The Starčevo culture emerges as the oldest Neolithic manifestation in the North-East Bosnia. So far it has been found only on the site in Gornja Tuzla, and in the Tuzla palafitte settlement (protection excavation in 2007, C14 Analysis is pending).
The prehistoric multilayer settlement in Gornja Tuzla is located on an elevated plateau on the right bank of the river Jala, in its upper reach, on the slopes of Majevica mountain (Čović, 1961: 81). The settlement occupies a rather large area of about 15 hectares. The result of long-lasting continuous life in this settlement is presented in the form of cultural layer of thickness of up to 5.50 m.
Although the existence of a prehistoric settlement had been established earlier, the first probe testing was conducted in 1955, however, as no clear stratigraphic image was obtained by excavation then nor in the next two years, a new probe was uncovered in 1958. Part of this probe, labeled as probe II/1, was located right in the center of the settlement. The stratigraphic image has shown a range from the Starčevo layer (stratum VI) to the early Bronze Age (stratum I); i.e. through four strata corresponding to the development of Vinča culture.
The most rugged, Starčevo layer gives the village of Gornja Tuzla the position of the site of the oldest known Neolithic settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provides the first information for studying of the beginnings of the sedentary lifestyle and agricultural cultures of these regions.
The ceramics of this layer can be divided into coarse ones with barbotine ornaments (Table I, Figures 1, 3, 4, 5, 7) and impresso (Table I, Fig. 2), glazed monochrome and painted ceramics. For all three types, the main shape is represented by a semi-circular and ball-shaped flat bottom dish. Some of these dishes have a cylindrical high neck. Monochrome dishes were made in several shapes.
The analysis of the ceramic found in stratum VI led to confirmation of two phases: VI b older and VIa younger phase.