The oldest European calendar

14 July 2022.

Written by Matija Čaić

When in 1897, the Director of the Archaeological Museum and the first professor of archeology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Dr. Josip Brunšmid dug the first shovel at Vučedol, 5 kilometers from Vukovar on the Danube coast, he did not even dream of discovering one of the most important and most advanced European cultures.

Vučedol culture

The Vučedol culture started in year 3000 BC. in Copper Age and lasted almost 800 years. At its peak, in Vučedol lived between 2000 and 3000 inhabitants, which is a pretty impressive number for that time. From here it spread to southern Hungary and southern Slavonia. Residents lived in pile dwellings and are considered to be the first in the world to breed bovine animals whose meat made 80% of their diet. There are also remains of trouts that do not live in the Danube river, pointing to the advanced trade with neighbours. Talking about the advancement of Vučedol culture there is also the fact that they first began to use one dish for each person while before peoplpe were eating from a common pot.

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Museum of Vučedolian culture

However, this culture is best known for it’s rich and varied ceramics. Residents of this area were real craftsmen in the production of artistic and functional items of clay. Among the numerous finds, the most famous is the Vučedolian dove.

Vučedolian dove

The Vučedolian dove is a clay pot dating back to about 2600 BC. It was used for ritual purposes as a cadence and is completely preserved. Even though it is called a dove, it is presumed to be a jab.

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Vučedolian dove


Although the entire Vučedol culture is unique and interesting, what puts it on a world map of interest is the Orion pot.

It was discovered in 1978. by the archaeologist Dr. Alexandar Durnam in Vinkovci. It is believed to date from 2600 BC. Even though at first glance it acts as a regular container for keeping food, attention is drawn to the four belts engraved in it. Each belt contains 12 fields so it is considered that the belts are four seasons with twelve weeks in each of them.

In each field, the appearance and disappearance of certain celestial bodies, constellations, or planets are displayed, which perfectly matched the actual events of that week. Probably they marked important events in the year, such as the beginning of seedtime or a flood and that would make Orion the oldest and most interesting European calendar.

Mr. Däniken, we are waiting for your comment.

Dino park



Well, you can ask at the museum. They should know it :)

Deborah Finkbeiner

I have a vucedolian Dove wondering what it's value might be

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