, Christos Tsountas; the oldest fragments researched at Sesklo place development of the civilization as far back as c. 7510 BC — c. 6190 BC, known as proto-Sesklo and pre-Sesklo. They show an advanced agriculture and a early use of pottery that rivals in age those documented in the near east. Available data indicates that domestication of cattle occurred at Argissa as early as c. 6300 BC, during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. The aceramic levels at Sesklo contained bone fragments of domesticated cattle; the earliest similar occurrence documented in the Near East is at Çatalhöyük, in stratum VI, dating c. 5750 BC, although it might have been present in stratum XII too — c. 6100 BC.
The Neolithic settlement of Sesklo covered an area of 20 hectares during its peak period at c. 5000 BC and comprised about 500 to 800 houses with a population estimated to be as large as 5,000 people. The peoples of Sesklo built their villages on hillsides near fertile valleys, where they grew wheat and barley, they kept herds of sheep and goats, although they had cattle and dogs. Their houses were small, with two rooms, built of wood or mudbrick in the early period. Construction techniques became more homogeneous and all homes were built of adobe with stone foundations; the first houses with two levels were found and a intentional urbanism existed. The lower levels of proto-Sesklo lack pottery, but the Sesklo people soon developed fine-glazed earthenware that they decorated with geometric symbols in red or brown colors. New types of pottery were incorporated in the Sesklo period. Images of the Sesklo archaeological site: An "invasion theory" states that the Sesklo culture lasted more than one full millennium, until c. 5000 BC, when it was violently conquered by people of the Dimini culture.
The Dimini culture in this theory is considered different from that found earlier at Sesklo, however, in a contrary theory by Professor Ioannis Lyritzis about the end of the unique Sesklo culture, he describes as the "Seskloans". He and R. Galloway compared ceramic materials from both Sesklo and Dimini using thermoluminescence dating methods, they discovered evidence that the inhabitants of the settlement in Dimini first appeared among the Seskloans c. 4800 BC, four centuries before the end of the Sesklo culture c. 4400 BC. Lyritzis concluded that the "Diminians" co-existed for a period of time. Ceramic decoration evolves to flame motifs toward the end of the Sesklo culture. Pottery of this “classic” Sesklo style was used in Western Macedonia, as at Servia; that there are many similarities between the rare Asia Minor pottery and early Greek Neolithic pottery was acknowledged when investigations were made regarding whether these settlers could be migrants from Asia Minor, but such similarities seem to exist among all early pottery found in near eastern regions.
The repertoire of shapes is not different, but the Asia Minor vessels demonstrate significant differences. They seem to be deeper than their Thessalonian counterparts. Shallow open bowls are characteristic of the Sesklo culture, but are absent in Anatolian settlements. Use of a ring base was unknown in Anatolia and plano-convex bases were worked instead. Altogether, the appearance of the vessels is different; the rare examples of pottery from levels XII and XI at Çatalhöyük resemble the shape of the coarse earthenware of Early Neolithic I from Sesklo, but the paste is different, having a partly-vegetable temper, this pottery is contemporaneous, not a predecessor, of the better-made products in the Thessalonian material. The earliest appearance of figurines is different as well. One significant characteristic of this culture is the abundance of statuettes of women pregnant connected to widely-hypothesized prehistoric fertility cults during the Paleolithic Period and the Neolithic Period; these sculptures of women are present in all the Balkan cultures and most of the Danube civilization throughout many millennia, although they may not be considered exclusive to this area.
Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas mentions recognition of a gorgon mask from the Sesklo culture, an image that persists throughout Ancient and Classical Greek arts. On the whole, the artifactual data argues in favor of a independent indigenous development of the Greek Neolithic settlements; the Sesklo culture is crucial in the expansion of the Neolithic into Europe. Dating and research points to the influence of Sesklo culture on both the Karanovo and Körös cultures that seem to originate there, who in turn, gave rise to the important Danube civilization current. Sesklo and Dimini fortifications Dimini Neolithic Greece Dispilio Tablet Dispilio Lakeside Neolithic Settlement Archaeological Collection Old Europe Vinča culture Vinča symbols Varna culture Hamangia culture Cucuteni–Trypillia culture Gumelniţa–Karanovo culture Butmir Culture Boian culture Tisza culture Linear Pottery culture Lengyel culture Funnelbeaker culture Starčevo culture Karanovo culture Liritzis. I Dating by thermoluminescence: Application to Neolithic settlement of Dimini.
Anthropologika, 2, 37-48. Liritzis, Y and Galloway, R. B Thermoluminescence dating of Neolithic Sesklo an
History of technology
The history of technology is the history of the invention of tools and techniques and is one of the categories of the history of humanity. Technology can refer to methods ranging from as simple as stone tools to the complex genetic engineering and information technology that has emerged since the 1980s; the term technology comes from the Greek word techne, meaning art and craft, the word logos, meaning word and speech. It was first used to describe applied arts, but it is now used to described advancements and changes which affect the environment around us. New knowledge has enabled people to create new things, conversely, many scientific endeavors are made possible by technologies which assist humans in traveling to places they could not reach, by scientific instruments by which we study nature in more detail than our natural senses allow. Since much of technology is applied science, technical history is connected to the history of science. Since technology uses resources, technical history is connected to economic history.
From those resources, technology produces other resources, including technological artifacts used in everyday life. Technological change affects and is affected by, a society's cultural traditions, it is a force for economic growth and a means to develop and project economic, military power and wealth. Many sociologists and anthropologists have created social theories dealing with social and cultural evolution. Some, like Lewis H. Morgan, Leslie White, Gerhard Lenski have declared technological progress to be the primary factor driving the development of human civilization. Morgan's concept of three major stages of social evolution can be divided by technological milestones, such as fire. White argued. For White, "the primary function of culture" is to "harness and control energy." White differentiates between five stages of human development: In the first, people use the energy of their own muscles. In the second, they use the energy of domesticated animals. In the third, they use the energy of plants.
In the fourth, they learn to use the energy of natural resources: coal, gas. In the fifth, they harness nuclear energy. White introduced a formula P=E*T, where E is a measure of energy consumed, T is the measure of the efficiency of technical factors using the energy. In his own words, "culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased, or as the efficiency of the instrumental means of putting the energy to work is increased". Nikolai Kardashev extrapolated his theory, creating the Kardashev scale, which categorizes the energy use of advanced civilizations. Lenski's approach focuses on information; the more information and knowledge a given society has, the more advanced. He identifies four stages of human development, based on advances in the history of communication. In the first stage, information is passed by genes. In the second, when humans gain sentience, they can pass information through experience. In the third, the humans start develop logic. In the fourth, they can develop language and writing.
Advancements in communications technology translate into advancements in the economic system and political system, distribution of wealth, social inequality and other spheres of social life. He differentiates societies based on their level of technology and economy: hunter-gatherer, simple agricultural, advanced agricultural, special. In economics, productivity is a measure of technological progress. Productivity increases. Another indicator of technological progress is the development of new products and services, necessary to offset unemployment that would otherwise result as labor inputs are reduced. In developed countries productivity growth has been slowing since the late 1970s. For example, employment in manufacturing in the United States declined from over 30% in the 1940s to just over 10% 70 years later. Similar changes occurred in other developed countries; this stage is referred to as post-industrial. In the late 1970s sociologists and anthropologists like Alvin Toffler, Daniel Bell and John Naisbitt have approached the theories of post-industrial societies, arguing that the current era of industrial society is coming to an end, services and information are becoming more important than industry and goods.
Some extreme visions of the post-industrial society in fiction, are strikingly similar to the visions of near and post-Singularity societies. The following is a summary of the history of technology by time period and geography: During most of the Paleolithic – the bulk of the Stone Age – all humans had a lifestyle which involved limited tools and few permanent settlements; the first major technologies were tied to survival and food preparation. Stone tools and weapons and clothing were technological developments of major importance during this period. Human ancestors have been using stone and other tools since long before the emergence of Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago; the earliest methods of stone tool making, known as the Oldowan "industry", date back to at least 2.3 million years ago, with the earliest direct evidence of tool usage found in Ethiopia within the Great Rift Valley, dating back to 2.5 million years ago. This era of stone tool use is called the Paleolithic
The three-age system is the categorization of history into time periods divisible by three. In history and physical anthropology, the three-age system is a methodological concept adopted during the 19th century by which artifacts and events of late prehistory and early history could be ordered into a recognizable chronology, it was developed by C. J. Thomsen, director of the Royal Museum of Nordic Antiquities, Copenhagen, as a means to classify the museum’s collections according to whether the artifacts were made of stone, bronze, or iron; the system first appealed to British researchers working in the science of ethnology who adopted it to establish race sequences for Britain's past based on cranial types. Although the craniological ethnology that formed its first scholarly context holds no scientific value, the relative chronology of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age is still in use in a general public context, the three ages remain the underpinning of prehistoric chronology for Europe, the Mediterranean world and the Near East.
The structure reflects the cultural and historical background of Mediterranean Europe and the Middle East and soon underwent further subdivisions, including the 1865 partitioning of the Stone Age into Paleolithic and Neolithic periods by John Lubbock. It is, however, of little or no use for the establishment of chronological frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa, much of Asia, the Americas and some other areas and has little importance in contemporary archaeological or anthropological discussion for these regions; the concept of dividing pre-historical ages into systems based on metals extends far back in European history originated by Lucretius in the first century BC. But the present archaeological system of the three main ages—stone and iron—originates with the Danish archaeologist Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, who placed the system on a more scientific basis by typological and chronological studies, at first, of tools and other artifacts present in the Museum of Northern Antiquities in Copenhagen.
He used artifacts and the excavation reports published or sent to him by Danish archaeologists who were doing controlled excavations. His position as curator of the museum gave him enough visibility to become influential on Danish archaeology. A well-known and well-liked figure, he explained his system in person to visitors at the museum, many of them professional archaeologists. In his poem and Days, the ancient Greek poet Hesiod between 750 and 650 BC, defined five successive Ages of Man: 1. Golden, 2. Silver, 3. Bronze, 4. Heroic and 5. Iron. Only the Bronze Age and the Iron Age are based on the use of metal:... Zeus the father created the third generation of mortals, the age of bronze... They were terrible and strong, the ghastly action of Ares was theirs, violence.... The weapons of these men were bronze, of bronze their houses, they worked as bronzesmiths. There was not yet any black iron. Hesiod knew from the traditional poetry, such as the Iliad, the heirloom bronze artifacts that abounded in Greek society, that before the use of iron to make tools and weapons, bronze had been the preferred material and iron was not smelted at all.
He did not continue the manufacturing metaphor, but mixed his metaphors, switching over to the market value of each metal. Iron was cheaper than bronze, so there must have been a silver age, he portrays a sequence of metallic ages. Each age has less of a moral value than the preceding. Of his own age he says: "And I wish that I were not any part of the fifth generation of men, but had died before it came, or had been born afterward." The moral metaphor of the ages of metals continued. Lucretius, replaced moral degradation with the concept of progress, which he conceived to be like the growth of an individual human being; the concept is evolutionary:. Everything must pass through successive phases. Nothing remains. Everything is on the move. Everything is transformed by nature and forced into new paths... The Earth passes through successive phases, so that it can no longer bear what it could, it can now what it could not before; the Romans believed that the species of animals, including humans, were spontaneously generated from the materials of the Earth, because of which the Latin word mater, "mother", descends to English-speakers as matter and material.
In Lucretius the Earth is Venus, to whom the poem is dedicated in the first few lines. She brought forth humankind by spontaneous generation. Having been given birth as a species, humans must grow to maturity by analogy with the individual; the different phases of their collective life are marked by the accumulation of customs to form material civilization: The earliest weapons were hands and teeth. Next came stones and branches wrenched from trees, fire and flame as soon as these were discovered. Men learnt to use tough iron and copper. With copper they tilled the soil. With copper they whipped up the clashing waves of war... By slow degrees the iron sword came to the fore. Lucretius envisioned a pre-technological human, "far tougher than the men of today... They lived out their lives in the fashion of wild beasts roaming at large." The next stage was the use of huts, clothing and the family. City-states and citadels followed them. Lucretius supposes that the initial
The Varna culture belongs to the Neolithic of northeastern Bulgaria, dated ca. 4400-4100 BC. It is contemporary and related with Gumelnița in southern Rumania considered as local variants, it is characterized by polychrome pottery and rich cemeteries, the most famous of which are Varna Necropolis, the eponymous site, the Durankulak complex, which comprises the largest prehistoric cemetery in southeastern Europe, with an adjoining coeval Neolithic settlement and an unpublished and incompletely excavated Chalcolithic settlement.294 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of copper and gold metallurgy, high-quality flint and obsidian blades and shells. The site was accidentally discovered in October 1972 by excavator operator Raycho Marinov. Research excavation was under the direction of Ivan Ivanov. About 30% of the estimated necropolis area is still not excavated; the findings showed that the Varna culture had trade relations with distant lands including the lower Volga region and the Cyclades exporting metal goods and salt from the Provadiya rock salt mine.
The copper ore used in the artifacts originated from a Sredna Gora mine near Stara Zagora, Mediterranean spondylus shells found in the graves may have served as primitive currency. Burials at Varna have some of the world's oldest gold jewelry. There extended inhumations; some graves do not contain grave gifts. The symbolic graves are the richest in gold artifacts. 3000 gold artifacts were found, with a weight of 6 kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold. Three symbolic graves contained masks of unfired clay. “The weight and the number of gold finds in the Varna cemetery exceeds by several times the combined weight and number of all of the gold artifacts found in all excavated sites of the same millenium, 5000-4000 BC, from all over the world, including Mesopotamia and Egypt”. The culture had sophisticated religious beliefs about afterlife and developed hierarchical status differences: it constitutes the oldest known burial evidence of an elite male; the end of the fifth millennium BC is the time that Marija Gimbutas, founder of the Kurgan hypothesis claims the transition to male dominance began in Europe.
The high status male was buried with remarkable amounts of gold, held a war axe or mace and wore a gold penis sheath. The bull-shaped gold platelets also venerated virility, instinctive force, warfare. Gimbutas holds that the artifacts were made by local craftspeople; the discontinuity of the Varna, Vinča and Lengyel cultures in their main territories and the large scale population shifts to the north and northwest are indirect evidence of a catastrophe of such proportions that cannot be explained by possible climatic change, desertification, or epidemics. Direct evidence of the incursion of horse-riding warriors is found, not only in single burials of males under barrows, but in the emergence of a whole complex of Indo-European cultural traits. Solnitsata Old Europe Vinča culture Vinča symbols Sesklo culture Hamangia culture Cucuteni–Trypillia culture Gumelniţa–Karanovo culture Butmir Culture Boian culture Tisza culture Linear Pottery culture Lengyel culture Funnelbeaker culture Starčevo culture Karanovo culture Varna Archaeological Museum.
Varna Necropolis Cultural Tourism page on the Golden Sands Resort web site. Another photo by Ivo Hadjimishev The Durankulak Lake Town - Kibela's Temple Very detailed information about findings in Varna necropolis I and II - in Bulgarian language Khenrieta Todorova, The eneolithic period in Bulgaria in the fifth millennium B. C. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1978. BAR supplementary series 49. Henrieta Todorova, Kupferzeitliche Siedlungen in Nordostbulgarien. München: Beck 1982. Materialien zur allgemeinen und vergleichenden Archäologie 13
The Butmir Culture was a major Neolithic culture which existed in Butmir, near Sarajevo, in the vicinity of Ilidža in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is characterized by its unique pottery, is one of the best researched European cultures from 5100–4500 BC, it was part of the larger Danube civilization. The Butmir culture was discovered in 1893, when Austro-Hungarian authorities began construction on the agricultural college of the University of Sarajevo. Various traces of human settlement were found dating to the Neolithic period. Digs were begun and lasted until 1896; the finds caused interest among archaeologists worldwide. They were responsible for the International Congress of Archaeology and Anthropology being held in Sarajevo in August 1894; the most impressive finds were the unique ceramics, which are now found in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Certain characteristics of the Butmir pottery designs made some suggest a connection to the Minoan culture on Crete. Of course this was during the same time that some suggested Troy was found in the Neretva river valley, overwhelming modern opinion is that the Butmir people were a unique culture of their own in the Sarajevo area.
The culture disappeared during the Bronze Age conquered by the Illyrians who, are only attested from 400 AD onward. The tribe who occupied the area in by far Roman times were the Daesitates; the Butmir culture was the home for several large settlements, among them was the site of Okolište in Bosnia dating to 5200-4500 BC. with population estimates between 1,000-3,000 people. The settlement was largest in the early phase with an area of 7.5 hectare, from there it declined to reach the size of 1.2 heatare in 4500 BC. The site consisted of parallel rows of houses that ranged in size from four to ten meters in length; the site likely had a series of ditches surrounding it with a single entrance. Other known settlements was Obre; the site of Okolište would have been an egalitarian society with no evidence of social stratification. Most animal remains found in Okolište belong to cattle, while a fair amount belonged to sheep and pigs; the diet of the Okoliste people consisted of cattle, emmer and lentils.
Although there was an importance of agriculture and animal husbandry, wild game was still hunted as a source of food. Bronze age Vinča culture Bosnien-Herzegowina, Okolište und Butmir Sarajevo School of Science and Technology Tempus project JEP_41058_2006