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The Vinča culture: an overview

Roberts, BW; Radivojevic, M; Maric, M; (2021) The Vinča culture: an overview. In: Radivojevic, M and Roberts, BW and Maric, M and Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic, J and Rehren, T, (eds.) The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia: Evolution, Organisation and Consumption of Early Metal in the Balkans. (pp. 38-46). Archaeopress: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This chapter reviews the archaeological evidence for the Vinča culture, the broader archaeological context for the majority of the metal production and metal artefacts extensively explored in Chapter 3, as well as for the sites of Belovode and Pločnik, whose investigation forms the core of The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia project. The chapter will provide a lengthy introduction to the current data and interpretations of the Vinča culture that are subsequently developed in far greater detail in the thematic overviews by many of the leading specialists in later chapters (Chapters 39–52). This monograph seeks to address, at least in part, the absence of a dedicated synthesis of the Vinča culture since Chapman’s (1981) monograph (see Chapman 2020b for a critical reflection). The concept of archaeological cultures remains problematic in European prehistory in terms of definition and interpretation, yet extremely resilient in the absence of comparable empirically orientated alternatives (Roberts and Vander Linden 2011). Due to competing national traditions of scholarship, the culture history groupings and terminologies are strikingly complex in the later prehistoric Balkans (Gori and Ivanova 2017; Tsirtsoni 2016a). As such, the chapter explores the historiography and complex debates that surround the archaeological and temporal definitions of the Vinča culture. The importance of the Vinča culture lies not only in the evidence of early metallurgy but also in the evidence for the expansion of material culture production and circulation, the intensification of agriculture and increase in sedentism and settlement growth, which are all subsequently reviewed. The chapter concludes by examining past and present interpretations of the communities who lived and died within what we now term the Vinča culture.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Vinča culture: an overview
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.32028/9781803270425
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.32028/9781803270425
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134141
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