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4th Central European Geomorphology Conference

October 9-13, 2017, University of Bayreuth, Germany

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The timing and paleoenvironment of the Early Upper Paleolithic site of Crvenka-At, Vršac (Serbia)

Janina Bösken1, Wei Chu2, Peter Fischer3, Nicole Klasen4, Lea Obrocki3, Andreas Vött3, Frank Lehmkuhl1, Dušan Mihailović5
1 Physical Geography and Geoecology, RWTH Aachen University
2 Institute of Prehistory and Early History, University of Cologne
3 Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
4 Geographical Institute, University of Cologne
5 Department of Archeology, University of Belgrade

P 7.1 in Free topics

The Middle Danube Basin and its paleoenvironmental and archeological archives are in the focus of recent studies. The basin is an important region for the “Danube Corridor Hypothesis,” a main theory explaining Homo sapiens movement into Europe. Most geoarcheological studies focus on geomorphologically elevated positions at the foothills of the mountain ranges or within caves or rock-shelters in even higher altitudes. In order to increase our understanding of Aurignacian occupation also in the lowlands of the basin, we relocated and sampled the previously known Aurignacian findspot of Crvenka-At in the Banat region in northern Serbia. Two profiles containing Aurignacian artifacts within fluvial sand deposits were investigated. Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) measurements, grain size analysis and luminescence dating (pIRIR) were undertaken to increase our understanding of the timing and characteristics of the deposits. Our results confirm previous findings that suggested that this locality represents a multiple-occupation Aurignacian site with an age between ~41–34 ka ago. This age range fits well to other Aurignacian findings in the Banat, e.g. the earliest securely dated Homo sapiens finds in Europe from the Peștera cu Oase (Trinkhaus et al., 2003). This means that Homo sapiens, during their initial settlement of Europe, may have exploited a wider range of ecological and topographic settings than previously thought. Our findings confirm that a more intensive exploration of the lowland areas of the Middle Danube catchment is essential to understanding the early settlement of Homo sapiens in Europe.


Trinkaus, E. et al. (2003): An early modern human from the Pestera cu Oase, Romania.- PNAS, 100 (20): 11231–11236.

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