Допринос академика Владимира Ласкарева раду Природњачког музеја у Београду
Аcademician Vladimir Laskarev’s contribution to the work of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade
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У првој половини 20. века Природњачки музеј у Београду, тадашњи Јестаственички музеј или Музеј српске земље налазио се у веома лошим материјалним условима. У музеју је радило свега три до четири запослених, а услови за чување збирки и материјала били су готово недостојни једног музеја. После Првог светског рата ситуација је била још гора. С друге стране, као потпуни контраст овој музејској немаштини чини се податак да су управо тада за Музеј добровољно радили истакнути природњаци тог времена, као што су Јован Жујовић, Јован Цвијић, Недељко Кошанин, Светолик Радовановић и многи други. Ови помагачи музеја носили су назив „добровољни кустоси“ и они би, када би им време и обавезе допуштале, сакупљали и детерминисали материјал у Музеју и за Музеј. У групи добровољних кустоса посебно место заузима академик Владимир Д. Ласкарев захваљујући чијем ентузијазму, упорности и знању Природњачки музеј данас поседује „пикермијску фауну“ – једну од најлепших збирки крупних фосилних сисара. ...Ову збирку је професор Ласкарев добровољно сакупљао, реконструисао и детерминисао у периоду од 1921. до 1929. радећи у скученим просторијама Музеја, често делећи собу за рад са блиским пријатељем и колегом проф. Петром Павловићем, тадашњим управником Музеја. Поред пикермијске фауне, име Владимира Ласкарева као сакупљача, јавља се и уз неке друге збирке Музеја као што су Палеоботаничка збирка и Збирка кенозојских мекушаца.
Like most other famous Serbian naturalists from the fi rst half of the 20th century, Vladimir Laskarev – academician, scientist, geologist, paleontologist and professor at the Belgrade University – was also an associate, or “volunteer curator”, of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade. However, there are almost no offi cial documents or published information about this form of cooperation, regarding either Laskarev or other Serbian scientists who had been helping the Museum in the period from 1901 to 1941. We can learn about their enormous, irreplaceable and selfl ess assistance to the Natural History Museum, regardless of whether it involved volunteering, collecting and bringing in materials, and their expert and scientifi c processing of museum specimens mainly by perusing inventory books, reading certain reports, or searching for signatures on old Museum labels. Th e data on “voluntary curators” can sometimes be found in individual papers, usually in the introductory sec...tion or inside notes, concerning who, and when, had collected the fossil material described therein. Handling such sources of information – mainly various documents archived at the Museum, curators oft en encounter the names of famous scientists. In the case of the Natural History Museum, these were: Jovan Žujović, Jovan Cvijić, Nedeljko Košanin, Nikola Ranojević, Svetolik Radovanović, Lujo Adamović, Branislav Petronijević, Vladimir K. Petković, Dimitrije Antula, Nikola Zega (from the Ethnographic Museum), Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger (from the GeologicalPalaeontological Museum in Zagreb) and Spiridon Brusina (from the Zoological Museum in Zagreb). Based on these sources, the curators of the Natural History Museum have discovered that the name of Vladimir Laskarev was mentioned in relation to at least three Museum collections: the Tertiary Collection of Large Mammals, the Cenozoic Collection of Molluscs, and the Paleobotanical Collection. Among the above collections, it is especially important to mention the Pikermian fauna from the Tertiary Collection of Large Mammals that, thanks to the dedication, perseverance and knowledge of Vladimir Laskarev, today represents one of the most important collections of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade. Pikermian fauna Pikermian fauna was named aft er the town of Pikermi in the vicinity of Athens (Greece), where it was fi rst found in 1836. It is represented mainly by the bones of large mammals of the Late Miocene age, MN 12 (Turolian). Th e appearance of this fauna is associated with the formation of fl atland grass-covered ecosystems that, during the Miocene, began to be inhabited by various types of tridactyl horses, rhinoceros, mastodons, giraff es, deer, antelopes and other ungulates. When it comes to predators, the most common remains are those of civets, hyenas, saber-toothed cats and martens. In addition to mammals, this fauna includes the remains of ostriches and other birds, turtles, lizards and various species of amphibians. Apart from Greece, it was also discovered in Northern Macedonia, India, China, Mongolia, Ukraine, Moldova, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, southern Siberia, etc. In 1917, this fauna was found near the city of Veles (today: Northern Macedonia13) by German soldiers who collected it and sent it to Germany. Aft er the First World War, in 1921, the Natural History Museum continued explorations near this town. Whether in the fi eld or at the Museum itself, they lasted until 1927. When Pikermian fauna was found near Veles in 1921, Petar Pavlović decided to take Vladimir Laskarev on a fi eld trip, as he was someone who could provide expert opinion and help with the excavation of the bones. Laskarev came to Belgrade from the former Russian Empire in 1920, and worked at the Belgrade University as professor. He had already studied the Pikermian fauna in Russia, and he was practically the only geologist in Serbia whose interests involved large Tertiary mammals. Th anks to him, the fossil bones were properly excavated, packed, sent to the Museum, and identifi ed. During the fi rst year in the fi eld, Laskarev established the existence of 15 mammalian species: “Hipparion gracile”, “Sus erymathius”, Helladotherium duvernoyi, “Tragocerus amaltheus”, Palaeoreas lindermayeri, Gazella brevicornis, “Mastodon pantelicus”, Dinotherium giganteum, “Mesopithecus pentelici”, “Rhinoceros schleiermacheri” and “Ictitherium robustum”. Aft er three years of exploration, the collection of Pikermian fauna reached the size of 50 trunks. Since the Museum premises were too small to accommodate such a large collection14, a small house was constructed in the courtyard in 1925 to house the bones. Th at is where Laskarev, when he wasn’t busy with his professorial duties, cleaned, reconstructed and identifi ed fossil bones. Today, the collection of the Pikermian fauna consists of more than 1,000 specimens. Laskarev wanted to publish the collection, but since Schlosser had already published (in 1921) the fossil material that was found at the same site in 1917, he gave up the idea and mentioned only a minor part of this fauna in two of his papers that were published in 1921 and 1923 ( Laskarev, 1921; Ласкарев 1923). About paleobotany It is little known that Professor Laskarev had gathered several collections of fossil plants kept in the Natural History Museum (col. nos. 56, 64 and 160). There are no data on this in the offi cial Museum archives; instead, information that we are publishing here can be obtained from various sources such as signatures on museum labels packaged together with fossil material, records that had been made in (auxiliary) fi eld inventory books or information gathered from certain scientifi c papers. 1. Collection of fossil plants from Grocka. Material was collected on 6 September 1924 by Petar Pavlović and Vladimir Laskarev. In addition to museum labels, we can fi nd confi rmation concerning the collectors also in the doctoral dissertation of Academician Nikola Pantić (Пантић, 1956), who stated that in 1924 Vladimir Laskarev and Petar Pavlović explored the surroundings of Grocka. 2. Collection of fossil plants from Čortanovci, Fruška gora. Paleofl ora was collected by Vladimir Laskarev in 1927, to be later identifi ed and published by Pavlе Ivanovič Černyavsky (Черњавски, 1933). Th e museum labels, as well as the inventory book and a publication from 1933, also confi rm that Laskarev was the person who assembled this collection. 3. Collection of fossil plants from Ravna Reka. Th is collection was described by Černjavski (Черњавски, 1949), stating that the material was collected in 1926 by Vladimir Laskarev and Zarija Bešić. Th e Cenozoic Collection of Molluscs Th e collection of Quaternary fauna terrestrial gastropods was assembled by Vladimir Laskarev in 1947 and 1948, during his research related to solving stratigraphic problems of Neogene and Quaternary. Th e collection consists of about 200 gastropods collected at 12 localities in Vojvodina. Th e specimens were collected and identifi ed by Vladimir Laskarev.
Keywords:Vladimir D. Laskarev / Petar S. Pavlović / Pikermian fauna / paleobotany / the Natural History Museum
Source:Владимир Д. Ласкарев - живот и дело : поводом 150 година од рођења, 2019, 37-56
- Београд : Српска академија наука и уметности : Српско геолошко друштво
- Научни скупови / Српска академија наука и уметности ; књ. 185. Одељење за математику, физику и гео-науке ; књ. 8