Friday, March 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) – The Secretary General of the European Association of Archeologists (EAA) and Archeology professor at the University of Ljubljana,Slovenia,Predrag Novakovic visited the University of Sarajevo within cooperation of the two universities.

He used this visit to talk with colleagues from expert institutions such as the Bosnian National Museum, Sarajevo City Museum and the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Asides from lecture held from students from history department of Faculty of Philosophy, Professor Novakovic handed a donation of some hundred books in order to help archeology studies at this faculty which is most likely to start in the next academic year.

Professor Novakovic stated that funds designated for this purpose already exist in the EU funds for higher education for countries which are in accession phase.

One of the goals of his visit was to help set up a stabile system of archeology in Bosnia even though this will be very complicated.

Attitude of the bosnian authorities towards archeological heritage, Novakovic called problematic mostly because Bosnia did not sign the Maltese Convention of the Council of Europe on protection of archeological heritage.

He explained that EAA is obliged to work under existing principles of management in certain state and the Convention creates legal basis for state legislative in order to create a modern system for protection of archeological heritage.

In Bosnia, however, problems are not only of this nature since it will be necessary to further educate Bosnian experts in all areas of archeological heritage protection”, stated Novakovic.

He also met with head of a Bosnian team of archaeologists in Hutovo Blato, Professor Snjezana Vasilj and commented her results as “magnificent” especially since in Europe in the last ten years there has been a heightened focus on underwater archeology.

In March 2007,professor at the History Department of the Philosophical Faculty in Sarajevo and Archaeology Studies of the University in Mostar ,Snjezana Vasilj,and her team,found what they believed were the Illyrian ships in the Desilo location, more than 20 feet under the water level of the Hutovo Blato swamp, near Capljina in southern Bosnia.

The Illyrian ships are believed to have sailed from the Adriatic Sea up the Neretva River carrying merchandise to the inland Balkans.

The Illyrian ships, suspected dating back to the 2nd century B.C., are known to historians only through Greek and Roman legends as their physical existence had never been established until now.

Vasilj informed Novakovic that until now about 800 artifacts were dug out, including objects not found in the Adriatic (prehistoric ceramics).

He added that underwater archeology is the best way to learn about trade and communication which existed in the antique period and that it usually gives best preserved artifacts and findings of better quality.

1 comment:

Shmajser said...

Two great misconceptions, mostly malicious (nationalist-chauvinist-driven), reign the historical sciences in the western-Balkans for the last two and a half centuries. The first misconception concerns the never-ending disputation between the Albanian and the Serbian school. While the former school claims Albanians to be the last (only authentic?) surviving Illyrians, the latter claims not only that Albanians are Thracians (i.e., not Illyrians) but it also says that no such people as Illyrians has ever existed, instead contending that the locals were all Slav/Serb because ancient sources are filled with references to "sclavs" and "serfs"... The second misconception is related to the first, and it concerns the issue of who the Slavs were (or weren't) in the Balkans before the national awakening of the 18th century... The reason for the two schools being so unapologetic lies in the possible answers to the crucial question they thus pose: Whose is the western Balkans? But being so extreme, neither of those two views seems very authentic; besides, no other interested parties living in the area have ever been asked for their opinion on the above two fundamental disputes that can (and do - as we speak) have great repercussions on lives of millions. At the same time, both schools oppose wholeheartedly and fight fiercely any idea of Bosnia-centered Illyria, even though the idea is supported by a world's leading authority on Illyrians, Professor of Roman and Greek archaeology John Wilkes (the author of "The Illyrians", Oxford Press 2000).