Megalithic site of Daorson
Near a little town Stolac (the region of Herzegovina) a very mysterious and ancient archaeological site is located. This is Daorson: Hellenistic town or hillfort, or maybe is a unique evidence of prehistory.
What is the official statement of this place?
(text from the official stand)
HELLENISTIC TOWN OF DAORSON
The old Hellenistic town of Daorson was probably the center of the Daorsoi tribe, which inhabited the regions along the lower reaches of the river Neretva and the earliest reference to which in written sources dates from the 5th century BCE, as “Daorsioiethnos Thrakon”. The town was discovered in 1891, and has never been fully investigated archaeologically. Located on Gradina and Banje on Osanici, it consists of three interlinked entities the disposition of which is dictated by the lie of the land: the hillfort or acropolis (central section), terraces below the hillfort (to the south and south-east), and a residential and commercial area (east). The hillfort came into being on a prehistoric fortified settlement that had been in existence without interruption since the early to the late Bronze Age (respectively from the 17th/16th century BCE to the 9th/8th century BCE). The settlement was probably destroyed in the 1st century BCE, as evidenced by layers of ashes in the foundation of all the buildings discovered.
The town of Daorson had the features of a Hellenistic city. Its high degree of culture and civilization in evidenced by the fact it minted its own coins and made complex, artistically –decorated buckles and clasps and pottery vessels, by graffiti on fragments, and by pieces of stone from human statues about 2 m in height. The material found dates from the 2nd and 4th century BCE and is housed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The cyclopean wall dates from the 4th century BCE, when both towers were also probably built. One of them most important finds was a helmet with a Greek inscription, probably an abbreviation of the Illyrian name of the owner, Pinnes.
From this text we can conclude:
1. The name of this site (Daorson) was given by archaeologists because there was a tribe Daorsoi, which inhabited in that area. So, we should be very carefully because it doesn't mean that this site was built by Daorsoi tribe. We know only an origin of the name of this site, no more.
2. Daorson consists from three parts:
- Hillfort of acropolis
- Terraces below the hillfort
- Residential and commercial area
Hillfort is the biggest and most colossal part of all complex consisted from the cyclopean wall (40 m in length and 6 m in height approximately) and two so-called towers which formed a gate to terraces.
This construction (named hillfort) is situated very close to a sharp precipice (250-300 meters high approximately). I'm actually didn’t see the reasons to build a hillfort near a precipice. What for did the ancients build a hillfort on the sharp steep? May be for the security of some meters territory before the steep? Moreover there isn’t something similar for the fortifications.
The cyclopean wall looks undeveloped and damaged in some parts.
Terraces are the most interesting constructions of Daorson. I counted minimum five terraces below the “hillfort” to the slopes of the plateau. All terraces are connected by stone stairs with each other, the floor and supporting wall of every terrace is fixed by massive stone blocks of right forms with straight edges. I saw many evidences of ancient restoration there. The stones of supporting wall are very massive and much damaged whereas stairs consisted from the straight and not so big stones without high erosion. On the terraces I saw an important feature: lower layers of supporting wall are faced by massive and accurate stone blocks with serious erosion, while upper layers faced by little and inaccurate stones without visible erosion. It means that lower layers were built in first time and after some times were added new (upper) layers. We can see anti evolution process there, when technology became worse and worse as time goes by. Therefore I can say that first builders of that site Daorson was more developed that second and third settlers of this site.
It is very hard to suppose the meanings of the terraces because they look like gigantic steps from the top of the plateau to the bottom where a long plain with river is. The wall with gate symbolizes the entrance to this plain valley or to the plateau… we just can imagine.
The residence and commercial area have many evidences of different cultures from the ancients Daorsoi to the Illyrians (ancient south Slavic tribe) than to the artifacts of Greeks and Rome Empire. We should remember that the site has never been investigated as well therefore new relicts from the past would be found sometime.
3. The official text has one discrepancy. In the middle of the text we read that hillfort can be dates from 17th/16th century BCE, but in the end of the text we read that cyclopean wall dates form the 4th century BCE. It’s strange because hillfort consisted form the cyclopean wall and so-called towers, moreover the hillfort is this wall.
I tried to show you some my notes from the impressive site Daorson, which is protected by UNESCO like the important historical site of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Official archaeologists attributed this prehistoric cyclopean site to the Illyrians culture because they know only one culture which inhabited in that area 500 years BCE whereas the features of Daorson tell us about their technically developing and great antiquity.