During the Eneolithic period, the dominant and prevailing culture in the territory of Croatian Pannonia and beyond was the Vučedol culture, named after its eponym site, Vučedol, near Vukovar. It had a well-developed and complex religious system based on the worship of solar deities. Various motifs, used to symbolize such worship, are mostly documented on highly decorative vessels as well as anthropomorphic and zoomorphic statues. Among them, the most famous one, at least in current history, is the so-called Vučedol dove. The Vučedol culture was also in special focus during the Croatian War of Independence, which occurred after the violent breakup of Yugoslavia and eventually led to the formation of the current independent state. In such a turbulent period, Vukovar, which suffered horrifying devastation, played an important symbolic role, with an entire iconography developed around it, and the aforementioned Vučedol dove became the paramount symbol of resistance and suffering. In this article, we therefore present both the creation and evolution of symbols in the Vučedol culture and explore the ways in which such objects and ideas were contextually transformed, particularly during the Croatian War of Independence and the ensuing formation of the country.
Symbols of Identity: Vučedol Dove, Past and Present
Branko Kasalo, PhD, has been employed as an assistant in the Department of History at the University of Zadar since 2012. He conducts undergraduate classes and seminars on the course of world history in the twentieth century, as well as several graduate-level courses. In his scientific research work, he focuses on topics from the national history of the twentieth century, especially on the period of the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and changes in the area of Croatian lands, and on topics related to Socialist Yugoslavia.
Zrinka Serventi, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Zadar, where she teaches several courses dealing with the prehistory and antiquity periods of the Croatian territory, Hellenism, and ancient Near Eastern societies. Her scientific focus is Roman social and religious traditions and history, burial customs, and rituals, as well as the development of the Liburnian territory from prehistory to the end of Late Antiquity. She has participated in numerous archaeological excavations and is a member of two archaeological associations. She has published several scientific papers and participated in numerous international scientific conferences.
Branko Kasalo, Zrinka Serventi; Symbols of Identity: Vučedol Dove, Past and Present. Hiperboreea 1 June 2022; 9 (1): 1–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/hiperboreea.9.1.0001
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