Bosnian Medieval Tombstones




From Slavorum:

Stećci (singular: Stećak), are monumental medieval tombstones that lie scattered across the landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are the country’s most legendary symbol. These are the tombstones of those who lived between the 11th and 15th centuries and refused to swear allegiance to any kingdom but their own or to be swayed by any influence. Instead they stayed true to themselves and to what they could find only within themselves and in Bosnia. Their most remarkable feature is their decorative motifs, many of which remain enigmatic to this day.

These motifs depict knights in armor, hunters hunting, farmers in the fields, warriors competing in tournaments, rearing horses, dancers, ladies in dresses, flowers, wolves, bears, wild boars and dogs.

Today there are about 69 356 known Stećci in existence found at 3162 locations, among all recorded Stećci, relief motifs were found on fewer than 6,000 and the inscriptions on fewer than 400. Most of the Stećci are located with in the borders of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, however they can also be found in the places where people of Bosnia an Herzegovina settled or with in the borders where Kingdom of Bosnia extended to. To put this in to perspective the number of Stećci found in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 59 593 or 85.92%, followed by parts of Croatia mainly in Dalmatia 4 447 or 6.41%, Montenegro 3 049 or 4.4% and Serbia 2 267 or 3.27%.

Coming from Bosnia myself, I wish we had a DNA database of all those buried under the stones, and be able to find out if we are related to any of them! Would be awesome to find a direct paternal ancestors for example. There are often multiple people buried under one tombstone, sometimes a father and son, so maybe there are a total of over 100.000 corpses under them. Could make for quite a big database.
It`s so fascinating to see such pieces of art, especially if you know that they were created during the times, when most of modern tools weren`t available.

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