Daorson: the Stonehenge of Bosnia & Herzegovina

2 minutes to read

Archaeology & history aficionados, have you ever heard that the region of the Balkans had been inhabited for at least 3500 years? Do you know that somewhere in the southern Bosnia & Herzegovina, there are ancient remnants of the urban life that are almost four millennia old? A small place called Stolac, known as the oldest town in Bosnia & Herzegovina hides some very rare prehistorical testimonies of first civilization in this part of the world. If you are not familiar with this, get ready to discover a real out-of-the-beaten-path destination – Daorson: the Stonehenge of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The capital of the Daorsi tribe

Only 5 km from Stolac, on the top of the hill in the Ošanići village, one can find the Daorson, an incredible megalithic site. According to some written sources, this town was built on the ruins of a prehistoric fortress from 1700/1600 BC that lasted until the end of the Bronze Age 900/800 BC. Daorson is one of the best-preserved towns built by Illyrians, the ancient inhabitants of the Balkans. It used to be the capital of the Hellenized Illyrian tribe Daorsi, who lived in the valley of the Neretva River from 300 BC to 50 BC. They used the Greek language and Hellenistic traditions, and they maintained regular trading with the Greeks. During the Roman times, Daorsi had even some kind of autonomy. Finally, the town was destroyed by the Dalmatians in 43/44 AD, and after this invasion never again this complex was used for living.

The megalithic wall from 400 BC

©Unknown
©Unknown

The mysterious Daorson site was built around the main fortress, that was surrounded by cyclopean walls made of huge stones. The megalithic wall that stretches over sixty-five meters, was constructed in 400 BC to serve defence purposes. This large complex consists of the Acropolis, the pre-Acropolis area and the residential-commercial part. The biggest part of it was built in 100 BC. Observing the site, one can compare it to other ancient cities around the world (in Egypt or Peru) that were similarly constructed. It is interesting to see that the stones used are unequal and without binding material, but they were so well positioned that they survived millennia and earthquakes. Isn’t it amazing?

Prehistorical ruins 7000 years old?

©Unknown
©Unknown

Based on the findings at the site, the archaeologists reveal that the Daorsi people were highly developed and skillful civilization, who produced excellent quality pottery for trade with the Greeks, using the coins they also made. However, the ancient Daorson, close to the town of Stolac, has not been entirely researched, so the archaeologists believe that the tunnels, revealed in the surroundings, are indicating that there it remains much more to be discovered under the soil. The mainstream belief says that Daorson is 2500 years old, but some geological studies confirm that the ruins below the site date back 7000 years. If this proves to be true, it would mean that the megalithic complex Daorson, the Stonehenge of Bosnia & Herzegovina, predates the Greek civilization by more than 3500. Isn’t that mind-boggling and inviting to discover?

Daorson – Illyrian tribe’s capital
Daorson – Illyrian tribe’s capital
Ošanjići, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Old town of Stolac
Old town of Stolac
Stolac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The author

Ljiljana Krejic

Ljiljana Krejic

I am Ljiljana, from Bosnia & Herzegovina. Being a journalist, I can't escape from that perspective when travelling. My mission is to make you explore the last Europe’s undiscovered gem.

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