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By: Sonja Perić, senior curator

The Regional Museum in Jagodina has a successful cooperation with museums, cultural and scientific institutions in the country and abroad in the field of studying and presentation the archaeological heritage. Years ago, we have cooperation with the BioSense Institute from Novi Sad, to the mutual satisfaction and benefit of archaeological science. The museum has a rich material from archeological excavations, which is continuously the subject of study and analysis, increasingly using modern methods, to create a more complete picture of life in prehistory and accurate chronological determinations of individual cultures and research sites.

The cooperation between these two institutions began in 2016 within the project BIRTH, mothers and babies, Prehistoric fertility in the Balkans 10000-5500 cal BC, headed by Dr. Sofija Stefanović, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. It was then photographed for 3D projections, eight Vinča female figurines from our museum, some of which have characteristic signs of pregnancy. In the same year, eight fragments of animal bones from the Dunjićki šljivari site in Medjureč, excavated in 2007, were taken for dating. The samples were dated by the AMS method at the University of Bristol, School of Chemistry, and the results obtained in the form of a range of calibrated radiocarbon dates were presented in 2020 by a group of authors from this project, in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. With 95.4% probability, the obtained dates range from 6232 to 6010 BC, which determines this ancient Neolithic settlement of half-buried dugouts at the end of the 7th millennium BC.

In March 2017, in the pavilion of the Central Building of the University of Novi Sad, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the European Research Council, the exhibition New Age: Life of Mother and Baby in the Balkan Neolithic was opened, organized by the BioSense Institute. At the exhibition, visitors could discover how the first agriculture changed the Neolithic world, how the change in the economy affected fertility, which fed babies, and see some of the most beautiful figurines of Neolithic women from 12 Serbian museums. The central place and trademark of the exhibition was the unique, one of the most beautiful Vinca figurine, the pride of our museum “Mother with Child”. In 2021, in recognition of our beautiful cooperation, our Museum received from BioSens a photogrammetric 3D reconstruction of this curotrophic figurine from Drenovac. By making authentic copies of the most important exhibits, it is possible to exhibit them outside our museum and make them available to a wider audience, without the danger of devastating the museum object.

The cooperation between the Regional Museum Jagodina and the BioSense Institute Novi Sad will continue to study the lives of mothers and babies in prehistory, dating prehistoric sites and deepening knowledge about Neolithic sculpture.