A well-preserved dove figure was discovered at the Vučedol-Gradac archaeological site on the river Danube in 1938 and as a result was named after the place of discovery – Vučedol Dove.
Vučedol’s culture existed in eastern Slavonia in the period between 3000 and 2200 BC, a time when the Mesopotamian cultures were discovering letter. This old European culture experienced its peak by spreading its influence throughout eastern and central Europe, while Western Europe was ruled a megalithic culture.
The Vučedol dove is an excellent example of artistic inspiration and religious symbol of style, culture and new European civilization in the ascendancy.
The Vučedol dove is actually 19.5 inches high ritual pot made out of baked clay. Three twofold symbols of an axe and necklace are engraved on the neck, unusual patterns cover the wings and chest, while on the back of the head unusual crests are emphasized. The crest form and precisely engraved markings on the wing and the chest points to the fact that it is a racial domestic pigeon that was bread in Europe 4500 years ago. This also proves that people have engaged in raising pigeons for much longer than was previously thought. Moreover, the Vučedol dove is the oldest dove ever discovered in Europe.
These findings impose some new questions about the origins of the domestic pigeon. Is it possible that the cave pigeon is an ancestor of the domestic pigeon discovered in the Pannonian valley? Is there any connection with the old Sumerian pigeon, dove ancestor of the Illyrian who is still grown in this area? Comparisons of the crests in the Vučedol doves and Illyrian pigeons show certain similarities. It is possible that the Sumerian dove came to Europe before the great migrations of people. In any case, further researches in this area are necessary.
Is the Vučedol dove a partridge?
Specifically, the Vučedol dove is essentially a partridge, and the story goes something like this. During Vučedol Culture (3000-4000 B.C.) arsenic bronze objects were made, which was the most primitive form of bronze. The problem with this metal was that the arsenic was poisonous, and through hammering toxic fumes was formed. First you lost sensation in the legs, which further expanded the body and finally death occurs therefore forging this metal was a dangerous job. But if you got out of the room on time then the danger passed, although limping due to loss of sensation in the legs remained for some time.
Blacksmiths were also “sorcerers”, i.e. the main faces of the society because of their “occult” knowledge, including how to forge bronze and stay alive. As the first symptom of poisoning was a loss of sensation in the feet causing the blacksmiths to act like they were limping. The Vučedol dove or “partridge” was found in a place where at that time a blacksmith shop stood, at the mysterious, cult place, where he the limping blacksmith was working. The assumption is that she was a symbol of a blacksmith, because a male partridges when defending the nest from predators is running away from the nest and stumbles, so they limp and act as if they are wounded.
Another thing that goes in favor of this story are the markings that are on the dove, which are very similar to those found on partridges (doves actually have no such markings). Inside the whole story later stories and legends are hidden, namely that of Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire, the blacksmith who was also limping like the blacksmiths of Vučedol.
As one of the most interesting prehistoric sites, Vučedol has always imposed a number of questions for scientists. One key question is whether absolute dating revealed by the latest calibrated radiocarbon of the Vučedol culture that defines the cultures existence between 3000 and 2400 BC. The researchers were able to reconstruct the Vučedol house and engaged in anthropological analysis, study of the different ways of burials (both inside and outside the village) and the human sacrifice for ritual purposes (meaning religious aspects), and engaged in ontological research to determine the feeding habits, study of clothing and other.
In the new research, a wider cultural area of the Danube, as it turns out, will be able to use and contemporary satellite images that reveal the incredible precision of unusual terrain as indicated by the archaeological sites have not yet been found.
For many, it will certainly be an astonishing fact that the famous Vučedol dove is actually a partridge (symbol of Hephaestus), which directly leads to the metallurgy as one of the most important achievements of the culture of Vučedol.