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Annales Instituti Archaeologici, Vol.VII No.1 October 2011. -

In a field survey of the planned A13 motorway route, section Bjelovar-Virovitica-Hungarian border, a large number of new archaeological sites from all periods were recorded. These are areas in which only minor trial or rescue excavations have so far been conducted. The planned motorway construction will enable the conducting of rescue excavations of larger surfaces of the site, which in turn will enable a more complete insight into the intensity of habitation of the surveyed areas. In its southern part, the motorway route passes through gentle hills and across the River Česma valley, as well as along numerous streams located east of Bjelovar, and then across the narrow valleys of Bilogora, while in the north it stretches across the River Drava valley to the west and northwest of Virovitica Fig. 1.

The field survey unearthed 66 archaeological sites from all periods, which are a valuable contribution to the understanding of the archaeological topography of the mentioned areas. On the basis of collected surface finds, spatial distribution was determined, showing that the sites are equally distributed along the whole route Fig. 1. The largest number of sites is located on hill slopes or on mild elevations along rivers or streams. Sometimes the sites are located on hilltops. This is particularly the case on Bilogora. At most sites, pottery, brick and stone artefact fragments were collected, which enable the sites to be approximately chronologically and culturologically determined. The sites belong to the periods of prehistory, classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, the latter forming the majority. These are so-called open settlements, which are often damaged by intensive farming, due to which the finds appeared on the surface.

The oldest sites belong to Neolithic cultures: Starčevo, Linear Pottery of the Malo Korenovo type, and Sopot. According to the surface finds, the sites of Malo Korenovo-Jankovac and Vojvodinac 1-2 Fig. 2 can probably be ascribed to the trial-trenched eponymous settlement. A Lasinja culture settlement was discovered on the Dautovac-Žilavac site. In the Drava valley part of the route, no settlements from the Neolithic-Aeneolithic periods were found, as they are located deeper below the surface, and therefore it is impossible to determine their positions on the basis of surface finds. A large part of the prehistoric sites that can be ascribed to the Virovitica group from the older phase of the Urnfield culture. Pottery finds of the Late Iron Age were registered at a relatively large number of sites around Bjelovar Fig. 3, in particular around Velika Fig. 4 and Mala Pisanica Fig. 5. According to the pottery finds, they can be dated to the Late La Tène LT D. The planned motorway route runs over the Late La Tène settlement of Virovitica-Kiškorija Fig. 6, the eastern part of which was excavated in 2005, prior to the construction of the western bypass of the town of Virovitica. Only three unearthed sites, with pottery and brick fragments, belong to the period of classical antiquity and can be dated approximately from the 2nd to the 4th centuries. These settlements can be associated with the Roman road route that used to pass directly beneath the Bilogora hills. The majority of discovered sites belong to the period of the Middle Ages. Most frequently, these were open settlements, situated on slightly elevated positions along rivers or smaller streams Fig. 2-3, Fig. 7. A significant number of settlements were also discovered in the Bilogora hills, situated above the communication route across narrow river valleys that connected central Drava valley with the Bjelovar area. Although according to the pottery finds the majority of settlements originate from the Late Middle Ages 14th-16th centuries, finds were recorded that point to habitation during the Early and in particular High Middle Ages Fig. 5.

field survey; Bilogora; Drava valley; prehistory; antiquity; Middle Ages; settlements; cemeteries

Autor: Marko Dizdar - ; Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia Daria Ložnjak Dizdar - ; Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia



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