Central Bosnian cultural group


Central Bosnian culture (Bosnian: Srednjobosanska kulturna grupa) was a Bronze and Iron Age cultural group. This group, which ranged over the areas of the upper and mid course of the rivers Vrbas (to Jajce) and Bosna (to Zenica, but not including the Sarajevo plain), constituted an independent cultural and ethnic community. Typical of this group are hillfort-type settlements located close to the major areas of cultivable land, with a high standard of housing.[1] Around 120 hilforts belonging to this culture were identified in the area of Central Bosnia.[2] This group is commonly associated with the later Illyrian tribe of Daesitiates.


Central Bosnian culture coexisted with Glasinac culture. One of the most significant sites of this group is Fortress Pod in Bugojno[3][4] which was declared as national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5] Stratified material found in Pod as well as other fortified settlements helped define this cultural group of late Bronze Age.[6] Archaeologist identified 7 phases of this cultural group:

  • Phase 1 – from middle of 11 to 8. century BC
  • Phase 2 – from 750/725 – 625/650 BC.

This phase is characterized by big fortifications like those in Lašva, Kiseljak and in Sarajevo field.

  • Phases 3 and 4 – from 625/650 – 450 BC

This period is marked by increased use of iron. These period saw development of fortress Pod and Debelo Brdo which were important factor in the economy of wider area.[7]

  • Phases 5 and 6 – from 450 – 300 BC

Pottery mainly retained its style, but there is influence from Glasinac culture and early Celtic types of jewelry, buckles, rings and other items. This was a result of increased trading connections between the valleys of rivers Bosna and Vrbas to Pannonian plain and also between the valley of Neretva that was open to Adriatic Sea.

  • Final phase – from 3 –1 BC.[8]

This phase saw rapid shift to incineration of the dead. Necropolis Kamenjača in Breza contained urns and other items from Central Bosnian culture, but also Celtic and Hellenistic artifacts.[9] There is possibility that Kamenjača was a cult place.[10]


Pottery had characteristic Western Balkan geometric style of late Bronze Age. It is characterized with strict symmetry and abstract art. There are numerous artifacts pointing to developed metallurgy. This culture had access to copper, gold, lead, silver and iron ore in Central Bosnia.[11]

Right up until the beginning of 3rd century BC burial of the dead was common practice as evidenced by Warriors tomb in Vratnica, Visoko from 4th century.

See also


  • Borivoj, Čović (1983), "Central Bosnian cultural group" in "Bronze Age: Prehistory of Yugoslav Lands" (in Serbo-Croatian), 4, Svjetlost, OCLC 165779683
  • Čović, Borivoj, “Srednjobosanska kulturna grupa” (Central Bosnian cultural group), in: Bronzano doba. Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja (Bronze Age:Prehistory of Yugoslav Lands), 1983
  • Andrijana PRAVIDUR - Prilog poznavanju metalurških središta željeznodobnih naselja Srednje Bosne u svijetlu novih istraživanja - Zemaljski muzej Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 2011


  1. ^ Čović 1983, p. 433-434, 450.
  2. ^ Mesihovic, Salmedin. Rimski vuk i ilirska zmija. Posljednja borba (in Croatian). Salmedin Mesihovic. ISBN 978-9958-625-21-3.
  3. ^ "Ivo Bojanovski: BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA U ANTIČKO DOBA". Akademija nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine, 1988.
  4. ^ Fokkens, Harry; Harding, Anthony (2013-06-27). The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199572861.
  5. ^ "Commission to preserve national monuments". old.kons.gov.ba. Retrieved 2019-11-09.
  6. ^ Harding, Anthony; Fokkens, Harry (27 June 2013). The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. ISBN 9780191007330.
  7. ^ "Borivoj Čović: OD BUTMIRA DO ILIRA". Kulturno naslijeđe, Sarajevo, 1976.
  8. ^ "Borivoj Čović - Srednjobosanska kulturna grupa, str. 163-166; Ostave, str. 133-135; Kultura polja sa urnama,110-112". Arheološki leksikon -Zemaljski muzej, Sarajevo.
  9. ^ "VELJKO PAŠKVALIN: Kamenjača, Breza kod Sarajeva − mlađeželjeznodobna i rimska nekropola" (PDF). Godišnjak centra za balkanološka ispitivanja ANUBIH, Knjiga XXXVII, strana 101.
  10. ^ "Ana Marić -Nova interpretacija groba sa skeletnim ukopom žene iz mlađeg željeznog doba sa Kamenjače u Brezi kod Sarajeva" (PDF). Godišnjak centra za balkanološka ispitivanja ANUBIH, Knjiga XXXVII, strana 101.
  11. ^ Mesihović, Salmedin. Salmedin Mesihović , ILIRIKE. Autorsko izdanje, Sarajevo, 2014. ISBN 9789958031106.