Late Antique burial vault (tomb), church and necropolis at the site of Studena Česma in Donji Vakuf


Adnan Busuladžić


This paper deals with the Late Antique site Studena česma in Donji Vakuf. Based on field reconnaissance and in a literature, the area of Donji Vakuf municipality is defined as a potentially rich area in respect to archeological remains from different epochs. Until recent research in Donji Vakuf, only the early Christian basilica in Oborci was excavated. Continuity of settlement of narrow and wider area of Donji Vakuf municipality can be determined by a whole series of remains from the Medieval and Ottoman period. The finds of the research done in 2005 and 2006 at this site, include a late antique burial vault, remains of
a church and early medieval necropolis. As far as the grave vault and a building in its immediate vicinity are concerned, it can be concluded that it’s a religious object from the period between 4th and 6th century. Alongside the object of that kind, there was also a larger cemetery, which according to the mentioned finds, and also according to people’s testaments, can
be confirmed. Namely, almost every day, in the large area gravitating towards the archeological site, a huge number of human bones, skeletons and skulls are being found. On one occasion, a golden ring was found. Ubication of the exact places where skeleton remains are being found indicates that the entire area of the present settlement Studena Česma, i.e. the hill, during
the Late Antique and the Early Medieval period was an area reserved for cemetery and religious complex. Very similar analogies to late antique basilica were found in walled grave vaults with barrel roof and a church at the site of Oborci. The similar field configuration of sloped hill, as well as proximity of these two sites, indicate the nature and purpose of the entire
complex in the settlement of Studena Česma. Archaeological material found (earrings, pearls and a ring) indicate a presence of early medieval burials at a place which did not lose its function of the Christian religious place and cemetery, even during
the Early Medieval period. The significance of the discovery and scientific processing of the walled grave vault with a barrel roof
should be especially stressed. This type of the object is not unknown in the area of Central Bosnia. The excavation of the grave vault becomes even more important with the fact that until now, the highest number of discovered tombs of this type, due to a series of reasons, has remained scientifically unexplored. 


How to Cite
Busuladžić, A. (2022). Late Antique burial vault (tomb), church and necropolis at the site of Studena Česma in Donji Vakuf. Godišnjak Centra Za balkanološka Ispitivanja, (41), 159–186.