The tumulus which originally had a diameter of 20 meters and a height of 1,75 meters was badly damaged by farming. Eventually plowing exposed a stone dolmen cist. Inside archaeologists discovered two bronze spearheads, a bronze needle, a bronze bracelet, a bronze armlet and a bronze fibula. Unfortunately I don't have any more info about this tumulus nor pictures of the artifacts found in it. I would really appreciate any help in locating additional information about this tumulus.
Anyway, the area where this first tumulus was found had many more ancient tumuluses which managed to stay undisturbed until the present day. There were 6 more tumuluses in Frutak and 4 more in Kujava. So the archaeological investigation in the area continued.
In 2014 a team of archaeologists lead by Predrag Lutovac opened the second tumulus. Inside of the tumulus archaeologists discovered two stone dolmen cists.
The cists were surrounded by two concentric stone circles, one inside the tumulus and one marking the outer edge of the tumulus.
Archaeologists believe that the edge of the tumulus was marked with a stone circle not only to prevent the tumulus soil erosion but also in order to separate the land of the dead from the land of the living.
The data available about this archaeological site is extremely limited and confusing. It amounts to few news articles and one video interview. From this I was not able to determine how many people were buried in the tumulus. I believe that from what I can gather there were all together four people buried in the tumulus. I can't wait to see the DNA data retrieved from the remains. I'd say we are in for a surprise... :)
This is the picture of the skeleton of the person buried inside the bigger dolmen cist. It is a skeleton of an adult male. He was buried in a fetal position. According to the archaeologists this symbolises rebirth after death and points to a belief that the death was seen as a new birth.
The tumulus was originally provisionally dated to the early Bronze age to the period around 1850 BC, but the latest results have moved the dating even further back in time, to around 2400 BC. According to the archaeologists the tumulus was built by the people who belonged to the early bronze Age Ljubljana culture.
Inside the tumulus archaeologists discovered ceramic artifacts.
And finally, archaeologists discovered this mysterious bronze disc like object.
Now are you seeing what I am seeing? Are you seeing the concentric groves, the holes which look like they were drilled in the metal and used for screws or some kind of bolts or rivets? What is this and what was it used for? How was it made? And am I the only one who can see a "Celtic" cross shape in it?
The vertical hands go below the circle and the horizontal ones go above the circle? Maybe yes maybe no :) Unfortunately I don't have the picture of the other side of this object so I can't confirm my hypothesis. O and by the way, "Celtic" is in quotes for a reason :) This object has nothing to do with Celts or Christianity....I use the name "Celtic cross" because this is today the most commonly used name for this type of solar crosses even though the earliest examples of these solar crosses predate Celts by millenniums and date to 6th millennium BC Balkans and Central Europe...
Regardless of whether this is a "Celtic" cross or not, this is still a very intriguing object. Few people asked me if I had a scale of the object. Luckily I do. I hope this helps the speculation about the use of the object.
This is a comparative table of Macedonian, Balkan and Caucasian bronze Early Iron Age (8th century bc) ornaments (pieces oj horse gear) . Have a look at the item 27 from the Balkans. I think this can help us understand the purpose of the above object.
But we have to be careful when making conclusions based on the similarity of these two objects. Just because the symbol on two objects is the same doesn't mean that they have the same function. The same symbol is found on Celtic standing crosses. Also just because the symbol first appears on horse riding equipment in bronze in the late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, it doesn't mean that it could not have been used on other earlier objects with completely different function. This doesn't mean that the object from the tumulus is not part of the later contamination.
Anyway this is not why this discovery is already rewriting European history. It is the fact that we have early bronze age dolmens in the western Balkans that is so important. This is going to take some digesting and explaining. But I believe that this is just the beginning of the "surprise discoveries" and that what is to come is going to be even more interesting.
According to the archaeologists only in Montenegro there are between 3000 and 5000 tumuluses of which only 10 have been excavated. What else will be found when all the other tumuluses are excavated and how will this change our understanding of the Early European Bronze Age?