The necropolis with stecak tombstones, believed to have completely disappeared more than a hundred years ago, has been discovered in Kresevo, the old royal town in central Bosnia, and experts say a true lost treasure has been found.
There is only one mention of the necropolis discovered at the Polje site, and it was presumed to have disappeared during the 19th century.
“In this way, this necropolis was actually dug and was considered destroyed,” Adnan Kaljanac, head of the Institute of Archeology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo told Federal News Agency.
As early as the first day of archaeological research, six stecak tombstones and one tomb were found, and a total of about 30 tombstones were discovered during the excavation. However, it is believed that this is not the final figure and that the necropolis is much larger.
Among the monuments found are stecak tombstones of various sizes, and some of the stecak tombstones were used as building material since traces of breaking and carving were visible.
The forgotten necropolis was found at the site where the police station was planned to be built, and the Ministry of Interior (MUP) of the Central Bosnia Canton claims that work was delayed due to archaeological investigations.
“Prior to the commencement of the works, we received information from the Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Local Museum in Travnik that it would be desirable to do archeological research in the area and to find out that there are a number of stecaks in the surrounding plots. The Ministry of the Interior stopped its activities until the research was completed,” Vidovic told Fena.
By the number of medieval tombstones, BiH is the richest country in the region, however, experts warn that most of the necropolises are in very poor condition and are rare examples of their proper protection.
There are an estimated 60,000 stećak tombstones in BiH, some of which are state-protected, and 24 necropolises are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.