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Hidden away in the village of Ošanjići, above the town of Stolac, lies the ancient capital of the Hellenized Illyrian tribe, Daorson. This megalithic town was once the stronghold of the Daorsi, an Illyrian tribe that thrived from 300 to 50 BC in the Neretva River valley. Today, Daorson stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural achievements of this ancient civilization.
Daorson was strategically located on a hill, offering its inhabitants a commanding view of the Stolac valley. The town was divided into three units, with the central unit being the fortress or acropolis. This fortified area was surrounded by impressive "cyclopean" walls made of massive stone blocks, reminiscent of the walls found in Mycenae, Greece.
One of the most intriguing features of Daorson is its defensive walls. These walls, stretching from the southwest to the northeast, were not only imposing but also served as protection against potential invaders. Walking along these ancient walls, visitors can imagine the battles that took place here centuries ago.
The town's unique circular layout is another architectural marvel. Designed with a central square and radial streets leading to the outer walls, this circular design held both symbolic and practical significance for the Daorsi people. It facilitated efficient movement within the town and showcased their advanced urban planning skills.
Daorson was more than just a fortified town; it was a thriving center of trade and cultural exchange. The Daorsi adopted the Greek language and alphabet, forging strong trade relations with the Greeks. Archaeological excavations have uncovered numerous wine amphorae and exquisite pieces of ceramics, showcasing the influence of Greek culture on the Daorsi.
One of the most significant finds at Daorson is a bronze helmet adorned with intricate Greek characters, including Aphrodite, Nike, Helios, Dionysus, Muses, and Pegasus. The helmet bears an inscription similar to one found on a helmet in Macedonia, further highlighting the interconnectedness of ancient civilizations.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to Daorson is a must. The site offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Illyrian civilization and their way of life. As you wander through the ruins, you can't help but marvel at the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the Daorsi people.
To truly appreciate the beauty and historical significance of Daorson, it is best to visit during the spring or autumn months when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Exploring the ancient ruins and taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.
While in the area, make sure to explore the charming town of Stolac, located just a few kilometers away from Daorson. Stolac is known for its Ottoman-era architecture, picturesque streets, and the stunning Bregava River. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the impressive Radimlja necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which features medieval tombstones adorned with intricate carvings.
Daorson, the ancient capital of the Illyrian tribe in Ošanjići, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Its megalithic walls, circular layout, and historical significance make it a captivating destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Plan your visit to Daorson and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Illyrian tribe, while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding Herzegovinian landscape.
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