It is very difficult to decide what are 5 most important Archaeology sites of a country that has hundreds of national monuments (818 to be precise), many of which are from prehistoric and roman times. It’s imposible to include all of them, such as prehistoric caves like the one in Badanj with drawings dating between 13 000 and 12 000 BC, or many medieval towns with amazing views. That’s why I give you the list of sites that are my personal favorite and have to be visited.
Many Archaeologists will agree that Daorson is one of the most important sites not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also in Europe. It is located in Ošanići near the town of Stolac and it was the city of Illyrian tribe called Daorsi. This important tribe lived in today’s Herzegovina between 300 BC and 50 BC. There is a hill fort or acropolis in the central part of the city which is fortified by megalithic wall, similar to those in Mikena. The megalithic wall which is the most important part of the city was dated in 4th century BC. Since Daorsi were skilled traders, they produced their own coins in their mint facility and used Greek language and alphabet.
Jajce is a town in middle Bosnia. The whole town will captivate you with its historical and natural beauty. There you can see remains from roman period, including one of the most important roman sites in this part of Europe: Mithraeum, a temple dedicated to the proto-Indo-Iranian god Mithras. However, most archaeology remains are dating back to middle age when Jajce was an important strategic towwn. In written documents it was first mentioned in 1396. In 15th century it was a part of medieval Bosnian kingdom and was the residence of the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomašević. The Ottomans besieged the town and executed him, but six months later Jajce was seized by Croatian- Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus who established Banovina of Jajce. During this period, Queen Catherine restored the Saint Mary’s Church in Jajce, today the oldest church in town. Eventually, in 1527, Jajce became the last Bosnian town to fall to Ottoman rule. There are several churches and mosques built in different times during different rules, making Jajce a rather diverse town. In 1878 this town became a part of Austria-Hungary with the rest of the country.
Necropoles Radimlja and Boljuni
Both located in municipality of Stolac, Radimlja and Boljuni are famous necropoles with hundreds “stećci”. Stećci are monumental medieval tombstones that can mostly be found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are a symbol of this country, not surprising, considering that there are 60 000 of them scattered across Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are dating in 12th century when they first appeared, they reached their peak in 14th and 15th century and completely disappeared in 16th century. Stećci have been nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014. Among hundreds of necropoles these two can be pointed out because of the number of tombstones, many of which are amazingly artistically decorated with relief performances and important inscriptions.
Počitelj is a small place located in municipality of Čapljina. During 15th century it was a fortified town of the Dubrava district, ruled by Duke Stjepan Vukčič Kosača. The first recorded reference to this town dates back to 1444. In the period between 1463 and 1471 the town housed a Hungarian garrison and was fortified into a strategic defense stronghold. After a brief siege, the town was conquered by the Ottomans in 1471, when it lost its strategic significance. It was a part of Ottoman Empire until 1878. Architecturally, the stone-constructed parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution are evident: medieval, and Ottoman. Today Počitelj is a must seen touristic destination of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Domavia is an important Archaeology site from Roman period, unfortunately not mentioned enough today. It was an important Roman town and the centre of mining in the province of Dalmatia and Panonia. It was located on the rivers of Japra and Drina, near today’s Srebrenica. Since it was an area rich in lead and zinc it was possible to develop many iron mines around the city, That’s why the entire area was called Argentaria. Domavia was created and developed as mining town, it was adapted for mines but the content of the town was complete. Thus it had all the important Roman buildings such as government buildings, thermae, and temples.