Aleksandra Zegarac

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Belgrade, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9637

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Zegarac, Aleksandra, U. of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia - To aid research on 'Kinship, Status and Social Inequality in the Early Bronze Age of Southeastern Europe: the Case of Mokrin Necropolis,' supervised by Dr. Biljana Stojkovic

Preliminary abstract: The Bronze Age period is characterized by major social, political, and economical changes, which resulted in the formation of complex chiefdoms and social differentiation, in which kinship ties channeled the power and relations between individuals and groups. However, previous studies of the Early Bronze Age site of Mokrin necropolis in Serbia suggest no major changes in the social organization, although the potential for development of ranked society existed. Kinship studies are generally missing from bioarchaeological studies of the Balkans region, which leads to a vague understanding of the relationship between the biological and social systems and the dynamics of cultural processes. Therefore, this project’s main goal is to conduct kinship analyses of Mokrin necropolis and to address the hypotheses regarding vertical and horizontal stratification: Were the wealth and social status hereditary? And were the two groups buried in the same part of the necropolis closely related and does this spatial layout reflect a division of the society into two horizontal segments (moieties)? With improved DNA extraction methods from skeletal remains, minimized risk of contamination and new technology, ancient DNA studies have the power to identify genealogy and inheritance practices of Mokrin society, significant for the study of the process of social evolution and connection between the social status and kinship. The kinship analyses can give us a better insight into the degree of ranking in the Balkans and Europe and into the transition mechanisms of human social organization.