Arh Vjesnik 2007 Moore1 | Excavation (Archaeology) | Valley

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A. MOORE et al.: Project »Early farming in Dalmatia«, VAMZ, 3.s., XL 15–24 (2007) 15 ANDREW MOORE Rochester Institute of Technology 115 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623-5604 U.S.A. ammgla@rit.edu MARKO MEN\U[I] Ministarstvo kulture Uprava za za{titu kulturne ba{tine Konzervatorski odjel u [ibeniku J. ^ulinovi}a 1/3 22000 [ibenik Croatia marko.mendusic@min-kulture.hr JENNIFER SMITH Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Washington University Campus Box 1169 One Brookings Drive St. L
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  ANDREW MOORE  Rochester Institute of Technology115 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623-5604U.S.A. ammgla @ rit.edu MARKO MEN\U[I]  Ministarstvo kultureUprava za za{titu kulturne ba{tineKonzervatorski odjel u [ibeniku J. ^ulinovi}a 1/322000 [ibenik Croatia marko.mendusic @ min-kulture.hr  PROJECT »EARLY FARMING IN DALMATIA«:DANILO BITINJ 2004–2005 903.1(36:436.9)Original scientific paper The Middle Neolithic site Danilo Bitinj was excavated in 2004 and 2005, as part ofaninterdisciplinaryprojectEarlyFarminginDalmatia.Theaimoftheproject is to investigate the spread of farming from western Asia to MediterraneanEurope and its further development, using a regional approach (Central Dal-matia).Besidesarchaeologicalexcavation,thisalsoincludesgeomorphological,botanical, zoological, malacological and ethnological investigations. Prelimi-nary results show that the Neolithic inhabitants of the Danilo valley lived in acomplex village and were practicing full-time farming. AIMS OF THE RESEARCH The Early Farming in Dalmatia project is investigating the spread of agriculture fromwestern Asia to Mediterranean Europe and the subsequent development of this new way of lifethere.Weseekgreaterunderstandingofthesevitalprocessesbecausetheyareanimportantexampleof how farming expanded from a major centre of inception to the mid latitudes of the rest of the OldWorld. The coming of agriculture established the economic and social foundations for all later A. MOORE et al.: Project »Early farming in Dalmatia«, VAMZ, 3.s., XL 15–24 (2007) 15 JENNIFER SMITH  Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesWashington UniversityCampus Box 1169One Brookings DriveSt. Louis, MO 63130-4899U.S.A.  jensmith @ levee.wustl.edu EMIL PODRUG  Muzej grada [ibenikaGradska vrata 322000 [ibenik Croatia epodrug @ net.hr   cultural developments in Europe. Herein lies its significance for archaeology. The Dalmatian coastprovides an excellent case study for examining the spread of agriculture because it forms a distinctgeographical zone facing the Adriatic Sea, and separated from the interior of south-eastern Europeby the Dinaric Alps. It appears to have participated fully in a presumably largely maritime expan-sion of farming around the central and western Mediterranean.In the past much research on the Neolithic in Dalmatia has concentrated on investigatingcavesitesbecausetheycontainevidenceoflong-termculturalchanges(forexampleNOVAK1955;^E^UK – RADI] 2005; MARIJANOVI] 2005). Such sites are usually located in the karst hillsand mountains, places that were unsuitable for agriculture. Consequently, they rarely offer infor-mation on the practice of farming. We have decided to investigate two Neolithic open village sites(Danilo Bitinj and Pokrovnik) in relatively rich agricultural zones because they are more likely toyield the kinds of evidence that we seek. The most favourable locations for such sites are in thefertile valleys of central Dalmatia. This region may be contrasted with other sectors of the Dalma-tian coast where the mountains fall straight into the sea, leaving little space for farming in thepresent or the past.The project is a collaboration between City Museum of [ibenik (represented by M. Men|u-{i},E.Podrug),CityMuseumofDrni{(J.Zaninovi})andRochesterInstituteofTechnology,U.S.A.(Dr. A. Moore). Funding is provided by these institutions, Croatian Ministry of Culture, and theNational Science Foundation and National Geographic Society, U.S.A. Several other institutions inCroatia, the United States, and the United Kingdom are also participating in the research. NATURE OF THE FIELD RESEARCH The project is an interdisciplinary one that aims to increase understanding of the develop-ment of farming using a regional approach. This includes archaeological excavation of represen-tative sites, geomorphological investigations, and vegetation surveys, among other methods. Weneed to understand the nature of the landscape in which farming developed, and how it changed inlater millennia under the impact of cultivation and herding.OurresearchatDaniloBitinj(locatedinDanilovalley,cca18kmeastof[ibenik)beganwithagroundpenetratingradar(GPR)surveyofpartofthecentralportionofthesitein2003(MOORE–MEN\U[I] 2004). In the second season, from 3 June to 8 July 2004, we extended the GPR surveyandalsoexcavatedonetrenchatDanilo,TrenchA(MEN\U[I]2005).Theninthethirdseason,30May to 16 July of 2005, we extended the excavation of Trench Aand dug four more trenches, B, C,D, and E (PODRUG 2007). All the trenches were located towards the middle of the site but werespaced up to 100 m apart in order to enlarge our understanding of the archaeological sequence atDanilo and the nature of the structures there. Most of the trenches were dug in areas where the GPRsurvey had shown there to be a strong probability of finding significant archaeological features.Besides collecting usual archaeological artifacts, the major aim of the excavation was to recoverlarge samples of plant remains and animal bones from each trench. To this end, we used a totalrecovery strategy in which all excavated soil was passed through dry sieves (1 cm mesh) and/or theflotation system. Plant remains were recovered through flotation in sieves with a mesh size of 250microns; the soil residue was then washed in sieves with a 1 mm mesh. This ensured nearly com-plete recovery of all the economic evidence as well as artifacts.We carried out a survey of the area covered by the site and its vicinity using the standardmethod of field walking, complemented by the mapping techniques deployed by our geologicalcolleagues. The survey demonstrated that the archaeological site was much more extensive than we 16 A. MOORE et al.: Project »Early farming in Dalmatia«, VAMZ, 3.s., XL 15–24 (2007)  had anticipated, covering an area of perhaps 9 ha. This makes it one of the most extensive Neolithicsites in southern Europe (Figure 1).AmajorobjectiveofthegeomorphologicalpartoftheresearchwastomaptheDaniloValleyin great detail. Asecond aim was to understand how the surface topography, soils, and drainage hadchanged from the Late Pleistocene through the Holocene. This research, undertaken by ProfessorsRobert Giegengack (University of Pennsylvania) and Jennifer Smith (Washington University in St.Louis), and their students, has yielded valuable initial insights. ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESULTS Our excavations confirmed that, at least in the areas we investigated, the bulk of the depositswere of the Danilo culture, or Middle Neolithic phase. This accorded with previous research at thesite by Josip Koro{ec (KORO[EC 1958; 1964) and Marko Men|u{i} (MEN\U[I] 1993; 1998:49). We had assumed that we would find broadly similar features to those excavated by Koro{ec.Ourresearchindicated,however,thatthelayoutofthesitewasconsiderablymorecomplexthanhisresultshadsuggested.Eachtrenchyieldeddistinctfeatures.Inthreetrenchestheearliestoccupationconsisted of pits dug into the subsoil (Figure 2). In Trench B, however, the earliest feature was amassive ditch. Later, the ditch was filled in and the whole area was covered by a stone pavementcovered with abundant remains of habitation debris. In Trench A there were fragmentary stonewalls, many hearths and spaces with dense occupation debris. We also found two child burials inthistrench.InTrenchCweobservedtracesofrectangularhousesaswellasstoneboundarywalls.Men|u{i} had excavated a trench in 1992 beside the road that bisects the site. He had foundpart of a house there so we decided to excavate nearby to try to expand on this information. TheearliestoccupationinourTrenchEwasrepresentedbytwolarge,deeppits.Inthefinalphaseofuseof these pits their rims were delineated with clay walls. Contemporary with this late phase of occupation, a rectangular house was built beside the pit dwelling. Although the clay walls of this A. MOORE et al.: Project »Early farming in Dalmatia«, VAMZ, 3.s., XL 15–24 (2007) 17 Figure 1. View of the Danilo valley from the east. The area covered by the site is within thedashed line.  structure survived only a few centimeters high, it was possible to determine how it had been built.First,twoparallellinesofstakesweresetinplace0.2mapartalongthelinesofthewalls(Figure3).The tips of these stakes had been trimmed, leaving characteristic impressions in the subsoil (Figure4).Thenbrushwasforcedbetweenthelinesofstakestomakeawall.Presumablythisstructurewasheld together with withies. Then clay was applied to the surfaces of the wall, and probably added asa binder within the wall itself. 18 A. MOORE et al.: Project »Early farming in Dalmatia«, VAMZ, 3.s., XL 15–24 (2007) Figure 2. Trench C, from the west. Anumber of pits have been dug into the marl subsoil(scale 1 m).Figure 3. Trench E, from the south. Two lines of stake impressions (marked by labels) in thesubsoil under the walls of a house (scale 1 m).
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