EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP

EARLY SYMBOLIC SYSTEMS FOR COMMUNICATION
IN SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE


KARLOVO, BULGARIA, 14-20 APRIL 2002, SUMMARIES
EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION

PREHISTORY FOUNDATION
The Dialogue between Household and Community (A Case Study of Banjica)

Boban Tripkovic
University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro
btripkov@f.bg.ac.yu

T
he social structure of neolithic communities is one of the most complex questions in archaeology of this period. The research goes from the household - a basic social economic unit - to the community (settlement) – an institution which regulated various shapes of co-operation and mutual activities. In this contribution the importance of the household, as a basic social economic unit in the neolithic, is observed through its relation with other households in the community and its participation in creation of what they are constructing together - the community.
     The site of Banjica is taken as a sample for analysis, being the settlement of Vinca culture, which is located in the urban area of contemporary Belgrade and which has been excavated several times during the second half of 20th century. The research of this neolithic settlement at the surface greater than 600 sq. m, discovered a rich stratigraphy (cultural layer of 2m) with total number of 5 living horizons and relatively well preserved traces of architecture. This meant the fulfilment of basic conditions to overlook the dynamic of development of this neolithic settlement as well as the study of complex relationship household vs. household and household vs. community.
     The analysis of some parameters regarding the construction of houses (technique of construction, dimensions, type of used material) and spatial organization in the settlement and in the house interior, was used as a basis for definition of similarities and differences between the houses in each living horizon. One of the findings during the analysis was that the structures, which were fixed to the floors of houses (ovens, hearths, siloi) had the important role in definition of internal spatial organization, while the movable archaeological material was giving such results only in the rare segments during the usable life cycle of house.
     It was noticed that the symmetry in spatial organization in some of the horizons gave some predictions to the establishment of certain symbolic order which was respected on both levels, household and community. The fire places (ovens and hearths) in that symbolic order played the most important role and possibly presented the mechanism for transmission of messages in both directions – from the household to the community and from the community to household. Some of the reasons that might have been used as a basis for such kind of practice were presented in this contribution.
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2002 © European Science Foundation
2002 © Prehistory Foundation & Reports of Prehistoric Research Projects
2002 ©The Author
Editor: Lolita Nikolova
All rights reserved. Published: 12/21/02
Since 12/21/02