Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta, Municipality Prijepolje

Stećci – Medieval Tombstones Graveyards, UNESCO World Heritage List

By Archeological Sites of Serbia

Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

The archeological site of the Greek cemetery in the village of Hrta consists of two medieval cemeteries. Gornje is located on a lofty natural headland whose toponym is Gubice. At the foot of the hill, 100 m southwest, is the lower cemetery, which was formed on a smaller, prehistoric tumulus.

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

The whole area is surrounded by birch forest. At the foot of the hill are a stream and rural roads that lead to the hamlets of Tomašević, Bašović and Dizdarević. There are 81 monuments in the Greek cemetery, 37 on the upper stretch, of which 17 are decorated, and in the lower cemetery there are a total of 44 monuments, of which only one plaque is decorated.

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

The monuments are oriented east-west. The surface of the monument has been carefully carved, and in several cases it has been smoothed. The most common shape is a slab that sometimes resembles a lower chest due to its monumentality. The ornamental motifs are carved, and the chests on the pedestal of the arcade are embossed and plastically modeled.

There are various decoration motifs on the stećak tombstones in the upper cemetery. On the sides of the larger chests, the arcades have the shape of a shallow niche and at the top they are shaped in a semicircle or as a broken arch with interspaces between the pillars. Six or four niches on the wider sides are carved on the three chests, or only two niches on the narrow sides that form the arcades.

Greek cemetery in Hrta, The Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation Kraljevo, Dalibor Andjelkovic, 14th–15th century, From the collection of: Archeological Sites of Serbia
,
Greek cemetery in Hrta, The Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation Kraljevo, Dalibor Andjelkovic, 14th–15th century, From the collection of: Archeological Sites of Serbia
,
Greek cemetery in Hrta, The Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation Kraljevo, Dalibor Andjelkovic, 14th–15th century, From the collection of: Archeological Sites of Serbia
,
Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta, Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – Belgrade, Maja Djordjevic, 14th–15th century, From the collection of: Archeological Sites of Serbia
Show lessRead more

Another form of decoration is embossed ornamental motifs depicted individually, such as a sword motif or shield. On one plate there is a representation of a cross with equally wide arms, the cross is very slightly emphasized on the surface so that it is difficult to see, above the cross are three correctly arranged small circles with an inscribed cross. The most common motif is a small circle with an inscribed cross or a large circle with an inscribed cross whose arms end in  concentric circles. The panels stand out, the upper surface of which is marked as a rope-shaped frame, and on one inside the frame there is a continuous embossed spiral, with stylized four-leaf rosettes. In a simpler frame, a deer is carved, very reduced with accentuated horns and body contour, in a position of jumping or moving.

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

In the lower cemetery, most of the tombstones are in the shape of an amorphous monument carved to the approximate shape of a slab, and only a few specimens can be identified in the shape of a real slab. Several low amorphous implants were found on the east side of the slab, while a smaller number were found in the area between the monuments, as isolated grave markers.

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

The surface of the monument is roughly carved or completely untreated, left in the natural shape of a rock with minimal interventions to the shape of a slab. A circle with an inscribed cross is carved on the western half of one plate, the ends of which end in the form of concentric circles.

Archaeological Site Grčko groblje in Hrta (14th–15th century) by Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – BelgradeArcheological Sites of Serbia

The stećci – medieval tombstone graveyards were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2016. This serial cultural property consists of 28 sites, 20 of which are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2 in Croatia and 3 each in Montenegro and Serbia. The stećci are a unique phenomenon in the medieval European artistic and archaeological heritage. 

Credits: Story

Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia
Republic Institute for the Protection of the Monuments of Culture – Belgrade
The Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation Kraljevo

The narration was provided by: the Institute for Cultural Heritage Preservation Kraljevo.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps