The Danube, an Empire Boundary River: Settlements, Invasions, Navigation, and Trade Pathway

Kenneth R. Olson, Edward Krug

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The Danube River basin was home to some of the world’s earliest human cultures such as the Danubian Neolithic cultures including the Linear Pottery culture. The Vucedol culture was famous for ceramics during the third millennium BC. Early settlement required fortresses and castles to be built on the Danube River to defend the settlements from invading forces. These included the Persia, Roman and Ottoman empires. Cities included Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Ruse. The risks include stream capture, settlement, invasions, navigation, trade, pollution, industrial and urban wastewater, over fishing, food insecurity, locks and dams, shoreline erosion and flooding. The primary objective was to document the settlement history on the Danube River which became Eastern Europe’s pathway for settlement, invasions, navigation and trade in the Danube basin has put the river at risk for more than 2500 years. River capturing of the Danube by the Rhine River has reduced the length and flow of the Danube. The Danube River has had a huge economic, social and environmental impact on 10 European countries. However, with 10 countries sharing the river it has been difficult to manage and mitigate the risks and threats to the Danube River and its water quality.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-897
JournalJournal of Water Resource and Protection
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2020


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