Aesthetics meets Function

In Vinča, humans formed notions of cooperation, coexistence and community in ways that the world had not seen before, not only ushering in a remarkable era of social advancement but also unlocking incredible creative and innovative potential.

The production of ceramics is the very first example of man transforming matter - a soft mixture of mud, water and hay, via the mastery of fire, into a solid ‘rock' that could be shaped to his own requirements. However, even millennia later, it is rare to find a greater skill in the art of transformation than we do in some of the works found at Vinča Belo Brdo.

With their skill and artisry, even an everyday bowl becomes a masterpiece of aesthetics and functionality.

The beauty of Vinča ceramics is a story by itself – exquisite figurines decorated with meandering motifs, or the multi-coloured vessels whose vibrant colours are made exclusively by ignition control, a technique that is still very difficult to perform today. Ceramic vessels and figurines are brought to life with human characteristics – for example a model of a furnace was given the character of a woman giving birth, showing us the unbreakable connection of motherhood, home, life and fertility.

We also see the desire for beauty in Vinča attitudes towards stone tools. Polished stone axes, for instance, were brought to a high gloss, which clearly shows that aesthetic perfection was as important for Vinča community as functionality.

Important element of creativity in Vinča was thread weaving. This is an activity that very rarely leaves material remains in archeology, but through the tiniest surviving fragments, such as the imprints of fabrics on ceramic vessels left wet on weaved mats, we can see that every aspect of Vinča life was woven with breath-taking aesthetics.

Creative skills and knowledge were passed from generation to generation, and adapted to the needs of each new generation. We can see this through the miniature figurines and vessels that were unequivocally made by children learning the shapes, colours, techniques and values of the community through art play.