Archaeological Site Kalakača
Grain Keepers from the Iron Age
The archaeological site of Kalakača is a hillfort type of settlement that dates back to the Early Iron Age and is about 3000 years old. It is located on the high bank above the Danube, near the Beška bridge. The first excavations on this site, which preceded the construction of the highway and the bridge, were conducted in the period from 1971 to 1974. The excavations continued during 2003 and 2004 and preceded the construction of the second highway route. These excavations revealed a part of the settlement that was protected by a trench on the south side and probably an earthen rampart, while on the other sides the settlement it was protected by natural ravines (surduk) and high steep banks. 215 objects were found, most often silos for storing grain and other foodstuffs. The rest are circular huts with a base diameter of about 3.60 meters with a central pillar in the middle.
Kalakača is associated with the beginning of the use of iron in the Balkans and the Yugoslav Pannonian part of the Danube region. Since it represents the native settlement of the Iron Age in the wider area of the Danube region, when we talk about something similar, we say “a settlement of the Kalakača type”.
In addition to the fact that this is the time when iron from southeastern Europe arrived in our country, this site is important because with the culture of the Iron Age in these parts and in northeastern Hungary, the funeral pyres were stopped and burials were reinstated. The custom of pyres lasted since the Middle Bronze Age, i.e. for six centuries it ruled in our region and throughout Central Europe. With the loss of this custom, a change was made in the spiritual life of the inhabitants of this area, and for the first time, the influences of the Southeast were felt.
Painted walls were discovered on Kalakača, which can only be linked to the Mycenaean culture, which speaks of the multiple significance of this locality. Until its discovery, the Iron Age in our country, was the least known in relation to all other prehistoric times.
The settlement was of an agricultural character. In addition to grain, barley, millet, lentils, flax, its inhabitants also raised domestic animals and went hunting. Most ceramic vessels found had a simple appearance, with grooves or curves.