Status of monument -> National monument
Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held on 12 January 2003 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic (antique religious) monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The monument is situated on cadastral plot 493, cadastral municipality Jajce I; land registry entry no. 660, and is public property.
The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH nos. 2/02 and 27/02) shall apply to the National Monument specified in the preceding paragraph.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
The following measures shall apply to the antique religious monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce:
Protection Zone I comprises c.p. 493, where:
Ÿ further archaeological investigations are required,
Ÿ a project for the revitalization of the monument is required;
Ÿ only works intended for the conservation and display of the monument are permitted;
Ÿ a project for the exterior landscaping of the entire cadastral plot 493 is required with the aim of better displaying the monument;
In the immediate vicinity of the monument, within a protective zone extending 10 metres from the outer boundaries of the monument and within it, no construction is permitted other than the restoration and rehabilitation of existing buildings;
All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are to be revoked.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for town planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II, III and IV of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.anek8komisija.com.ba)
¸ Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH and the Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.
21 January 2003
Chairman of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i o n
I – INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter referred to as Annex 8) and as property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.
Pursuant to a petition received from Jajce Municipality to designate the antique historic monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina dated 4 December 2002, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
II –PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
Ÿ Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (c.p. 493, c.m. Jajce I, according to attached copy of cadastral plan dated November 2002, and copy of land registry entry no. 498, cadastral municipality Jajce)
Ÿ Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data on restoration or other works on the property if any, etc.
Ÿ Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation are as follows:
1. Information on the site
The antique religious monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce is situated on cadastral plot No. 493, cadastral municipality Jajce I, land registry entry no. 660; and is national property.
The temple to Mithras in Jajce is located in a damp site known as Bare, some 200 m to the south-west of the mediaeval town of Jajce, on the left bank of river Pliva.
The cult of the invincible God of the Sun, Mithras, was spread by soldiers, slaves and merchants from the Orient, or by soldiers who came into contact with the followers of the cult in the East. As a belief that promised greater social justice and a life after death, it attracted the lowers strata of society, and posed a considerable challenge to the spread of Christianity. The cult was widespread throughout the provinces of the Roman Empire, including that of Dalmatia, within the borders of which most of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina lay (Đ. Basler, 1972, p. 65).
The followers of Mithraism sought as a rule to locate their places of worship in caves, and in the absence of such sites they built small single-celled temples or spelaea; where the terrain permitted, they would excavate the soil to reinforce the impression of a cave. The Jajce site is one such.
The remains of the Mithraeum in Jajce were discovered during the construction of a private building. The site was purchased by the Society for the Preservation of Antiquities in Jajce and provided with protection under the supervision of F. Steiner, engineer. At first a wooden fence was erected, and soon after this a protective stone structure was erected, which survives to this day.
The Mithraeum in Jajce almost certainly dates from the early fourth century CE (D. Sergejevski, 1937, 16).
Legal status to date
Ÿ Pursuant to the law, and by Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments no. 1091/51 dated 28 December 1951, the remains of the Mithraeum in Jajce were placed under state protection as an important cultural and historical monument.
Ÿ By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR BiH no. 03/B1-908-3 dated 13 April 1962 in Sarajevo, it was resolved that the Mithraeum, an antique religious monument, with the remains of a temple and relief of Mithras Taurocton carved into the natural rock, in the area of Bare in Jajce, be entered in the register of immovable cultural monuments.
Ÿ The Regional Plan for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 listed the monument as a category I monument.
Ÿ The Regional Plan for Jajce Municipality (drawn up in 1988 by the Town Planning Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina) listed the monument among 74 individual monuments and lesser ensembles to which the previous protection regime applied.
2. Description of the monument
The spelaeum is hollowed out into the rock, with a floor level some 2.80 m. below ground level. The nature of the soil, moisture and tufa deposits have partly obscured the plan of the Mithraeum. The temple consisted of an irregular square cell about 7 m long. No aparatorium was discovered. The walls of the Mithraeum had no foundations, and were made of marl with no mortar binding and left unplastered. It is assumed that the roof would have been made of brushwood (?) (D. Sergejevski, 1937, p. 13). The action of water and dripstone deposits caused the walls to fall in, as a result of which only the remains of the south and east walls remain recognizable. The west wall, with a carving in the centre, was almost entirely cut from the living rock. The north wall collapsed and the interior is filled with limestone deposits. Part of the threshold was discovered in the north-east corner, not in its original position. It is assumed that the entrance was in the east wall, where a limestone block was found that served as threshold. The remains of stone steps discovered in the south-west corner of the cell indicate that the exit was probably at this point. The floor was a mix of damp soil and sand (D. Sergejevski, 1937, p. 13).
The only podium noted in the cell is that to the left, 1.80 metres wide, on which three small altars (4-6) and a headless stone statue of Cautopates 0.55 m. high were found. His partner Cautes, who should normally have been on the right, was not found. This is the only instance in Bosnia and Herzegovina where two free-standing Mithraic sculptures have been found in addition to relief sculptures of the twin torchbearers. All these stone sculptures are now on the surviving left-hand podium.
It is not known whether there was a right-hand podium. The rear side of Cautopates’ statue is unfinished, and it also appears, from the nature of the break, that his head was broken at a time when the sanctuary was still in active use.
In front of the carving, in a pile consisting of the remains of bones, rusty iron items and small pieces of antique roof tiles, three large altars were found (1-3), mingled with black humus-rich soil. Here two steps were discovered with a combined height of about 1 m.
On the west wall, which is in fact the living limestone rock with a height of 3.15 m., there is a largely well-preserved carved relief. Mithras' right fist holding a knife, the top of a Phrygian cap and Mithras' face, a serpent's head, and the left-hand border of the relief have been broken off. The right-hand side of the relief has a natural deposit of dark red pigment, perhaps ferric oxide. The workmanship is fairly crude (D. Sergejevski, 1937, p. 14). The relief is set in a shallow niche 1.68 m. high, finished in the shape of a gable roof and decorated with palmettos. The image of the god killing a bull occupies almost the entire height of the niche. This is a representation of the Mithraic tauroctony, simple in type, but including all the necessary iconographic symbols: Mithras in Persian garments, with a fluttering cloak. With one knee he is crushing a bull, while seizing him by the muzzle with his left hand and stabbing him in the heart with his right. He is being assisted by a dog, a serpent and a scorpion. There is also a raven, which has brought an order froom Ahuramazda. To either side are the dadophorae or torchbearers. In the upper section is the sun (shown without rays) and the moon (without sickle). The artist has used pigments: blue for Mithras' tunic, red for his cloak and trousers and for the sun and the moon. The bull was probably black, and the background green.
To the right and left of the relief are two small triangular hollows, the left measuring 0.08 x 0.07 x 0.11 m. and the right 0.09 x 0.09 x 0.11, in which lamps probably once stood. The lamps themselves (of the type known as firm oil lamps) were found in the rubble below the relief. In front of the relief to the left a brass lamp (10.1 cm long and 5.8 cm in diameter) was found, with a handle and chain alongside it. The other lamp was of terracotta, 9.2 cm long, as were the shards of a third that were found. All were without signature, which is also typical of the late antique period. Here too a silver fibula was found with a bound foot, 6.6 cm long (late antique) and sixteen coins:
- medium bronze coin of Trajan (early 2nd c.)
- Dipondius of Antoninus Pius (138-161)
- Philipus Augustus (?)
- a dinar of Septimius Geta (211-212)
- 16 small bronze coins of dynasties from 324 onwards.
Six arae in all were found, of which five were without epigraphics and one had traces of some carved lettering (no. 4)
Altar no. 1 was made of limestone and was 0.825 m high, 0.465 m. wide (0.35 at the centre), and 0.37 m. deep (0.255 at the centre). On the upper slab was a square 10 cm. deep hollow measuring 18 x 25 cm. The upper edge is decorated with palmettos.
Altar no. 2 was also of limestone, split in the lower region, and measuring 0.72 m. high x 0.39 m. wide (0.27 at the centre), x 0.265 deep (0.21 at the centre).
Altar no. 3 was of limestone, measuring 0.45 m. high x 0.27 m wide (0.215 at the centre) x 0.2 m. deep (0.17 at the centre). It has a moulded socle and decorated upper edge. The decoration is composed of a central triangle with a circle inscribed in it, and moulded acroteria. Between the triangle and each acroterium is a four-petalled flower.
Altar no. 4 was a smaller limestone altar with a moulded socle and upper edge, measuring 0.18 m. high x 0.117 m. wide (0.092 m. at the centre) x 0.092 m. deep (0.073 at the centre). The letters INV(icto) are carved on the front.
Altar no. 5, again of limestone, has a moulded socle and upper edge, and measures 0.33 m. high x 0.235 m. wide (0.19 m. at the centre) x 0.175 m. deep (0.14 m. at the centre). The upper edge has a triangle and acroteria decoration.
Altar no. 6, also of limestone, again has a moulded socle and upper edge, and measures 0.425 m. high x 0.27 m. wide (0.215 at the centre) x 0.195 m. deep (0.15 at the centre).
Dating the Mithraeum. There is no direct evidence of the date of the Mithraeum. Based on the coins, types of lamp and fibula that were found, it is assumed to date from the early fourth century CE (D. Sergejevski, 1937, p. 17). It is not known when it ceased to be used for worship. There are no signs of violent or deliberate destruction or fire.
3. Research and conservation and restoration works
1931: investigations by D. Sergejevski.
1952: the protective structure of the Mithraeum in Jajce was repaired.
4. Present condition of the site
An on-site inspection ascertained as follows:
Ÿ the site is exposed to rapid deterioration as a result of damp
Ÿ the stone monuments remain in situ on the left podium, but the smaller finds were probably handed to the then Society for the Preservation of Antiquities (founded 1930), the precursor of the museum. It is not known where they are now.
Ÿ signs of attempts to “clear” the tauroctony scene of natural deposits can be seen, along with signs of scraping in certain areas.
III - CONCLUSION
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument, adopted at the fourth session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (3 to 9 September 2002), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The Decision was based on the following criteria:
A. Time frame
B. Historical value
E. Symbolic value
E.ii. religious value
E.iii. traditional value
E.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.i. Relation to other elements of the site
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
F.iii. the building or group of buildings is part of group or site
G.i. form and design
G.iii. use and function
G.v. location and setting
H. Rarity and representativity
H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style
I.i. physical coherence
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
The documentation annexed to the Decision is public and available for view by interested persons on written request to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Basler, Đ., Arhitektura kasnoantičkog doba u Bosni i Hercegovini (Architecture of the late antique period in BiH). Sarajevo, 1972, 64-65
Sergejevski, D., Das Mithraum von Jajce. Journal of the National Museum XLIX, Sarajevo, 1937, 11-18