Archaeological Location Vučedol
Archaeological Location Vučedol is located along the Danube bank (5 kilometres downriver from Vukovar) and is one of the most important locations from the Eneolithic period. What makes it special is that, due to the value of the finds and the possible determination of the profile of the entire manifestation, it provided the name for an entire Eneolithic culture – the Vučedol Culture, and at the same time it is the area where it originated.
Due to its extraordinary geostrategic position, Vučedol was a place of constant inhabitation. The deepest layers preserved the traces of the oldest Neolithic culture which is called Starčevo Culture. However, continual life in Vučedol and with mutual interactions is recorded in the Eneolithic period, when in a period of 700 years there are signs of Baden, Kostolac, and Vučedol Cultures. Vučedol definitely achieved greatest prosperity during the Vučedol Culture which was dated to have lasted from 3000 to 2200 B.C.
People lived in Vučedol on three inhabited plateaus which encircled Gradac in the shape of an arch, Gradac’s location away from the plateaus and its appearance indicate that it fulfilled a role of acropolis. It was a settlement of farmers, cattle herders, hunters, and copper workers. Material culture, in which the production of ceramics is especially prominent, points to a highly developed civilization due to the extraordinary quality of technology and its aesthetic value. Its features are an expressed artistic inspiration and a creative power which started a new flow of civilization. The ceramics from Vučedol attracts attention with its perfect harmony of shapes and the placement of decorations. The most famous ceramic vessel is the Vučedol Dove, a cult vessel in the shape of a bird, richly decorated by incrustations, found in 1938 at the location Gradac.
The Vučedol Orion, which is considered to be the oldest calendar in Europe, is also an artefact of the Vučedol Culture. A vessel with the calendar was found in Vinkovci, at the location of the now standing hotel Slavonija. The four fields that the vessel is divided into represent the four seasons and individual symbols which appear systematically represent the sequence of months. The discovery of the oldest calendar indicates a developed, high civilization and culture in this area, over five thousand years ago.