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Anonymous

Croatian Stećci – ancient tombstones – (in Dalmatia)

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Already in the large exhibition project Dalmatian hinterland – unknown country warned of the tombstones. John Alduk in the catalog of the exhibition titled Where tombstones in Dalmatia notes that more than seventy thousands of stecci scattered in mountainous regions of the Dinarides. On that spring up in the period from the 13th century until the first decades of the 16th century. The last list from 1980. We learn that 60 000 is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by the most tombstones in Croatia, they are 4450, 2270 in Serbia and in Montenegro 3050. Due to poor availability of certain localities in the literature on the above numerical state adds another 40 percent. Standing stones are mentioned in the literature for 478 years, and for their presentation is crucial to the world of Italian abbot Alberto Fortis, Mineralogy and naturalist, Journey through Dalmatia from 1774th
One result of this exhibition is to contribute to Croatia's topography tombstones. Alduk, Tomasovic Perkić and found two hundred new sites in relation to existing topography Bešlagićevu for Croatia.
Name of Tombstone in the use of more recent times. It comes from the word means something stojećak and steady, large, high. Prior to his sepulchral monuments were named different names: marbles, masseteric, marbles, markers, kamici, usađenici, monuments of old Bosnian, Bogomil monuments.
The very diversity of terminology creates zigzags in understanding their origin and meaning. They were often conceal numerous legends, myths and folk beliefs, the fact that the Giants played the stone from the shoulder or to the cemetery to which the Greeks raised (why are they called and Greek cemeteries), and various legends which resemble that of the stone wedding. Has been developed and many superstitions, belief in their miraculous properties.
Standing stones are placed around the church, along with wells and ponds, the prehistoric tumuli, homily, the high forts, as part of an older architecture, the spaces srednjovjekovih cemeteries. Most were made out of limestone or limestone. Monument in turn can be typologically plate, crate, sljemenak, pillar (pillar), chrysin and anthropomorphic tomb. Also, the level of ethnic or religious affiliation (buried under the tombstones are members of the Bosnian Church, Roman Catholic and Orthodox), it is difficult to accurately determine the origin tombstones, so it is best to determine the level of a particular area due to the geographical location of tombstones and specific historical events that have It marked. It is worth noting: two identical tombstones there.
Different groups of tombstones, you can find in one place, a reflection of several local workshops or master blacksmith, as they called themselves the inscriptions. To date, 34 known names Smith: from Bogdan, Braja, Dragisa through Grubač, which is in the second half of the 15th century was the hottest and most active, and therefore the best sculptor, Mihalj Bjelopčelanina nailed, cables, Milutin to the last detected Jurina blacksmith, to whom is attributed to "the most beautiful and richest decorated sljemenaci Dalmatian type around Imotski in the fields of northwestern Bosnia,"
http://www.matica.hr/Vijenac/vijenac378.nsf/AllWebDocs/Svaki_stecak_svoju_pricu_krije…

Most of these are from Croatian part of Bosnia, Herzegovina and around Imotski:
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Imotski kameni spavači

General position of Stećci throught Balkan:
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