The Archaeological Institute’s multi-decade scientific research aims to elucidate the process of neolithization in the Central Balkans and the mutual relationship between the bearers of the Starčevo and Vinča cultures. The importance of the study lies in discovering new information about the first settlers in the area, using a wide-ranging sample that can be used to track regional variations and diachronic changes. In order to organise all Neolithic artifacts in local museums, survey and map Neolithic settlements in the region, and gather new information through excavations of the key sites, the Archaeological Institute and the National Museums of Jagodina and Paraćin launched the project “Archaeological Workshop: The Middle Morava
For the last two decades, the region of the Middle Morava Valley has been the focus of Neolithic period research: the Starevo (6200–5400/5350 B.C.) and Vina (5400/5300-4500 B.C.) cultures. This area is of great importance for the understanding and interpretation of the evolution of the Neolithic in the Central Balkans and Southeast Europe. The Archaeological Institute, the National Museum of Paraćin, and the National Museum of Jagodina launched the project “Archaeological Workshop: The Middle Morava Valley Role in the Neolithization of Southeast Europe” in 2002, with several primary goals: the systematization of all Neolithic materials in local museums; the survey and mapping of Neolithic settlements in this region; and the collection of new data through excavations of the essential sites (Davidovac, Belica, Dunjićki Šljivari, Popčica, Motel-Slatina, and Drenovac).
Contemporary research into the Neolithic of the Middle Morava Valley is part of the multi-decade scientific research project of the Archaeological Institute, which involves continuous research of the Neolithic settlement at the location of Slatina – Turska česma in Drenovac near Paraćin, as well as other sites in the Middle Morava Valley, to elucidate, as much as possible, the process of neolithization of the Central Balkans and the mutual relationship between the bearers of the Starčevo and Vinča cultures, the further fate of the inhabitants of the youngest phase of the Vinča culture, and the reasons for the abandonment of the Vinča settlements in the middle of the 5th millennium B.C. The significance of the research lies in obtaining new knowledge about the first farmers in the region, based on a diverse sample that can be used to monitor regional variations as well as diachronic changes at the level of one or more Neolithic settlements.