Lepenski vir Archaeological site Lepen Whirlpool

Lepenski vir Archaeological site Lepen Whirlpool

Lepenski Vir is spectacular archaeological site in Serbia which is the “Cradle of Europe”. Lepenski Vir archaeological site was discovered, researched and explored by prof Dragoslav Srejovic in the 1960s as part of the project of rescue excavations undertaken due to the creation of the artificial Djardap lake upstream of the exit of the Danube River from the Iron Gates gorges. The Iron Gates represent an exceptional natural environment with a special micro-climate where the mighty Danube had cut a narrow and winding route through the southern fringes of the Carpathian Mountains. Even precipitation rate, mild transition between seasons, relative atmospheric humidity, absence of strong air currents or sharp temperature changes, lime-based ground preserving warmth, and secure food sources, enabled the Mesolithic people of Lepenski Vir to create an imposing culture whose rich and original contents can hardly be paralleled with any other of the same period, or even later. On these terraces on both sides of the Danube we find the settlements of the Lepenski Vir culture. On the Romanian side, the important sites are Ostrovul Mare, Ostrovul Corbului, Schela Cladovei, Ostrovul Banului, Răzvrata, Icoana, Veterani-terrace and Veterani Cave, Climente I and II, Băile Herculane, Cuina Turcului, Vodneac, Ilişova, Izlaz, Sviniţa, Vîrtop, Alibeg and Privod; on the Serbian side, we find the eponymous place Lepenski Vir and furthermore, Padina, Stubica, Vlasac, Hajdučka Vodenica, Velesnica and Kula. Lepenski Vir is also the name of the great whirlpool in the middle of the Danube river by Djerdap, the Iron Gates Gorge. Djerdap Gorge with its Iron Gate is a center of Đerdap National Park which is on tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage.

Lepenski Vir was the settlement of first Danubian settled farmers who were “the Children of the Sun” and lived just opposite to the Treskavac stone summit /of trapezoid shape/, on the other shore of the Danube River, in the present day Romania. With the newly built protective cover of the Visitor Center of the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, the insight to the Treskavac cliff on the left side of the Danube in Romania has been opened, towards which the whole settlements was oriented, having cult significance for inhabitants of the Lepenski Vir. The Lepenski Vir site is nowadays famous for the fantastically preserved Mesolithic buildings, burials and structures of the human settlements, and intricate sandstone sculptures found on site. Lepenski Vir is the Mesolithic site some 15 km north from the city of Donji Milanovac, the sensational Middle stone age complex settled some 8 000 years B.C. after the ice had begun to melt from the glaciers which covered so much of the Northern Hemisphere, and the time when the climate became significantly warmer. The mild climate on terraces of the Danube attracted inhabitants of Lepenski Vir. People who lived for many generations in the settlement of Lepenski Vir used to build unusual and unique trapezoid-shaped huts whose entrance was turned towards the Danube with rectangular fireplaces built of stone blocks and small sanctuaries within their homes. The central position towards the East was given to the fire place and the fire, that emphasized connection with formation of warmth and rising of the Sun. House meant stability and security while the bones of ancestors enhanced this stability and made the connection with the/our history.

Lepenski Vir is best known for its perfectly carved stone figures of humans with large eyes and fish-like mouths, probably idols of hunters and fishermen whose lives depended on mighty Danube River that are the earliest examples of the stone sculptures and the first monumental art created after the Ice Age. The latest researches document that the area of the Danube was inhabited 30000 years BC. Lepenski Vir was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia. In Lepenski Vir open-air Archaeological Site fine examples of jewelry and tools made of bone and stone and tablets with curved letter-like symbols /abstract arabesques/ were found. Those objects and carved symbols are considered to be probably the basic Mankind Alphabet /Vincha alphabet/. Visit to Lepenski Vir is very attractive and strongly recommended to everyone but especially to travelers who visit Serbia !

The early European civilizations with their epicenter in the Middle Danube Basin, Lepenski Vir people expanded their circle towards the south and the north, but always along the vertical line tending towards the east-west, being in complete concordance with the natural movement direction due to the order of harmonious rhythm of spiritual mechanism from which they stemmed and through which they lasted or even have been lasting ever since, unperceived by the eye of the modern technology and spiritual instrumentation.

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