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One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC.In antiquity, Thraco-Dacians inhabited the region and after 279 BC Celts conquered the city, naming it Singidūn.In 1427, Stefan's successor Đurađ Branković had to return Belgrade to the Hungarian king, and Smederevo became the new capital.Although the Ottomans captured most of the Serbian Despotate, Belgrade, known as Nándorfehérvár in Hungarian, was unsuccessfully besieged in 1440 Seven decades after the initial siege, on 28 August 1521, the fort was finally captured by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his 250,000 soldiers and over 100 ships subsequently, most of the city was razed to the ground and its entire Orthodox Christian population was deported to Istanbul, In 1594, a major Serb rebellion was crushed by the Ottomans.Later, Grand vizier Sinan Pasha ordered the relics of Saint Sava to be publicly torched on the Vračar plateau; in the 20th century, the Temple of Saint Sava was built to commemorate this event.During this period, the city was affected by the two Great Serbian Migrations, in which hundreds of thousands of Serbs, led by two Serbian Patriarchs, retreated together with the Austrians into the Habsburg Empire, settling in today's Vojvodina and Slavonia.
Austro-Hungarian monitors shelled Belgrade on 29 July 1914, and it was taken by the Austro-Hungarian Army under General Oskar Potiorek on 30 November.
Chipped stone tools found at Zemun show that the area around Belgrade was inhabited by nomadic foragers in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras.
Some of these tools belong to the Mousterian industry, which are associated with Neanderthals rather than modern humans.
The Starčevo culture was succeeded by the Vinča culture (5500–4500 BC), a more sophisticated farming culture that grew out of the earlier Starčevo settlements which is also named for a site in the Belgrade region (Vinča-Belo Brdo).
The Vinča culture is known for its very large settlements, one of the earliest settlements by continuous habitation and some of the largest in prehistoric Europe; Evidence of early knowledge about Belgrade's geographical location comes from ancient myths and legends.
In 395 AD, the site passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.