Friday, 5 August 2022

Vučedol Culture Museum Invites You to Out of the Box Virtual Exhibition

August 5, 2022 – The Vučedol Culture Museum in Vukovar remains a truly special place. Its unique location, architecture, and the dedication of those who make things happen there day after day, all keep drawing you back and leave you longing for more. This time, the invitation is out for all who like anything digital, 3D, and in general thinking out of the box. A new interactive exhibition nicknamed Vučedolac izvan okvira (The Vučedol Man Outside His Box) is open until the end of August.

Tportal followed up with the author of the exhibition, Darko Bilandžić, who is also the head of marketing at the Vučedol Culture Museum. He points out that, thanks to their approach to marketing and the possibilities of the digital world, he decided to offer the museum’s visitors a digital insight into the life of the prehistoric people of Vučedol.


Photo: Vučedol Culture Museum

“The people of Vučedol were advanced as a culture and in many ways ahead of many at that time. We could say that they thought outside the box. I believe that we have passed the time of static museums, which require visitors to walk through them and read the materials next to the exhibits. In addition to improving our website, we decided to go a step further and create an interactive exhibition using augmented reality technology”, says Bilandžić.

He explains that ten tablets are available to visitors, which they can use to scan ten posters to find the corresponding 3D, audio, text, or video content.

“With this type of presentation, we want to get even closer to the younger generation and keep up with the modern ways of presenting museum material, and thus further build our digital archive. I must admit that the feedback of our visitors pleasantly surprised me, as it clearly shows how important it is to continue working in the direction of new technologies”, says Darko Bilandžić.

He adds that even as a child he was interested in advanced technologies and that robots were his favourite toys.

“That passion for new and advanced technologies always stayed with me. Back in 2016, at the Vučedol Culture Museum, we had visitors take a virtual walk through the museum with the help of VR glasses”, he recalls.

He added that the “trigger” for greater involvement in the digital presentation of cultural material was the coronavirus pandemic when many museums were closed.

“It made apparent that a lot of museums were not ready for online work. We saw our chance there and I dove into learning and education, and this exhibition is the first result of that”, he says proudly, adding that without digital technologies in the future it will be difficult to imagine the operation of any museum.


Photo: Vučedol Culture Museum

This marketing expert believes that augmented reality offers museums unimagined opportunities for development and getting closer to citizens of all ages.

“We especially want to get closer to young people and get them interested in everything that the Vučedol Culture Museum offers, and it offers many things that define today's life and reality”, concludes Darko Bilandžić.

Darko is a marketing expert who has a passion for a reality that is virtual, augmented, or extended. If you would like to know more about that, make sure to check out TCN’s interview with Darko on Culex, a successful VR company that he co-owns.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Ever Heard of the Bronze Age Diet? Vučedol Archeological Remains Revisited

January 29, 2022 - The Paleo or Stone Age diet is amongst the most popular lifestyle trends in the 21st century, claiming a variety of health benefits including weight loss and improved mental health.

But what about our ancestors after the stone age? What were their lifestyles like over the next 3,000 years?

A Croatian ancestral burial site may hold some answers.

A recent study on remains excavated from the Vučedol archeological site located in eastern Croatia was able to determine the long-term dietary choices, and the type of food that inhabitants consumed during the Bronze Ages.

Results point to the possibility that they consumed more animal proteins and fewer greens than our Paleolithic ancestors.

Where is Vučedol and what is the significance of this site?

Vučedol is an important archeological site located in the southwestern Carpathian Basin.

In terms of modern boundaries, the vast Basin spans across the territories of Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria.


Outline of the Carpathian Basin with Modern Boundaries. Image: Google Earth

The Vučedol archeological site is located in the eastern region of Slavonia, along the Danube River, and is approximately 5 kilometers downstream from Vukovar.

While only 10% of the Vučedol site has been excavated today, rich findings from the area have improved our understanding of the late Stone, Copper, and Bronze Ages within the Carpathian Basin.


Location of Vukovar, Croatia. Image: Google Maps

For more in-depth reports of Vučedol heritage and archeological findings, take a look at TCN’s coverage here and here.

New insights

The remains at Vučedol were originally unearthed in 1897, where a total of 15 skeletons were found. However, due to technological and financial constraints, bioarchaeological data on these remains have been relatively scarce.

Fortunately, with access to modern scientific methods (i.e. stable isotope analysis) researchers have been able to revisit and conduct a series of tests on human remains excavated at Vučedol in the late 19th century.

Researchers suggest the graves dated back to the Early Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE), but individuals were buried over a time period spanning several decades.

By examining the dental and skulls of the remains, the sex and age distributions of these remains stood out. The group was evenly represented by four male and four female skeletons. All individuals were able to reach adulthood.

Of these, 6 were considered ‘middle/older’ aged 35 years and older, while the other two were categorized as ‘young/sub adults’ (18-35 years).

Other archeological digs have unearthed remains from the same time period, but usually consisted of children or young/sub-adults. Although 5 of these individuals suffered from poor health during childhood, they were well enough to reach adulthood.

Some of the ailments they suffered were attributed to the lack of vitamins B12, and anemia brought on by iron deficiency and harsh living conditions.

During the Early Bronze Age, inhabitants experienced extensive socio-economic change. They lived through a period of great prosperity around 2500 BCE, lasting almost 150 years. Unfortunately, their fortunes reversed quite rapidly with a decline that lasted another 100 years.

Stone age vs. Bronze age diets

Researchers were also able to outline clear differences in diets between the Late Stone Age and the Early Bronze Age based on comparisons of stable isotope values from the remains.

It showed the reliance of inhabitants on different ratios of crops and animal proteins which evolved depending on the climate and social-economic conditions.

Generally, inhabitants of the Late Stone Age adopted similar agricultural practices. In line with the growing conditions of the area at the time, their diets were mostly made up of fibrous crops such as rice, wheat, barley, oats, beets, and potatoes as opposed to corn, sugarcane, or millet.

At the turn of the Early Bronze Age, it appears the region’s inhabitants began to incorporate more meat in their diet with a decrease in plant carbons in their remains compared to their Stone Age counterparts.

Researchers theorized inhabitants of the Early Bronze Age were able to regulate the farming of livestock, which provided them with a dependable source of protein.

Alternatively, the increase in protein consumption could also be due to the lack of abundant plant vegetation. Climate conditions during the time were seemingly not as hospitable to agricultural farming as those living during the Stone Age

They also supplemented their diet by hunting wild game such as deer and boar from the nearby forests. Occasionally, they caught fish from the Danube River, albeit to a much lesser extent than the consumption of animal proteins.pexels-francesco-ungaro_small.jpg

Wild Boar. Image: Francesco Ungaro/Pexels

While stable isotope analysis provides powerful insights into the types of food our ancestors consumed, for example, that they were likely eating more rice and potatoes than corn, it has limited application in identifying exact types of produce as well as serving sizes.

History of the Vučedol site

This site was inhabited for three millennia, from the Neolithic to the Bronze Ages (4000-1500 BCE), providing invaluable insights into the lives of people and the social and economic changes during this period.

Towards the end of the Copper Age, lived the Vučedol culture (3080-2340 BCE). The first recorded finds arrived at the Archeological Museum of Zagreb as early as 1894 through Josip Brunšmid, museum director.

This collection continued to grow due to the support of the Streim family who owned the land.


Vučedol, along the Danube River. Image: Google Earth

In one of the most famous finds surrounding the Vučedol site, ceramics were unearthed in 1938 by German archeologist RR Schmidt. The Vučedol culture was well known for the production of ceramics that required highly refined pottery skills.

These vessels are currently on display at the archeological museum in Zagreb.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Vučedol Culture Museum Launches Virtual E-Learning Platform

December 9, 2020 - The Vučedol Culture Museum has adapted to the current COVID-19 situation and launched an e-learning platform so visitors can enjoy a virtual experience of the museum.

HRTurizam writes that although the museums are still open, of course with the observance of all epidemiological measures, due to the epidemiological situation they are poorly visited, especially since all tourist activity is currently on hold.

Faced with new challenges, and following the digital trends, the Vučedol Culture Museum has prepared two novelties in order to make it easier for all visitors to have a virtual experience of the museum. Thus, they made a 360-degree interactive tour of the Vučedol Culture Museum, and now they are among the first, if not the first museums in Croatia, to create a virtual e-learning platform, i.e., an interactive quiz.

"As COVID-19 significantly influenced visits to museums, we decided to adapt to the times and still follow modern trends in technology," says Darko Bilandžić, marketing manager of the Vučedol Culture Museum and creator of the virtual walks and quizzes, adding that the idea to take it a step further than a virtual tour and an educational quiz.


"This quiz falls under the new buzz word 'e-learning' in which visitors will see through 26 questions how much they know about Vučedol culture. Through interactive content, we are sure that we will provide the user with an educational and interesting experience and increase knowledge about Vučedol culture," adds Bilandžić.

The interactive quiz goes through 13 rooms and exhibits within the museum and contains a total of 26 questions in which everyone can test their knowledge of Vučedol and learn new knowledge about Vučedol culture. After the correct answer, a brief explanation of the correct answer is displayed.

"I am sure that others will soon recognize the importance of e-learning as a modern tool," concluded Bilandžić.

This is just one small example of the digitalization of tourism, and the whole platform is just opening the door for an upgrade that is virtually limitless. It is a digital platform or medium that can be expanded in various ways, and is just a matter of creativity and, of course, budget.

You can learn more about the interactive quiz of the Museum of Vučedol Culture HERE

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Vučedol Culture Museum Welcomes 200,000 Visitors Since Opening

ZAGREB, November 12, 2018 - After the Vučedol Culture Museum recently received this year's Innovation of the Year Award at Croatian Tourism Days, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava has congratulated the museum's staff on that achievement, adding that in the past three and a half years, more than 200,000 visitors have visited the museum which has contributed greatly to the town's development.

The Croatian National Tourist Board awarded the museum for its educational projects designed for the youngest readers who can be informed, through a picture book and guide, of the Vučedol prehistoric culture and of the museum's holdings.

"We are proud of this award and grateful to the Vukovar Tourist Board for nominating us and the panel of judges who recognised the museum for its innovation," museum director Mirela Hutinec has said.

She recalled the museum's latest 100 million kuna project, the Vučedol Archaeological Park, which is being implemented by the museum together with the Culture Ministry, the Town of Vukovar, its Tourist Board and Vukovar Port.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2022 and involves rebuilding the Vučedol settlement and its copper foundry, building a research centre, a farm, a planetarium, an educational pathway and hospitality facilities.

The Vučedol Culture Museum was opened in June 2015 as part of the government's Vukovar-Vučedol-Ilok project, implemented jointly with the Culture Ministry and Council of Europe Development Bank.

For more articles on Croatian museums, click here.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Vukovar-Vučedol-Ilok Cultural Destination Wins Prestigious Award

ZAGREB, March 23, 2018 - "Vukovar-Vučedol-Ilok" is one of 18 European destinations which have received the EDEN prize confirming the excellence of these destinations for cultural tourism, the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) reported on Friday.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

City of Vukovar First in Croatia to Introduce a Digital Travel Guide by Beacon Technology

Head of the Department of Culture and Tourism Marina Sekulić, project manager for the company Oroundo Darko Bilandžić, and director of the Tourist Board of Vukovar Jasna Babić presented the mobile application Oroundo at the City Hall in Vukovar.