Brooklyn College CUNY and the Monuments Preservation Commission of Valjevo, Serbia conducted archaeological fieldwork in the vicinity of Belotic and Bela Crkva, western Serbia, from July 28 to August 18. The fieldwork was conceived and executed under the project rubric “Mapping the Bronze Age in Western Serbia” as agreed upon by the collaborating institutions.
Project goals since the pilot season of 2010 were threefold:
(1) to give instruction in all aspects of modern archaeological survey and excavation;
(2) to locate and test Bronze Age settlements hitherto unknown in the region;
(3) to locate possible sources of tin ore.
The 2010 pilot season successfully attained all of its objectives. International collaboration and integration of American and Serbian staff and students were complete and efficient. Our wonderful hosts, everyone else in the village, and local government officials were very interested and often briefed on the project, its goals, and results. Local and national press coverage was engaged; several press conferences were held and reports appeared on local and national radio and television. We made important logistical contacts, with all the arrangements for food and lodging for future years. We renewed contacts with colleagues at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, and with the Petnica Science Center near Valjevo, an independent center for introducing high school students to scientific investigation. Both institutions were interested in a continuing and expanded relationship with the project.
In 2012 test excavations took place at three locations. At the site 1.Spasovine, Loznica, tested last year, we had the largest so far exposed surface of 4 sq. meters; at the site 2.Kovačevića Pećina (pećina=cave), Krupanj, we had the first test-pit, which showed an interesting stratigraphic sequence; and at 3.Cikotski Gradac, Loznica, we did a 4 sq. meters surface scraping at a location with higher concentration of material, the site was known from last season’s walking-surveys and literature. Project also continued with survey mapping of the wider Spasovine site area, looking for archaeological evidence of Bronze Age. Four new sites were found in the process, none of them dating to the Bronze Age. Two sites are by noted material tentatively dated to Late Neolithic/Early Eneolithic, and two to Upper Paleolithic. There have not been any Paleolithic sites recorded so far in the wider area, so including the horizon from Kovačevića cave, the project notes three new Paleolithic sites. The two new Late Neolithic/Early Eneolithic sites are considered partly contemporaneous with prior project interests, sites Kamenica and Likodra, as well as the corresponding horizon from Kovačevića Pećina. Finally, we made a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, across the Drina River to visit Roćević site, a Bronze Age necropolis excavated in the 1970s, and by material relatable to Spasovine and Paulje in Serbia. Having been informed that one of the tumuli inside a household property was flattened, we examined the scene, and registered few artifacts typical artifacts. The local population’s account does not suggest that any graves, urns, or other indicative material was found while landscaping took place.