The Vučedol archaeological site is located on the right bank of the Danube River. Both sides along the pass towards the Danube make up the archaeological site, on the left is the Karasović Vineyard, and on the right is a large complex which include the Streim Vineyard, the Streim Cornfield and artificially separated from them is a little plateau known as Gradac, which with later excavations was confirmed as being the metallurgical and cult centre of the site. Vučedol is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Europe.
The first investigations of the site date back to 1897. This attractive location was first inhabited in about 6,000 B.C. at the time of the first farmers, and more or less it was inhabited intensively through the whole of prehistory. The period between 3,350 – 2,300 B.C. was the most intensive period of its existence and in that period it was undoubtedly the most significant European centre. Since this was also the time of the early settlements of Troy (Troy I and II) many analogies can also be found with the archaeological material from Vučedol. More precisely, we can also characterise Vučedol as the European Troy by its contemporaneousness, but even more so by the continental significance of the site and its finds.
Archaeological excavations to date are able to very precisely reconstruct the daily life and customs of four cultural phenomena which in that time swept through Vučedol (Baden, Kostolac, Vučedol and Vinkovci). It was a turbulent time of the immigration of the first Indo-Europeans and their relationship with the natives, the blending of material cultures and religions. Each of the above-mentioned cultures had its own interesting separate destiny in Vučedol, however the most detailed one able to be reconstructed is the Vučedol which also gave its name to this site. Vučedol reached a real peak in the intensity of settlement right in the period of the Vučedol Culture (3,000 – 2,500 B.C.). Excavations show that the culture was literally born in this area and that for a long time it was its most significant centre. This cultural phenomenon at its peak completely or partially covered 14 of today’s European countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and one settlement has even been registered in Eastern Greece.
Vučedol Culture Museum was established in 2013 as a national museum. This is the result of many years of efforts in Vučedol because its character is classified in the first row of archaeological parks and entered in the archaeological map of this part of Europe.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.