In Buturovica, near Ljubuški, a monumental drywall tomb was discovered which, with its organization, size and contributions, represents a new chapter in the research of the history of the local Illyrian population.
These are the first Hellenistic built graves in B&H, which are significantly different from the typical Illyrian tumuli (pile). Besides external monumental blocks, the tomb contains internal supporting masonry of carved stone as well, which is enclosing the square building of almost 20 square meters, said the leader of the research, Master of archeology, Mirko Rašić.
According to him, this locality, together with three graves from the recent research on Korčula Island, represent a unique example in the whole east coast of the Adriatic Sea.
During the research of the graves, numerous fragmented Hellenistic (Greek) ceramics was discovered, which probably arrived from the near Greek and later Roman trade center in Narona (Vid).
Silver Greek drachma, dating from the 3rd century BC and which was minted in Apollonia and Dirah, was also found in the grave. In addition to ceramics and glass, two complete iron spears and decorative pins made of ivory as decorations for men were found next to the side walls, while pearls (parts of necklaces) made of amber, stone and glass paste and bronze appliques were found next to the deceased women.
As extremely rare and important discovery, Rašić pointed out the gold jewelry, or earring from the Hellenistic period, with the figure of a lion on the back, which was made in the filigree technique with the stylized rosettes.
This almost perfect artistic discovery of Hellenistic and Illyrian pottery speak in favor of an early and successful trade between Greece and autochthonous population. Also, this research will change the perception of the Illyrian community as marginal people who lived in this area at the time of the late Iron Age, as said in the statement.
The excavations are at their very beginning and on a voluntary basis, but the basic excavation achieved outstanding results that are directly influencing on the understanding of the history of certain Illyrian communities.