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petak, 19. srpnja 2013.

Early Medieval Croatian Tomb Unearthed Near Šibenik

If you're into archeology, history (and of course especially Croatian history and archaeology) then this should be of interest to you. They just uncovered a tomb near the town of Šibenik that they've dated to be from the period of the 8th to the 10th century. The sarcophagus was found near a cemetery and is believed to be the bones of a local dignitary or higher ranking person. Also a rarity in this case, as they also found a sword beside the deceased. Unearthed remains and artifacts have been discovered in the vicinity before, but this is the first sword from the late 8th century to be found in this specific area near ​​Šibenik.

I doesn't look all that impressive now, all still mixed in with the dirt, but after the bones, pottery and sword are properly cleaned, analyzed, examined and more accurately dated, it will tell a lot about the early Croats from those times. It's pretty cool what these people digging come across, discovering things about our past. Unfortunately, plenty of artifacts and graves have been destroyed or even stolen through the centuries, grave robbing was a lucrative business at times. This was also the case with some of the oldest buildings too, with so many wars being fought on the territory all that time. (Also, it's not generally known that especially during the 19th and early 20th century there were concerted efforts by some recently arrived groups from Serbia who's sole purpose was to destroy any artifacts, manuscripts or archaeological evidence they could get their hands on, items historically connected with the early middle ages Croatian statehood, or even connected to Croatian history in any way, this was especially the case along the Croatian coastal regions where the Croats first started their early organized realms and dukedoms). 

However, who knows what other illuminating and interesting artifacts people like this will come across in the future, what revelations will other bones, swords or words written in stone tell us. (Did you know that the famous Baška tablet was only discovered in the 19th century by accident?..that the most famous of the 6 stone epigraphs regarding the 9th century Croatian Duke Branimir, the Branimir inscription dated to the year 888, was found in Benkovac about 30 km east of the modern day city of Zadar only in the late 19th century also, (see updated post intriguing-archaeological-find-in-bribir-duke-branimir), that the Inscription of Župa Dubrovačka was found only in...2007? That the tremendously enlightening and historically important sarcophagus epitaph of Croatian Queen Helen the Glorious (Jelena Slavna) was discovered only in the latter half of the 20th century? as just a few other examples, and each one verifying and proving written charters and other historical sources from and about those times)

On my last trip I had a chance to visit a couple of the archaeology related museums that were close to where I was staying, and it's pretty cool seeing some of these swords, pottery, clothing, jewelry etc after they're on display. If this early Croatian history is your type of thing but you don't know much, or even where to start, then you will definitely want to check out (For all the boys and girls out there who enjoy shows like Game of Thrones, then you'll especially like it). I threw in just a few of my own pics from my last trip to Rijeka at the very bottom. I quickly popped into the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka on my last day there. They had a section that displayed artifacts from the Croatian presence in the area dating back to at least the 9th century.  

Also, archaeological excavations that started in 2010 around the Bosnian town of Livno is nearing it's end. The remains of a Croatian church dating from the 9th century, (photo above) during the rule of Duke Muncimir had been unearthed and examined during this time and various important finds were recorded and then moved for safekeeping and more intensive study. The church was one of many destroyed by muslim Ottoman forces during their Jihads into Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, and shortly after by following Serbs traveling into previous Croat populated areas.  Duke Muncimir ruled large areas of coastal Croatia from 892 to 910 and was the father of the first Croatian King Tomislav. The bosniyaks/muslim authorities and media in Sarajevo are unhappy with the findings though and have repeatedly been trying to stop the archaeological work and discoveries in the area, archeological findings which prove that large parts of Bosnia were an integral part of the early Croatian realms and populated by Croats starting already from the 7th century. (Their reasoning is because there were no partially eaten kebabs found nearby or Turkish coffee residue in the goblets) Some serbo-chetnik and extremist groups in serbia are also upset that the archeological project was allowed to proceed, stating that the project is a an intentional affront to the glory of the Sanjak of Smederevo. More Here). The results and findings from archaeological digs such as these over the years has shed light on and proven many already known facts from written sources also, that the early Croatian presence up to the Croatian Kingdom of King Tomislav especially, was influenced by the the most powerful empire of continental Europe at the time and neighboring Croatia on the western border...the Frankish Kingdom. (aka the Western/Holy Roman Empire/Carolingian Empire). This has been shown in the early architecture, the formation and administration of the Croatian royal courts, weaponry, art and even to an extent influenced the Croatian language.

(See for much more on these interesting subjects)

(I updated this post because a few days later after another middle ages cemetery was discovered just 5 km outside the city of Osijek. No swords at this one...yet, but they expect to find the remains of about 100 people when the digging is finished. I have to get myself one of those middle ages skulls, they would make frikin cool candle holders or to put candied corn into, because nobody eats Hallowe'en candied corn anyway, so it will probably just sit there for many centuries also and become a future unexplainable archaeological discovery)

Related: international-festival-of-archaeological-films-split


The monarchical realms and political landscape of Continental Europe during the 9th to 12th century.

 More images from the full photogallery:

  Dated from the migration period of the Early Middle Ages, this iron helmet (commonly called the spangenhelm today in Europe) was found in Croatia and would be what the early Croatian soldiers/warriors would have been wearing in the 6th-7th century during their movements south towards modern day Croatia (Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum) and up to the 9th-10th century. It is very similar to what was being used around early Kievan Rus' as well as other areas inhabited by the "White Croats". This one can be viewed in person at the Museum of the Cetinska Krajina in the town of Sinj.

A few of the pics I took while quickly checking out the Middle Ages Archeology display section at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka. Official website:

2 komentara :

The Poo Lady kaže...

Have you seen any archeological evidence of medieval Croatian textiles? I am trying to do some research on early clothing and embroidery.

HroBaToS-AuToPiLoTaS kaže...

I can't say that's my specialty or major interest, I have come across some information and images here and there, but like I said, it's not my major interest. I quickly googled and found this link, they may help you more.

Are you by chance familiar with Scatty Susan? If you know her, tell her I said Hi!, her home made strawberry rhubarb pies are awesome.

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