Ancient cultures settled and thrived in locations with access to natural resources—particularly fresh water, necessary for every aspect of life. For thousands of years, various people groups have populated the area of Vinkovci in Slavonija. Located on a raised bank of the Bosut River, Vinkovci is safe from flooding but within proximity of the river’s benefits. The earliest known cultures settled here around 6200 BC, making this the oldest continuously inhabited area in all of Europe. They brought farming and domesticated animals, and produced pottery and other crafts.
The oldest known Indo-European calendar was discovered here in 1978, inscribed on a ceramic pot from the Vučedol culture of 3000–2200 BC. The Vučedols, contemporaries of Troy, the Old Kingdom of Egypt, and Mesopotamia, found order in the stars, and marked the seasons with the dominant constellation of Orion. Their society was highly developed, and they have left us with fascinating artifacts from their main craft of copper smelting, as well as other materials.