Растко ВАСИЋ

Археолошки институт



Хронолошка и територијална питања

Апстракт: У раду је реч о Гласинцу у бронзано и гвоздено доба. Аутор анализира археолошки материјал у појединим деловима ове простране висоравни, на самом Гласинцу, северозападно, јужно и источно од висоравни и покушава да утврди одређене територијалне и хронолошке разлике у културном развоју појединих од ових делова.

Notes on Glasinac


Glasinac, the plain east of Sarajevo, with thousands of burial mounds and hundreds of hillforts, represents one of cult prehistoric sites in the Balkans, which even after 120 years of intensive work and research has failed to provide adequate solutions to all the problems present. The first excavations at Glasinac were carried out in 1880, under the supervision of lieutenant engineer J. Lexsa, and the subsequent ones in 1886 under the management of captains F. Glossauer and J. Brudl. On establishing the National Museum in Sarajevo, the systematic research in Glasinac (1888-1897) started, conducted by C. Truhelka, D. Stratimirovic and F. Fiala. Between World War I and World War II there was some minor work carried out under M. Mandić (1937), while after World War II Glasinac was studied by B. Čović (1957) and B. Govedarica (from 1974 until 1990, intermittently). In addition to reports from these excavations, several books and studies on this subject were published by M. Hoernes, A. Benac, B. Čović, M. Garasanin, N. Lucentini, etc. The main topic of these considerations was the chronology of Glasinac material. At first it was predominantly thought to be Hallstatt; eventually, owing primarily to the work of A. Benac and B. Čović, it was established that the cultural development on the Glasinac Plain was continuous from the beginning of the Bronze Age until Late Iron Age. Benac and Covic gave also the basic chronological division of the archeological material into five phases, Glasinac I – V, which is, with some additional changes in certain types, still applied today.

In spite of the wealth of studies and papers on Glasinac and its material, a great deal is as yet unstudied and unknown. More accurately, the researched material has not been published in its entirety; in the summary stating of the discovered material there are still a lot of unknown and unidentified pieces that can provide valuable information; detailed analyses of certain forms and periods are still lacking.

Those are the reasons for the objective of this paper to be an attempt for the Glasinac material to be regionally analyzed, and to establish what differences, if any, are present in the cultural development of certain parts of the Glasinac Plain, or the area that this name is applied to in archeological literature. The name Glasinac Plain refers to the area east of Sarajevo, around Sokolac, but this geographic name was applied to the areas north, east and south of the Plain, where prehistoric burial mounds were excavated, not only in the close vicinity, but even the burial mounds in the village of Strpci near Priboj, some 70 km away from Glasinac.

Such a review of Glasinac sites, even though it may be summary, showed that Glasinac cannot be observed as one single organism functioning regularly and steadily, as it may appear on the surface, when observing its chronological phases and typological tables. The picture is actually essentially different.

In the early Bronze Age there is sporadic activity that is hardly noticeable. The bronze daggers from Kovacev Do are the most representative findings from this time. The activities are somewhat livelier in this area in middle Bronze Age, and that in the area north of Rogatica, where there are the only two findings that can be linked to middle Bronze age of Central Europe: a pin with a hollow head from Pljesivica, and a round pendant with thorn from Han Osovo. The diadems of bronze sheet with twisted ends from Planj, Crvena Lokva, Luburic Polje and Podlaze probably belong to this time and represent a local product of the Glasinac Plain undre European influence. A large number of burial places without grave goods in this whole territory may have originated from this time, so this assumption as well must be accepted with reservations. Large decorative pins and massive flat torques from Maravic, Mladj, Borovsko, Živaljevići, Sokolac, created probably under the influence from Podrinje, where similar shapes were found. In the developed phase of the Late Bronze Age, the links with central Europe were strengthened, and that most probably through Podrinje once again, as can be seen from the two violin-shaped fibulae from Taline and Bandino Brdo, and several decorative pins from Brankovići, Plješivica, Rusanovići, and Gosinja planina. The local expression is barely evident; most often they are wide, decorated and undecorated open bracelets of bronze sheets, and ribbon-like bracelets of twofold wire with the twisted middle. The concentration of the latter type around Rogatica, Plješivica, Okruglo, Sjeversko, Osovo and Kosovo, indicates that they are local products, and they are not found in the western part of Glasinac, but has parallels in the east, in Štrpci and in Serbia. The last phase of the Late Bronze Age is characterized by twisted torques, decorated phaleras and crossbow single fibulae with triangle foot. Their concentration in the vicinity of Sokolac, and more to the south, in Taline and Sokolac, Brezje, Loznik, Bandino Brdo and Vrlazije (fibulae); Planje, Brezje and Taline (phaleras), and Taline, Sokolac and Brezje (torques), and their absence in the burial mounds in the east points to the forming of smaller groups culturally inclining to south-west Bosnia and Herzegovina. The link to central Europe was severed at the time, which can be seen from, among other things, the absence of double-bow fibulae with figure eight in the middle, in Glasinac and neighboring regions, which was the shape popular in the whole of southern Europe at the end of the Bronze Age and in Early Iron Age.

The graves from the beginning of Iron Age, or the time of intensive commencement of the use of iron, were found in the far north-east in Podilijak, in the south in Ilijak, in the north-west in Taline, Laze and Kusace, but sporadically in other sites in the entire Glasinac region as well. It is the time of forming the Glasinac group in the true sense of the word, which would culminate in its height and power in the period from the second half of 7th century to the second half of 6th century. At that time the largest number of sites and the largest number of graves, with numerous grave goods are dated, not only of chieftains and the rich, but also of the poorer, in the east in Osovo, Brankovići, Sjeversko, Godomilje, etc., in the south in Ilijak, Vrlazije, Brezje, Rusanovići, Gosinja, etc., in Glasinac itself, in Ćitluci, Bjelosavići, Mladj, Hrastovaća, Kovačev Do, Duboki Do, Bandino Brdo, Potpećine, Arareva Gromila, Kusače, Taline, Sokolačko Polje, and in the north in Križevac and Miletine. It was the time of flourishing of this Plain, and at the same time the period of spreading Glasinac elements into neighboring and remote areas.

In the next period, dated from the end of 6th century until the end of 5th century, continuity can be perceived only in a number of sites. In the east of Glasinac, the graves from this period are scarce (Osovo), in the south only several graves in Ilijak, Rusanovići and Gosinja may be dated into this phase, while full continuity of cultural development can be followed mostly in Glasinac itself, around Arareva Gromila and Čitluk, in Potpećine, Hrastovača, Cavarine, then Vrazići, Taline, etc., and in the north in several graves in Zagradje. Finally, in 4th century and later, judging by the findings, there was the limited revival of activities in some sites, in the east in Podilijak and Godomilje, and especially in the south in Rusanovići, Rudine, and Gosinja, the principal cultural focus in Glasinac of that time.

All the above states that 8th century, and especially 7th century, saw a slow concentration of people and means in the Glasinac Plain, probably through a partial influx of population from the neighboring areas, especially from the east, where at that time, under the influence of numerous migrations and relocations, the central Balkans had become the area unsuitable for peaceful existence. The end of 7th century and most of 6th century were to signify the culmination of power of this group, expressed in the number of graves, the wealth and diversity of shapes. The end of 6th century saw a disruption in intensive cultural development in the entire area of Glasinac, and once again relocations and disseminating of the populace to various parts, perhaps due to overpopulation, perhaps because of more appealing events in the neighboring parts that attracted the brave and ambitious chieftains of Glasinac. From that time on, during 5th and 4th centuries, the continuity of cultural development can be followed only in some parts of Glasinac.

That would, in short, be a representation of cultural events in Glasinac in the Bronze and Iron Ages based on the materials and papers published so far. There are certainly numerous gaps in it. The full picture of the development in all the details would be possible to attain only by publishing the entire materials from Glasinac and vicinity, from all the burial mounds and findings in them, by comparing and systematically analyzing certain sites, burial mounds, graves and types of materials.