Agrotourism Viganj

olive growing, enology and active vacation in Viganj

Nakovana – Illyrian heritage

The nakovana plateau has been inhabited for at least 8000 years. The earlier evidence of human occupation comes from the Spila cave. Later, during the first millenium BC, Illyrians inhabited this region. Their central settelement was on hill which is still called “Grad” (Town). Numerous stone piles “Gomila” scattered around “Grad” contain burials of Illyrian chiefs and nobles and the cave hides their shrine (sanctuary). The hill called “Grad” is an ideal natural setting for a hillfort. With its 350 meters is a very geo-strategic location, from where it can be monitored the entire Southern Adriatic. Located above a patch of fertile land, with commanding views over immediate and distant surroundings, it is almost completely encircled by cliffs up to 20 meters high.

The earliest traces of settlement on “Grad” date to the bronze age (2nd millenium BC). During the last centruries BC, it became the seat or the local Illyrian lords of Nakovana plateau. The steep southern slope provided the only access to the hillfort. It was protected by a wall and a gate, now buried under the mass of rubble.

Until the 18 century, “Grad” served as a refugee site for the people of Nakovana when they were terorized by the pirates. Illyrian buried their chiefs and nobles under stone cairnas “Gomila”. Each cairn contained one or several tombs lined with drystone walls or rock plates. Burial gifts, such as pottery vessels, jewellery and weapons, sometimes accompanied the deceased. Almost all tombs were plumdered long ago. There is about 70 “Gomilas” that sorround the illyrian settlement on “Grad” hill.

Spila cave consists of several chambers, with a total length of 65 meters. Prehistoric inhabiatnas of Nakovana plateau used the well-lit space at it’s entrance as ocassional shelter, from the early neolithic until the bronze age (from the 6th untill the 2nd millenium BC).

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Categories: Illyria, Nature

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