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history- 82761 - 18.02.2013 : Mihajlo Danilović Majur, Šabac - best (1)

New Radiometric Ages for the BH-1 Hominin from Balanica (Serbia)


Newly obtained ages, based on electron spin resonance combined with uranium series isotopic analysis, and infrared/post-infrared luminescence dating, provide a minimum age that lies between 397 and 525 ka for the hominin mandible BH-1 from Mala Balanica cave, Serbia. This confirms it as the easternmost hominin specimen in Europe dated to the Middle Pleistocene. Inferences drawn from the morphology of the mandible BH-1 place it outside currently observed variation of European Homo heidelbergensis. The lack of derived Neandertal traits in BH-1 and its contemporary specimens in Southeast Europe, such as Kocabaş, Vasogliano and Ceprano, coupled with Middle Pleistocene synapomorphies, suggests different evolutionary forces acting in the east of the continent where isolation did not play such an important role during glaciations.

Citation: Rink WJ, Mercier N, Mihailović D, Morley MW, Thompson JW, et al. (2013) New Radiometric Ages for the BH-1 Hominin from Balanica (Serbia): Implications for Understanding the Role of the Balkans in Middle Pleistocene Human Evolution. PLoS ONE 8(2): e54608. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054608

Editor: Fred H. Smith, Illinois State University, United States of America

Received: September 21, 2012; Accepted: December 14, 2012; Published: February 6, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Rink et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada to WJR and MR (grant numbers not disclosed). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


The Middle Pleistocene has become increasingly recognized as an important period in the biocultural evolution of our lineage. Lebel et al. recognize "exaggerated encephalization, the controlled use of fire, temperate zone geographic dispersals, varieties of prepared core lithic reduction techniques, the development of effective (predatory and defensive) weaponry, and regional differentiation of human populations" among relevant developments Š1Ć. In Europe, the Middle Pleistocene is generally associated with Homo heidelbergensis Š2Ć, a species that was, and continues to be, the subject of substantial controversy regarding its morphology, geographic spread and phylogenetic position (for recent critical overviews see Š3Ć, Š4Ć). Although some consider Homo heidelbergensis as once extending across the Old World Š5Ć, it is more commonly regarded as a European Middle Pleistocene phenomenon, often associated with an early stage in Neandertal evolution Š6Ć. Cartmill and Smith have suggested that the question of H. heidelbergensis taxonomy is not easily solved and advise that we should be referring to these specimens as Heidlebergs Š7Ć, while Stringer Š4Ć recently concluded that questions relating to the phylogenetic position of this species and its differentiation from H. rhodesiensis and other Middle Pleistocene hominins might never be answered since "- these fossils are close to the morphotype expected in the common ancestor of Neanderthals and žmodern- H. sapiens" Š3Ć. As an encephalized, non-specialized hominin, H. heidelbergensis could be ancestral to either or both Neandertals and modern human. However, since all of the European specimens included in the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm present some Neandertal traits, it is commonly considered as a chronospecies Š8Ć, which over time acquired increasingly more specialized Neandertal morphology Š5Ć in the glacial quasi-isolation of Western Europe. It is increasingly evident that the species level might not be the most productive level of discourse when discussing hominin populations in the Middle Pleistocene Š9Ć, Š10Ć. A more appropriate level of comparison relies on the "paleo-deme" or "p-deme" concept Š11Ć that allows us to distinguish between local populations and discuss their possible phyletic relationships without implying (or rejecting) speciation events.

Against this background, every new fossil from the Balkans, where Pleistocene populations were not subject to the same levels of isolation experienced by their western counterparts during glacial periods, could contribute substantially to our understanding of hominin evolution in Europe. A left semi-mandible, BH-1, from Balanica, Serbia Š12Ć, is particularly important as it represents the only Middle Pleistocene hominin specimen from the Central Balkans.

The mandible was excavated at Mala Balanica cave, which together with Velika Balanica forms the Balanica Cave Complex, located in Sićevo Gorge, south Serbia (N43°20.211-, E22°05.115-). This cave complex has been the focus of systematic archaeological excavations since 2004 Š13Ć. Middle Paleolithic artifacts were recovered from the upper levels of both caves and a hominin mandible in the lower stratigraphic level of Mala Balanica, 1.5m below the artifact bearing levels. The excavations are ongoing and bedrock has not been reached in either cave. The detailed characteristics of the sedimentary sequence and details of morphology of the BH-1 mandible are described elsewhere Š12Ć. In this paper we present new ages relevant to the age of the mandible that were obtained by ESR-US and ESR-CSUS dating of tooth enamel, 230Th/234U closed system dating of speleothem carbonate, and infrared/post infrared luminescence dating of cave sediment. We also examine its morphology in the light of an increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominins in the southeast of the continent.

Materials and Methods

Figure 1 shows the site location and plan of the excavations with the positions of dated samples and the BH-1 mandible, while Figure 2 shows their locations projected onto the northern profile of the excavations. The BH-1 mandible was found at a depth of −281 to −285 cm. in geological layer (GH) 3b (Figure 2). Four enamel samples were dated: MABA 1A, 2A, 5B and 5C (two subsamples of tooth 5). Each were dated using two combined ESR/Uranium Series techniques: US-ESR Š14Ć and CSUS-ESR Š15Ć, each technique employing a different uranium uptake modeling method. These samples were taken from the area surrounding the mandible, but from above it, within layers 3b, 3a/b, and 3a respectively (Figures 1 and 2, Table 1).

Figure 1. Location of the site and the distribution of samples in the cave.
Upper left panel: location of Mala Balanica in southwestern Europe. Right panel: plan of Mala Balanica indicating excavated areas superimposed on the excavation grid square identifiers (D, E, F, 17, 18, 19), and locations of dated teeth, sediment, and speleothem samples, and in-situ gamma measurement locations (GAM). Note position of northern profile here (in blue), which is depicted in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Vertical distribution of the samples on the northern profile.
Northern (southwest-facing) profile as shown in Figure 1. Limestone gravel is shown schematically to represent physical arrangement of the coarse components with the fine-grained sediment matrix (white). Geological layers (GH) are shown (encircled numbers), and the locations of dated sediment, teeth and speleothem samples as a function of depth, except MABA 1A which projects outside the limit of the profile. The speleothem was found in layer 3a as shown here diagrammatically, but the dating sample was recovered from near the eastern profile as shown in Figure 1. GAM means location of gamma spectrometer measurement.

Table 1. Age Results for Dental Enamel, Sediment and Flowstone at Mala Balanica.
MABA SED 1 was also obtained from above the mandible, from the same area within layer 3b. It was dated using the infrared/post infrared (IR/post IR) luminescence dating procedure Š16Ć.

Finally, our uppermost dated sample (STAL 4) is a coarsely-crystalline carbonate flowstone sample from the upper portion of layer 3a. It was dated using closed-system assumption 230Th/234U dating Š17Ć. Sample depths, lithological units (or layers), taxa and depths below datum are given in Table S1.

Basic ESR sample preparation followed Rink et al. Š18Ć. Table S2 reports analytical data used as input values for the software described in Grün Š19Ć that yielded the US-ESR and CSUS-ESR results. Table S3 provides dosimetry results and dose rate results. Sample preparation for isotopic analysis of 230Th/234U ratios and other isotopic measurements were carried out at the Université du Québec ŕ Montréal (UQAM) using a thermal ionization mass spectrometer equipped with a secondary electron multiplier (see Text S1). Table S4 provides isotopic results from UQAM. The sediment was prepared and dated at the University of Bordeaux following protocols described in Text S1. All necessary permits were obtained for the described field studies. Permission was granted by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia (permission number: 633-00139/2010-03).

Additional details of the ESR, isotopic and infrared stimulated luminescence sample preparation and measurements are found in Text S1. Figures S1 and S2 show dose response data and curve fitting for ESR and infrared/post infrared luminescence (hereafter referred to as IRSL) measurements respectively. In-situ gamma dosimetry was independently performed for ESR dating by WJR and by NM for the IRSL dating, and is discussed in Text S1.

Stratigraphic Context of the Dated Samples

Detailed geoarchaeological analyses of the Balanica sedimentary sequence are currently in progress. However, a preliminary field assessment of the sequence affords some insights into the depositional environments represented in the sequence at Mala Balanica. At the base of the sequence (layer 3c and below), thick (over 1m), bedded fine silt and clay units are present (recorded in an auger hole taken in front of the section), which show that prior to the deposition of layers 3a and 3b the Sićevo Gorge area experienced particularly humid conditions and as a consequence water pooled in this area of the cave close to the bedrock floor.

Overlying layer 3c, the lower part of the excavated sequence (layers 3b -3a) comprises fine-grained silts and sands, with a medium, sub-angular to sub-rounded limestone gravel component. This shows a marked change in depositional environment, from the low-energy regimes represented by the fine-grained sediments of layers 3c and below, to a much more dynamic environment characterised by increasing coarse sediment deposition. Layer 3a is recorded at 200-210 cm b.d. (below datum) in the central part of the cave, whilst near the western wall it is present at 240-260 cm b.d. This suggests that a talus cone which is evidenced in upper layers 2h -2b started to form at this time towards the central area of the site, most likely as a function of climatic deterioration promoting increased cryoclastic activity.

The remains of a laterally extensive speleothem (flowstone) were recorded within the upper part of layer 3a. Speleothem fragments were also found in the central area of the cave, but not near the western wall, possibly suggesting rapid burial and preservation beneath the debris cone. However, excavations in 2010 and 2011 demonstrated that layer 3b was intact all the way to the cave wall. This confirms that following the deposition of layer 3a the interior site dynamics changed markedly.

The upper part of the Pleistocene sedimentary sequence (layers 2h -2b) is dominated by coarse, sub-angular to angular limestone gravel suspended within a matrix of reddened silts and sands. The size and shape of the gravel components are consistent with deposition under a cold climatic regime, and may broadly indicate a climatic downturn following the deposition of layers 3a -3c. Some layers (e.g. 2b) are clast-supported, containing very low quantities of fine material, most likely reflecting particularly active periods of host bedrock attrition. This is borne out by the inclination of bedding planes and imbrication of gravel clasts in layers 2e -2g, confirming deposition at the distal end of a debris cone situated further out in the central area of the cave.

Dating Results

The age of the mandible is best constrained using the US-ESR age of MABA 2A and the sediment sample MABA SED 1, which both occur only slightly higher in the deposit than the mandible (Table 1, Figure 2). Our MABA SED 1 sample at −270 cm yields an age of 449±52 ka (range 397-501 ka), while the US-ESR age of MABA 2A (at −266 cm) is 482+43/−39 ka (range 441-525 ka). Therefore, based on the principle of superposition, and combining the results from MABA 2A and MABA SED 1, we obtain the best minimum age estimate of the underlying mandible to be 397-525 ka. Other dated samples are consistent with this age estimate. MABA 1A at −272 cm has a US-ESR age of 383+70/−63 ka (range 320-446 ka), and a tooth higher in the section at −240 cm yielded two subsample US-ESR ages of 395+59/−56 ka (range 339-454 ka) and 413+54/−52 ka (range 361-467 ka) - MABA 5B and C respectively. Finally a carbonate flowstone fragment located even higher in the deposit at −203 to −216 cm yielded 230Th/234U isotopic ratios consistent with an age range near the limit of the method in calcite speleothems of around 350-600 ka.

The age of the lowest tooth (MABA 1A; 383+70/−63 ka), located slightly above the mandible, is probably an underestimate due to the fact that the gamma spectrometric measurements used in its age determination are likely an overestimate (the tooth came from near bedrock, while the lowest position in which gamma spectrometric measurements could be made in profiles was not as close to bedrock as desired). We therefore reject the US-ESR and CSUS-ESR age estimates for this tooth from further consideration in the interpretation. However, it is still in agreement with the best age estimate on the next higher tooth (MABA 2A) and the sediment IRSL age, which we have used to constrain the minimum age of the mandible at 397-525 ka.

A final consideration for the minimum age of the BH-1 human mandible arises with respect to the results in Table 1 that were obtained using the CSUS-ESR model Š15Ć for the burial age estimates. This model assumes that all of the uranium in the tooth was taken up instantaneously at the time indicated by the apparent closed-system 230Th/234U age of the dental tissues. This yields a true maximum possible burial age because it accounts for a possible delayed uptake of U not accounted for in the parametric functions used in the US-ESR ages that provide for continuous smooth uptake of uranium. In effect, the CSUS-ESR model provides a test of the robustness of the US-ESR ages (Table 1). If CSUS-ESR model ages are generally in agreement with the US-ESR ages, there is good reason to believe they are the best age estimates in a sequence. The best agreement is found for MABA 2A, for which the CSUS-ESR age is 553±49 and the US-ESR age is 482+43/−39 ka. For the MABA 5 subsamples, the CSUS-ESR ages are considerably older than their counterpart US-ESR ages. To summarize the US-ESR dating results, the age of MABA 2A at 443-525 ka is the best minimum age estimate among the three teeth studied here.

We have also considered the possibility that the CSUS-ESR age of MABA 2A constrains the maximum possible age above the BH-1 human mandible to be 553±49 ka. This produces the maximum value of 602 ka, suggesting that the mandible could be older than this age due to its stratigraphically lower position. However, because the CSUS-ESR model involves an extreme assumption that all uranium was taken up at the time of its apparent U-series age (Closed System 230Th/234U Age of Table S4), we do not favor this interpretation.

Considering the age of the MABA SED 1 sediment sample (449±52 ka) does not fully resolve the question of the mandible-s minimum possible age, even though this result is not affected by the uncertainties associated with the uranium uptake modeling. In fact, the sediment age was obtained assuming a fading rate of the measured IRSL signal of 1%, but values up to 2% have been estimated Š16Ć. Using this last value would yield an age of 521±61 ka, and would be considered to be a maximum age for sediment deposition above the mandible. This indicates that BH-1 could be older than 582 ka based on adding the uncertainty of +61 ka to the value of 521ka.

Combining the results for the US-ESR age of MABA 2A and the IRSL age for SED 1, we obtain a minimum age estimate for the BH-1 mandible of 397-582 ka. This incorporates all of the uncertainty in the two IRSL sediment estimates (1% and 2% fading), and because the fading value remains unknown (likely between 1 and 2%), the most conservative approach would be to include the time interval covered by these two possibilities, i.e. 397-582 ka. If we were to exclude the possibility of a fading correction of 2%, this yields an age range of 397 to 525 ka. The 397-582 ka range encompasses all of the uncertainty in the tooth age alone, whose age range is 443-525 ka (US-ESR model). Though the mandible could be as old as 582 ka, we favor an interpretation that the minimum age of the mandible lies between 397 and 525 ka. This interpretation is strongly supported by the US-ESR ages of 395+59/−56 and 413+54/−52 for the overlying samples from tooth MABA 5 (MABA 5B and 5C), that was found about 25 cm higher in the deposit than MABA 2A and MABA SED1. We suggest that others should cite the age of the BH-1 mandible as "BH1 has a minimum age that lies between 397 and 525 ka."

This result of >397-525 ka is significantly older but still consistent with a previous attempt Š12Ć to determine the age of the BH-1 human mandible based on non-destructive gamma spectrometric analysis of the 238U, 234U, and 230Th concentrations in the mandible itself Š12Ć, which resulted in a minimum age of 113+72/−43 ka.


The minimum age range of 397-525 ka places BH-1 mandible firmly among the oldest hominin fossils in Europe. The older estimate overlaps with Sima de los Huesos (600±60) Š20Ć and is only slightly younger than Mauer (609±40) Š21Ć, while the younger minimum age limit of 397 ka overlaps with Arago (435±85) Š22Ć and Visogliano (350-500) Š23Ć, and is somewhat older than Ceprano (353±4) Š24Ć. BH-1 is the easternmost hominin specimen in Europe securely dated to the Middle Pleistocene. Petralona 1 and Apidima 2, the only other Middle Pleistocene specimens from this area, are notably younger: Petralona 1 is dated between 150 ka and 250/350 ka Š25Ć, and Apidima between 105 to 400 ka but more likely towards the upper limit of the date Š26Ć. With the exception of the Visogliano mandible, which is identified as H. erectus Š27Ć, all of the BH-1 penecontemporary specimens are currently identified as H.heidelbergensis, often considered a chronospecies of Neandertal in the European context Š5Ć. Recent advances in radiometric dating of key European Middle Pleistocene specimens, Sima de los Huesos Š20Ć, Mauer Š21Ć, Arago Š22Ć and Ceprano Š24Ć, and detailed publication of the Sima de los Huesos material Š28Ć challenge the notion of gradual progression towards classical Neandertal morphology Š5Ć. Namely, the Sima de los Huesos assemblage shows more pronounced derived Neandertal morphology than the contemporaneous, but more easterly Mauer, or the later Arago or Ceprano specimens, all of which show fewer Neandertal traits. To explain this phenomenon, Dennell et al. Š9Ć examined Middle Pleistocene variability in Europe in the light of geographically and chronologically defined p-demes, and proposed a population model that is based on demographic "sources" and "sinks." The model proposes a small number of core "sources" in the south of the continent that re-populated more northerly areas during interglacials, with northern groups representing demographic "sinks." Relevant for understanding the dynamics of the Balkan Peninsula is the inclusion of Southwest Asia as one of the sources of re-population. With western source populations as bearers of derived Neandertal morphology, attenuation of Neandertal traits in the more easterly or later populations was explained by admixture with a group from outside of the isolated glacial refugee, i.e. a population from Southwest Asia. Under this model, we would expect that Southeast Europe - the Balkan Peninsula - would have remained in contact with Southwest Asia during glacial episodes, or at minimum served as a transit route Š9Ć. This places emphasis on the current fossil record of Southeast Europe that, while comparatively scant, becomes critical for understanding continent-wide processes. While isolation represented the major mechanism of evolutionary change in the West of the continent Š2Ć, causing bottleneck and fixation of derived traits, the Balkan Peninsula did not experience the effects of isolation. Accordingly, the population that inhabited the Balkan Peninsula and maintained contact with Southwest Asia throughout glaciations could have retained a number of primitive (i.e., non-Neandertal) traits, without precluding morphological changes associated with encephalization and tooth reduction observed in Middle Pleistocene populations on all three continents.

On the basis of preserved morphology, BH-1 differs significantly from Middle Pleistocene European hominins generally grouped under H. heidelbergensis Š12Ć. It exhibits primitive features such as a prominent planum alveolare, thick mandibular corpus, wide exomolar sulcus, flat rather than concave sublingual fossa, and poorly defined relief of the submandibular fossa. There is a complete lack of derived Neandertal features: the mental foramen is below the P4 alveolus, equidistant from the alveolar and the basal margins, and there is no retromolar space. Dental traits are equally plesiomorphic: mesotaurdontic roots, two mesial and two distal diverticles on the M1, "Y" fissure pattern, five main cusps, and a well-developed "cusp 7." There is a clear lack of mid-trigonid crest on all three molars, generally considered as a diagnostic feature in Neandertals Š29Ć. Given the size of the mandibular body, the dentition is relatively small, and fits well with Middle Pleistocene European specimens.

Several specimens in close proximity show similar combination of plesiomorphic erectus-like and synapomorphic (Middle Pleistocene trend) morphologies. Similarly to Balanica, the mandible from Visogliano - the closest specimen both temporally and geographically - demonstrates plesiomorphic traits and a complete lack of derived Neandertal morphology Š27Ć, while the associated maxillary dentition is considered remarkably similar to H.erectus from Zhoukoudian Lower Cave Š30Ć. The Ceprano cranium, originally considered to be much older Š31Ć, shows a combination of primitive H. erectus/ergaster features in midsaggital profile - such as fronto-parietal flattening and the development of supraorbital and nuchal structures - combined with synapomorphic frontal bone traits such as widening of the frontal squama Š32Ć. Currently considered to be H. heidelbergensis Š33Ć, the Ceprano cranium fits well with these specimens as it shows either plesiomorphic or synapomorphic features but no derived Neandertal traits. This grouping could tentatively include the Kocabaş specimens from Anatolia Š33Ć. While the calvarium was not directly dated, the travertine layer in the zone of its origin was dated to 1.11±0.11 Ma (Lower Pleistocene) by ESR Š35Ć and to 510±50 ka and 330±30 ka (Middle Pleistocene) by thermoluminescence of the calcite in the travertine (Özkul et al 2004a cited in Š34Ć). Though these techniques remain experimental on these particular materials, there is apparently some other faunal evidence that supports the time attribution to Middle-Lower Pleistocene Š35Ć. Although only a limited number of measurements could be made, the specimen is both metrically and morphologically consistent with Asian H. erectus Š34Ć. The crania from Petralona and Apidima, with their strong Neandertal affinities, especially in the facial region, coupled with the presence of Krapina in the adjoining Western Balkans at 130 ka Š36Ć, could bear evidence of successful eastward spread of Neandertals in the later part of the Middle Pleistocene.


The newly obtained minimum age of 397-525 ka for the BH-1 hominin fossil from Balanica Cave complex, Serbia, makes this specimen at least as old as the central third (from about 350 to 560 ka) of the Middle Pleistocene (130 to 780 ka). It is broadly contemporaneous with other radiometrically dated specimens such as Sima de los Huesos, Mauer, Arago, Ceprano and Visogliano. BH-1 represents one of an increasing number of specimens from the southeast of the continent demonstrating plesiomorphic traits coupled with synapomorphic traits common to Middle Pleistocene hominins (such as encephalization and dental reduction). With a complete lack of derived Neandertal traits, these specimens are distinct from the more westerly penecontemporary hominins. Although the sample size is small, and consists of unassociated crania and mandibles, this pattern is consistent with a lack of isolation during glaciations that resulted in different morphological outcomes from those at the west of the continent. In that context, the Balkan Peninsula could be part of the geographic spread of a Southwest Asian "source" population Š9Ć for the purported successive repopulation of Europe in the Middle Pleistocene.
history- 78769 - 04.11.2012 : Mihailo Danilovic Majur, Šabac - best (0)

Europe living on the ruins of the Serbian civilization

11th June 2005, Source: "Independent" London - London

Independent "cover fits over the entirepublished article about the discovery of the oldest civilization in Europe. According to the newspaper, that civilization is 2,000 years older than Stonehenge in the UK. It was found that under the fields andcities in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia has a network of more than 150 huge temples, built 7,000 years ago or 300 years before similar temples in Mesopotamia, the BBC reported. The newspaper says that this discovery will fundamentally change the existing perceptions of the Stone Age in Europe, since up to now considered to be monumental architecture developed in Europe before Mesopotamia and Egypt, the newspaper said."

It is not hard to guess that the oldest civilization - Slavs or Serbs Lusatian, who are still the closest genetic relatives of the Balkan Serbs.

The truth that slowly comes out, and they "civilized Europeans" at any price they want to hide it - that the whole of Europe was created in the ruins an ancient Slavic (Serbian) civilization.

Dresden in Germany, were excavated prehistoric Slavic settlement in downtown, excavated the site 7-8000 years old, who of course belonged to the Slavs (Serbs Lusatian)...

Dresden 8000 - an archaeological journey through time

Dresden celebrates its birthday in 2006. 800 years ago, on this day, the capital of Saxony, was first mentioned in medieval documents. However, its history began long before the first written because people were living in Dresden, in the valley of the river Elbe (Labe) thousands of years. We invite you to discover many unknown details of the past, outside of official documents and familiar images!

The exhibition contains more than 1,000 m˛ to 1,000 artifacts from the earliest traces of human activity in the Neanderthal period, the first Neolithic villages to baroque. Visitors can expect an exciting journey towards new discoveries.

The early settlers nearly 7,000 years ago, they left behind traces that were found with the Frauenkirche, a ridge along the western valley of the River Elbe (Labe). Here, the district Nickern, archaeologists found in 2003 large circular tomb of Neolithic settlements. At least one of the oldest pottery from Dresden in Saxony-Mockritz - dates from 5500 years BC (before more than 7,500 g.) Particular attention will cause the results of archaeological excavations in the inner city. Since Dresden after severe war damage and the radical urban planning almost completely changed his appearance, tangible evidence of the old urban areas can only be found underground. So, archaeologists have found the foundation walls in the basement of the old building in the heart of the city. The old market, new markets, and on Wall Street and Weber Street, suddenly human buildings from past centuries were visible again. Here you'll find stuff from all areas of daily life, from old centuries and 20 centuries, ceramic tile and children's toys.

Focal point for archeology in recent years the district Frauenkirche. Redevelopment of the village of Neumarkt, has led to the need to have become extensive research. The remains of the former city and houses have been discovered on the Neumarkt.

We also found a cemetery in the Frauenkirche. By the 16th century, the church Sv. Gospe the walls of the city of Dresden had its own cemetery, but later it became a cemetery. This cemetery dates back to before the time of the baroque church Baersch time developed srednjegm century, and even from the time of the Slavs, about 1000 g BC, tombs were found here. These arh. nalazi are older than the later settlement within walls.

The dead were buried without attachments and simply, it was found in the Baroque period, one of the unexpected things, they were buried with dieVerstorbenen citizenship. Gold jewelry, silver crosses and nice clothes adorned the dead. Single women - perhaps even men - wore silver-plated filigree crown, embroidered flowers on the cloth.

The strong impression against the outer fortifications of the enemy, leaving a well-preserved remains of the walls, which were also exhibited at the Neumarkt. The urban expansion in the 16th century walls were removed to ground level only. The walls of the bridge market, along with former Frauentor have survived in the soil. Also, pre-historic fort - the so-called "Barbican" - was visible again. Unfortunately, it is a city underground garage.

The focus of this exhibition are an ancient people and their lives in the city. They have left their mark in the "underground site": town houses and Barbican, tombs, and gold jewelry, castles, stone axes, and the crown of the dead are just some of the others that appear on our show.
history- 138 - 06.10.2004 : Zeljko Tomic Sokolac - best (0)

Ancient history

Bosnia has been inhabited at least since Neolithic times. In the early Bronze Age, the Neolithic population was replaced by more warlike tribes known as the Illyres or Illyrians. The Illyrians spoke an Indo-European language.

In the year 168 BC the land of Illyres became the Roman province of Illyricum. In year 10, following a four-year rebellion of Illyres, Illyria was divided and the northern strip of today's Bosnia along the south side of the Sava river became part of the new province of Pannonia, while the rest of what is today Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Dalmatia, western Serbia became part of the Roman province of Dalmatia.

Latin-speaking settlers from all over the empire settled among the Illyrians, and Roman soldiers were encouraged to retire in the provinces of Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Dacia across the river Danube. The town of Blagaj on the Buna River is built on the site of the Roman town of Bona. Illyria and Pannonia were later included in the Western Roman Empire (following events from the years 337 and 395 when the Empire split).

The Romans lost control of Pannonia and Dalmatia in 455 to the Ostrogoths. The Ostrogoth Kingdom was defeated by Eastern Roman Empire in the 'Gothic War' from 535-553 by the Emperor Justinian, and for a time in the mid-Sixth Century the Dalmatian province became part of the Eastern Roman Empire.
history- 137 - 06.10.2004 : Zeljko Tomic Sokolac - best (0)

Middle Ages I

The Slavs, who had originated in areas spanning modern-day southern Poland, were subjugated by the Turkic Avars in the 6th century, and together they invaded the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th and 7th centuries, settling in what is now Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the surrounding lands. The Serbs and Croats came in a second wave, invited by Emperor Heraclius to drive the Avars from Dalmatia.

Around 925, Bosnia was briefly ruled by Tomislav, the king of Croatia. From the 930's to the 960's eastern Bosnia, together with part of western Serbia, was ruled by Serbian Prince Časlav Klonimirović, who liberated his state from Bulgarian rule and acknowledged the sovereignty of the Byzantine Empire.

The first mention of the name "Bosnia" is in the De Administrando Imperio of Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in 958. Heading 32 of the De Administrando Imperio describes the territories under Serbian control, in which he mentions the "small region" (χοριον) of "Bosona" (Βοσωνα), in which lie the two inhabited cities, Kotor and Desnik. Though the location of Desnik is still uknown, Kotor was located to the south of present day Sarajevo. In the early Middle Ages, the term Bosnia described the region of the Bosna river valley. Later this term spread to cover most of what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1019 the Byzantine Emperor Basil II forced Serb and Croat rulers to acknowledge Byzantine sovereignty. Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV who rose to power in the 1060s exerted influence over Bosnia. Prince Mihailo of Zeta (also known as Duklja), took control of Hum (Herzegovina), and declared his independence from the Byzantine Empire before 1077. Mihailo was crowned as King of Serbia by Pope Gregory VII. Mihailo's son Konstantin Bodin conquered much of Bosnia after 1083, but his rule of Bosnia lasted only a short time, and discord among his heirs led to the breakup of the kingdom shortly after his death in 1101.

The Charter of Kulin, 1189When Croatia became part of the Hungarian kingdom in 1102, most of Bosnia became vassal to Hungary as well. Since 1137, Bela II of Hungary claimed the duchy of Rama, a region of northern Herzegovina. His title included "rex Ramae" since 1138, likely referring to all of Bosnia. However, by the 1160s the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus defeated Hungary and restored Bosnia to the Eastern Roman Empire for a time.

There are various historic documents that include unclear or conflicting information as to the ethnic identity of the inhabitants of medieval Bosnia. For example, the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja (Ljetopis popa Dukljanina), created around 1172-1196 mentions Bosnia (Bosnam) as one of the two Serbian lands, while describing the four southern Dalmatian duchies (including most of today's Herzegovina) as Croatian lands, a description rather inconsistent with other historical works from the same period. Coupled with other inaccurate or simply wrong claims in the text, it cannot be considered reliable.

After some centuries of rule by Croatia, Serb principalities, and the Byzantine Empire, an independent Bosnian state flourished in central Bosnia between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries.
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Middle Ages II

Beginning with the reign of ban Borić in 1154, Bosnia was a semi-independent banovina under the sovereignty of the king of Hungary. The second ban, Kulin, issued the first written Bosnian document written in Cyrillic in 1189.

See also the list of Bans and Kings of Bosnia.

The official documents by Bosnian rulers are a source of some controversy. The Charter of Ban Matej Ninoslav (son of Radivoj) dated 1240 includes references to Srblyin and Vlach that can be interpreted in modern ways as well as vague medieval denominations. Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić used the word "Serbian" to describe his langugage in a letter of his dated 1333, and then used the word "Croatian" for the same thing in another letter of his dated 1347.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Herzegovina was made up of separate small duchies: Zahumlje (Hum), centered around the town of Blagaj and Travunia-Konavli, centered on the town of Trebinje. These states were sometimes ruled by particularly influential dukes but never powerful enough to form a larger, independent state. Over the course of several centuries, they were under Croatian, Bosnian, Zetan and Nemanjić Rascian rule. Their territories included modern Herzegovina and parts of Montenegro and southern Dalmatia. The name Herzegovina was adopted when Duke (Herceg) of St. Sava Stjepan Vukčić Kosača asserted its independence in 1435/1448.

Bosnian Christian Hval's Miscellany, ca. 1400The religion of the original Slavic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was mixed: there were Catholic and Orthodox Christians, but also many were Krstjani ("Christians"), an indigenous Bosnian Church. This "early protestant church", as some call it, was accused by the Catholic and Orthodox authorities of being a dualist heresy and linked to the Bogomils (Patarens).

Several important rulers of Bosnia were Krstjani, but they would often renounce their confession or even perform conversions in return for military or other support from the Holy See. Be as it may, all Bosnian bans and kings were Catholics.

By the mid-14th century, Bosnia reached a peak under ban Tvrtko Kotromanić who came into power in 1353. Tvrtko made Bosnia an independent state and is thought by many historians to have been initially crowned in Mili near today's cities of Visoko and Sarajevo.

He went on to claim not only Bosnia and Hum, but the surrounding lands as well:

in 1377 he was crowned King of Serbia and Bosnia in Franciscan monastery in Mile, in the city of Visoko near Sarajevo. This coronation is believed to have happened as a token of reaffirmation of his suzerainty over Serbia, and some believe he adopted the name Stephanus (Stjepan/Стјепан) to emulate the Nemanjić dynasty. The exact location of the coronation is disputed, as some historians claim that this actually occured in the Serb Orthodox Mileševo monastery by the grave of Serb patron saint St. Sava.

by 1390, Tvrtko I expanded his empire to onto Croatia and Dalmatia, and added the title of King of Croatia and Dalmatia.

Stjepan Tvrtko I's full title listed subject peoples and geographical dependencies, following the Byzantine norm. At the peak of his power, he was King of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Hum, Usora, Soli, Dalmatia, Donji Kraji etc.

After the death of Tvrtko I, the power of the Bosnian state slowly faded away. The Ottoman Empire had already started its conquest of Europe and posed a major threat to the Balkans throughout the first half of the 15th century. Finally, under the king Stjepan Tomašević Bosnia officially "fell with a whisper" (šaptom pala) in 1463 and became the westernmost province of the Ottoman Empire. Herzegovina fell to the Turks in 1482. It took another century for the western parts of today's Bosnia to succumb to Ottoman attacks.
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Ottoman era

The arrival of the Ottoman Turks marked a new era in Bosnian history. The Turks created the Province of Bosnia which included sanjaks of Bosnia and of Herzegovina, among others. They also introduced the so-called spahi system (actually the timar holder system) which changed the local administration and the agriculture, but was generally an arrangement similar to European feudal fiefs.

All of the Krstjani believers eventually converted to either Orthodoxy, Catholicism or Islam. There are conflicting claims on the exact ratios or whether or how much of it was voluntary or not. Since earliest Turkish defters clearly distinguish Bosnian Christians from Catholics or Orthodox, it is now general consensus that the number of Bosnian Christians in the times of Ottoman conquest did not exceed a few hundred people.

During the Ottoman period, the Christians were treated as "dhimmis" by the Ottoman authorities, the People of the Book who weren't able to ascend in the government hierarchy (unless they converted to Islam) but were otherwise subject to the same restrictions as the Muslim subjects. Dhimmis were not required to join the army, but they paid a special tax called jizya (glavarina in Bosnia). Due to the constant border wars with the Catholic countries (Croatia, Austria, Hungary) as opposed to already occupied Orthodox countries (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece), the Catholics were looked upon slightly less favorably than the Orthodox.

Many Christian children, regardless of whether Orthodox or Catholic, were forcibly separated from their families and raised to be members of the Yeni Çeri (new troops) and became Muslims. This practice was known as the devşirme or blood tax. However, a Janissary held a very high position in Ottoman society during the empire's golden age, prompting many Muslims to voluntarily send their children away.

The Turkish conquest also changed the ethnic and religious makeup of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many Catholic Bosnians retreated to Croatia, which was controlled by Austria after the Turkish conquest of most of the Kingdom of Hungary, and to Dalmatia, which was controlled by the Republic of Venice after the fall of Hungary. Orthodox Serbs and Vlachs from Herzegovina and the Belgrade pašaluk migrated into parts of Bosnia. Many Vlachs later assimilated into the local Serb, Bosniak, and Croat populations.

The Ottoman period saw the development of a Sephardic Jewish community in Bosnia, chiefly in Sarajevo. The Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the fifteenth century, and many resettled in the Ottoman Empire. The first synagogue was built in Sarajevo in 1581.

The Turks had conquered Slavonia and most of Hungary by 1541. In the next century, most of the Bosnian province wasn't a borderland and developed in relative peace. However, when the Empire lost the war of 1683-1697 to Austria, and ceded Slavonia and Hungary to Austria at the Treaty of Karlowitz, Bosnia's northern and western borders became the frontier between the Austrian and Ottoman empires.

In 1716, Austria occupied northern Bosnia and northern Serbia, but this lasted only until 1739 when they were ceded to the Ottoman Empire at the Treaty of Belgrade. The borders set then remained in place for another century and a half, though the border wars continued.

The wars between the Ottomans and Austria and Venice impoverished Bosnia, and encouraged further migration and resettlement; Muslim refugees from Hungary and Slavonia resettled in Bosnia, assimilating into the emerging Bosniak population, and many Serbs, mostly from Kosovo but also from Bosnia and Serbia, resettled across the Bosnian border in Slavonia and the Military Frontier at the invitation of the Austrian Emperor.

The Ottoman rule lasted for over four hundred years, until 1878.
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19th and 20th century

The Ottoman Empire divided its subjects by religion, rather than nationality, but nationalist movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere in the Empire gained strength in the 19th century. Bosnia and Herzegovina's Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks shared a common language, variously called Slavic, Illyrian, Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian. (See also Serbo-Croatian language. )

The Orthodox Serbs were the most nationally organized, and were encouraged by neighboring Serbia, which won autonomy within the Ottoman Empire in 1817, and later independence. Bosnia and Herzegovina's Catholics identified with the Croats from neighbouring Austro-Hungarian province of Croatia-Slavonia. Both Serb and Croat nationalists claimed Bosnia's Slav Muslims, and some Muslims did embrace Serb identity (Osman Đikić, Šukrija Kurtović), or Croat identity. Although Bosnia's Muslims enjoyed a privileged status under Ottoman rule relative to their Christian neighbors, many desired autonomy from the detested Ottoman governors and officials. The Ottomans didn't distinguish Muslim Bosniaks from the empire's other Muslims, and many Bosniaks continued to identify with their Turkish co-religionists, although a Bosniak national movement and identity began to develop in the late nineteenth century.

In addition to Serb, Croat, and Bosniak national movements, the Yugoslav movement, which sought to unite all the South Slav peoples, and Pan-Slavism, a movement to unite all Slavs, had adherents as well.

In 1875, a rebellion broke out among Christian peasants in Herzegovina, which spread to Bosnia and Bulgaria. Heavy-handed Ottoman suppression of the rebellion encouraged neighboring states to intervene; Serbia and Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1876, and Russia intervened the following year in support of Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria.

At the Treaty of Berlin of 1878, The Ottomans ceded Bosnia and Herzegovina to occupation and administration by Austria-Hungary, although the province still formally remained Ottoman territory. Muslims and Orthodox Serbs violently resisted the entry of Austrian troops who, although surprised, quickly crushed the rebellion. The Austrian troops, on the other hand, were welcomed by the Catholics who would thrive under the Austrian occupation.

In 1908, Austria formally annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 1914 assassination in Sarajevo of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, triggered the First World War. The Serb nationalist organization Mlada Bosna organized the attack, and student conspirator Gavrilo Princip fired the fatal shot.

Following the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dismantled, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were incorporated into the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. This country was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.

After the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Bosnia and Herzegovina were occupied by the Nazi puppet state of Croatia. Thousands of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies were killed by the Fascist Ustasha regime. Communist Partisan and royalist Chetnik rebels, aided by Britain and the US, fought the Ustasha and Nazi troops, though they also fought among themselves.

After World War II ended, Bosnia and Herzegovina became one of the six republics of Yugoslavia in 1945, when the country was re-organized as a communist federal state under Josip Broz Tito.
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Post-Yugoslav Bosnia

Yugoslavia's unraveling was hastened by the rise of nationalism: Bosniaks led by Alija Izetbegović, Serbs led by Slobodan Milošević and Croats led by Franjo Tuđman.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was the only Yugoslav Republic where there was no majority of a single ethnicity, and its capital Sarajevo was the prime example of inter-ethnic mixing and tolerance. But in the 1990s fate had twisted and Bosnia became a particularly problematic area.

In 1990, Slovenia declared independence which caused a short conflict with the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) which tried to prevent secession. Later that year, Croatia did the same and JNA responded the same way, but with the Serb majority in Krajina separating from Croatia.

Bosnia was ethnically heterogenous and there could not be a remotely clear delimitation between the areas that wanted to secede and those that did not. The Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina provided for three constitutional nations: the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, so no major constitutional changes were to be granted short of a unanimous agreement from all three sides. This was pretty much a guarantee that the warfare would be very bloody.

Alija Izetbegović was jailed in 1983 for publishing his infamous "Islamic Declaration", openly advocated Bosnia as an Islamic state. His banned manifesto was reprinted in 1990. Slobodan Milošević and Franjo Tuđman met on March 25, 1991 in Karađorđevo and reportedly discussed and agreed upon a division of Bosnia and Herzegovina between their two states. Each had a following among the Bosnians of their respective nationalities. The connection of Bosnian Croats with the Croats in Croatia was particularly obvious given that Tuđman's political party had an eponymous sister-party in Bosnia, the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On February 29th and March 1st 1992, the Bosnian government held a referendum on independence. The Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks mostly voted on the referendum in favor. The Bosnian Serbs who were largely against independence in favor of what would soon become the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro) mostly boycotted it, because of its unconstitutionality as the Serb delegates in parliament did not approve it.

With 99% voting for the independence out of 66% of the eligible voters, the Bosniak and Croat representatives in Bosnia's parliament declared the republic's independence on April 5, 1992. The Serb delegates, having previously left over the violation of the Constitution, declared their own state Republika Srpska on midnight between April 6th and April 7th.

Most European countries and the U. S. recognized the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina by April 7th, and the country was admitted to the United Nations on May 22nd.
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Bosnian War

Being in the middle of a wider conflict, the situation in Bosnia quickly escalated, even before the referendum results were announced.

The first casualty in Bosnia is a point of contention between Serbs and Bosniaks. Serbs claim this was Nikola Gardović, a groom's father who was killed at a Serb wedding procession on the first day of the referendum, on February 29, 1992 in Sarajevo's old town Baščaršija. Bosniaks meanwhile consider the first casualty of the war to be Suada Dilberović, who was shot during a peace march by unidentified gunmen on April 5th.

The war between the three constitutive nations turned out to be probably the most chaotic and bloody war in Europe since World War II. Numerous cease-fire agreements were signed, only to be broken again when one of the sides felt it was to their advantage.

Initially it was Bosniaks and Croats together against the Serbs on the other side. The Serbs had the upper hand due to heavier weaponry (despite less manpower) and established control over most of the Serb-populated rural and urban regions excluding the larger towns of Sarajevo and Mostar.

Most of the capital Sarajevo was held by the Bosniaks and in order to prevent the Bosnian army from being deployed out of the town, the Bosnian Serb Army surrounded it, deploying troops and artillery in the surrounding hills, and often bombarded the civilians of all ethnicities in the city. The Serbs held on to a few Sarajevo suburbs (Grbavica and parts of Dobrinja) who were also shelled by the Bosnian government forces as well. The civilian death count in Sarajevo would pass 11, 000 by the end of the war.

Mostar was also surrounded for nine months, and much of its historic city was destroyed by shelling.

In June 1992 the United Nations expanded the role of UNPROFOR (then in Croatia) into Bosnia and Herzegovina, initially to protect Sarajevo International Airport to permit humanitarian assistance to be delivered. This role was expanded again in September to assist in the delivery of the relief.

To make matters even worse, in 1993 the Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks began fighting over the 30 percent of Bosnia they held. This caused the creation of even more ethnic enclaves and even further bloodshed.

In an attempt to protect civilians, UNPROFOR's role was further extended in 1993 to protect the "safe havens" that it had declared around a number of towns including Sarajevo, Goražde and Srebrenica.

The so-called Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced on February 9, 1994 and in March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia signed the peace agreement, creating the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This narrowed the field of warring parties down to two.

A particularly disturbing and problematic incident happened in July 1995, when, reportedly in retaliation to previous incursions by Naser Orić's troops, Serb troops under general Ratko Mladić occupied the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, after which some 7000 Bosniak males were killed (See the Srebrenica Massacre article for details).

The war continued through most of 1995, and with Croatia taking over the Serb Krajina in early August, the Bosniak-Croat alliance gained the initiative in the war, taking much of western Bosnia from the Serbs. At that point, the international community pressured Milošević, Tuđman and Izetbegović to the negotiation table and finally the war ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement signed on November 21, 1995 (the final version was signed December 14, 1995 in Paris).

In the end, the war caused an estimated 278, 000 dead and missing persons and another 1, 325, 000 refugees and exiles from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Bosnia after the war

The Dayton Agreement divides Bosnia and Herzegovina roughly equally between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska, based mostly on their wartime borders.

The third incarnation of the war in the former Yugoslavia prompted the UN to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on May 25, 1993, which started work in 1996. The warring parties committed war crimes, committed ethnic cleansing, formed internment camps often compared to concentration camps. The UN repeatedly attempted to stop the war, but wasn't particularly successful.

In 1995-1996, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60, 000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of the agreement. The country was divided into three sectors, with the north east controlled by US lead forces, the north west by British forces, and the south (including Sarajevo, Mostar and Gorazde) French lead.

IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed hostilities. The United Nations' International Police Task Force in Bosnia was replaced at the end of 2002 by the European Union Police Mission, the first such police training and monitoring taskforce from the European Union. EUPM is scheduled to take over all of SFOR's duties by the end of 2004.

Feelings among Bosnia's three nations regarding their roles in the war are based mostly on two issues; whether the war was initiated by Serbian agression, and whether Croat and Serbdom was or would have been infringed upon in an independent Bosnian state. Bosniaks overwhelmingly feel the war was a clear case of Serbian agression and that the new Bosnian state was and would have been peacefully multiethnic. The vast majority of Serbs on the other hand believe that there was no agression on their part, but rather a needed effort to protect Serbdom and the presence of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina which would have been infringed upon in a Bosnian state. Bosnian Croats mostly find themselves between these two views, believing that the war was a case of Serbian agression but that Croatian culture and presence in the Bosnian state was and/or would have been infringed upon.

It has been argued that, throughout the conflict, the international community (especially the United Nations) has made fatal errors in evaluating the situation. This is a point of contention -- opinions range from those that say they should have intervened earlier and stopped the bloodshed, to those who question whether they should have intervened at all.

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