Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Prehistoric settlement of Butmir, the archaeological site

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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 from 30 August to 03 September 2004 the Commission adopted a






The archaeological area of the prehistoric settlement in Butmir, Ilidža municipality, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of an archaeological site with the remains of a prehistoric settlement and movable heritage found on the archaeological site and housed in the National Museum in Sarajevo, as recorded in the Museum’s inventory books.

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no. 1, 2, 3/1, 3/4, 3/5, 3/7-3/10, 5, 5/1-5/5, 261-263, 265-272, 274-278, 278/1, 2, 4, 279, 280, 280/1, 280/2, 281-283/1, 2, 284, 285, 288-292, 294, 295 and 299, cadastral municipality Butmir (new survey), corresponding to cadastral plot nos.1911/3 and 1911/2, Land Register entry no. 448; c.p. nos. 1918/1, 1920/1,2,5,8, 1921/1,2,3,4,5 and 1922, Land Register entry no. 3, c.p. nos 1923, 1942/1,2,3,10, 2103/1, 2096/1, 2098/2, Land Register entry no. 6269, c.p. no. 1919/3, Land Register entry no. 485, c.p.no. 1895/1, Land Register entry no. 320, c.p. no. 1911, Land Register entry no. 319, c.p. nos. 1913 and 1914/1, Land Register entry no. 1532, c.p. nos 1912/1,2, Land Register entry no. 1182, c.p. no. 1919/4, Land Register entry no. 1324, c.p. no. 1919/1, Land Register entry no. 856, c.p. no 1935/2, Land Register entry no. 479, c.p. nos. 1716/251,25, Land Register entry no. 7, c.p. nos. 1716/3,4,5,126,332, Land Register entry no. 6, c.p. nos. 1893/2, 1894/1,6,7, 1895/2, 1920/7, 1924/1,4, Land Register entry no. 478, c.p. no. 1943/3, Land Register entry no. 6, c.p. nos. 1893/1 and 1832/2, Land Register entry no. 1383, c.p. nos. 1948/1,3,5,6,7, Land Register entry no. 402, cadastral municipality Butmir Gornji (old survey), Ilidža municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina;

The provisions relating to protection 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, 27/02 and 6/04) shall apply to the National Monument.




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 and display the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for ensuring the funds to draw up necessary technical documentation for protection of 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 signboard with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




The following protection zones are hereby stipulated:

Protection zone I consists of the area defined in Clause I para. 3 of this Decision. Within this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, including those designed to present the monument, with the approval of the Federal ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • research works consist of the following: revisionary archaeological research works on the surviving area of the Butmir Neolithic settlement previously discovered on the site of the Agricultural Station;
  • the programme for the protection and use of the Butmir archaeological site drawn up by the Sarajevo Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage (1999) should be incorporated into all future planning documentation and, by revision, into existing documentation;
  • the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public and may be used for educational and cultural purposes.




The removal of the movable heritage referred to in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision (hereinafter: the movable heritage) from Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited.

By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if it is established that conservation works cannot be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Permission for temporary removal under the conditions stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the movable heritage in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the removal may take place, the date by which the items shall be returned to the country, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.




Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the protection and rehabilitation thereof.




The Government of the Federation, the relevant ministry, the competent authority for heritage protection, 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 – V of this Decision, and the authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purpose of registration in the Land Registry.




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.aneks8komisija.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.



This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.   


No: 05.1-2-916/03-3

31 August 2004.



Chair of the Commission     

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




Pursuant to Article 2, para 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 property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments 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: Annex 8), and 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.

In May 2003 Spasojevic Borislav, MSc. Eng. Arch. from Sarajevo submitted to the Commission a petition/proposal to designate the immovable property of the archaeological site of the prehistoric settlement in Butmir, Ilidža municipality, Sarajevo, a national monument.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, 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, para 4 of the Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property,
  • Copy of cadastral plan and Land Register entry,
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.,
  • The current condition of the property,
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property.


The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The archaeological site of Butmir is located on the right bank of the Željeznica river, relatively close to the source of the river Bosna. The terrace next to the Željeznica river was well suited to late Neolithic settlement. Behind the terrace, there is a level area suitable for agriculture. The proximity of Mt. Igman, which is densely forested, ensured supplies of firewood and hunting.

Butmir belongs to the first of three areas of the so-called transition zone established during the Neolithic period: I – the area around the upper Bosna river or the central Bosnia area, II – southern Metohia, III – lake Ohrid and southern Pelagonia. The central Bosnia zone covers the area from Zavidovići to Sarajevo. The valleys of the Željeznica, Fojnica, Trstionica, Zgošća, Lašva and Bila rivers and their tributaries all belong to this zone. The most important Neolithic centre was in the Visoko plain, with other major centres at the mouths of the Trstionica, Željeznica and Zgošća rivers. The Neolithic area of central Bosnia is roughly midway along a prehistoric road, later to become a main road, the mainstay of which was the Neretva and Bosna river valleys. This formed the south-north link between the eastern Adriatic coast and Pannonia. Since the Neolithic area of central Bosnia is surrounded by high mountain ranges (Jahorina – Bjelašnica – Ivan-sedlo – Bitovnja – Vranica – Komar – Vlašić – Manjača – Zvijezda – Romanija), its population was fairly isolated, and thus created its own culture. This area of central Bosnia contains several fairly small, enclosed plains alongside rivers, well-suited to the Neolithic communities living in smaller, closed economic units. The region also provides sources of hard stone material, mainly in the rivers, as well as of flint, which the Neolithic people used to make their tools. The continental climate, with its marked temperature differences between summer and winter, influenced the system of house-building, the cultivation of certain types of grain, and in particular the development of Neolithic cattle breeding, which formed the main branch of the economy. (Benac, 1979, 363-365)

Historical information       

The following strata have so far been identified at the Butmir site, in the area between the local hospital to the west and the Butmir settlement to the east:

-          at Tilava: remains from the Mesolithic and Proto-Neolithic periods, dating approximately from 8000 to 6000 BCE.

-          at the Agricultural Station, alongside the edge of the central part of the Butmir site: remains from the Butmir I, Butmir II and Butmir III phases (the entire late Neolithic), dating from 5100 to 4500 BCE.

-          at the Agricultural Station, in the central part of the settlement discovered before 1896: remains from the Butmir II phase (the classical phase of the Neolithic Butmir cultural group), dating from 4850 to 4750 BCE.

-          at Bare, eastern edge: in addition to the remains of the eastern edge of part of the Neolithic settlementin Butmir (4850-4570 BCE), artifacts from the late La Tène dating from the 1st century BCE have also been discovered.


Most of the artifacts found on the Butmir site, and those that are best known, belong to the late Neolithic period, as do the finds from Obre II, near Ćatići in the Trstionica river valley, Brda in Kiseljak, Neba and Mujevina in the Bila river valley near Travnik, Crkvina in Turbe, Okolišta near Moštre, and Kraljevina near Novi Šeher. They all share the same Neolithic culture, known as the Butmir cultural group. (Benac, 1979, 371)

The late Neolithic is divided into three periods. Radiocarbon dating reveals that these settlements were inhabited from 5100 to 4500 BCE:

-          Butmir I, 5100 – 4900

-          Butmir II, 4850 – 4750 (settlement in Butmir, results up to 1979)

-          Butmir III, to 4500 (Gimbutas, 1974, 16) (results from 2002)


2. Description of the property

Classical phase of the Butmir culture (Butmir II)

The Neolithic settlement was discovered during construction of the agricultural station in Butmir. Excavations were conducted by V. Radimsky, F. Fiala and M. Hoernes over a large area of 5305 m2, making this one of the largest Neolithic sites in the southern Slav region until the 1980s. In the late 19th century, outmoded methods were used to study the site, and as a result there were no stratigraphic data or bone finds, and the pigment was largely washed off the pottery. All the findings concerning the size and organization of the settlement, the erection of buildings, the extent of the settlement, vertical stratigraphy and movable archaeological finds prior to the 1980s were based on this early research. So far, none of this information, as well as that gained from less extensive excavations conducted in 1979 and 1998-2001, is adequate as regards these issues. For this reason it is vital to preserve the site and its immediate environs from damage or devastation. Before the 1992-1995 war the National Museum’s plans included revisionary, interdisciplinary investigations of the Butmir site, which have never been carried out. New buildings have been going up and old ones have been enlarged for many years on the known area of the site, around the original agricultural station building and stables, without any expert supervision by the heritage protection authority.

The findings of the last major study on the Butmir culture, dating from 1979, led to the following conclusions: the size of the settlement as then estimated is some 24,000 m2, or an area of 185 x 130 m (Benac, 1971, 16; idem, 1973, 16). The largest area of a single settlement of this cultural group is the one excavated in Butmir. The remains of above-ground houses were assumed to have been destroyed in the late 19th century in a 3-metre thick stratum, as later partial excavations demonstrated. The findings of the late 19th century excavations refer only to the remains of dugout habitations at the bottom of the cultural layer. Excavations conducted on other sites of the same age (Nebo and Obre II) revealed the presence of above-ground and dugout or semi-dugout houses (Benac, 1979, 416).  About 90 dugouts were found in Butmir, forming five groups, but this is believed to form only part of the settlement. The dugouts were arranged in a number of groups forming a circle around an empty central area, the focal points of these groups. The impression given is that individual clans lived in these grouped habitations, with several clans living together in the settlement (Benac, 1979, 416, 446). It has not been reliably ascertained whether all the dugouts were used as living quarters or whether some were used for other purposes (workshops, stables and the like). Similarly, the findings of the first excavations included no description of the remains of wall or roof structures. Some of the dugouts had hearths. Numerous hearths were also excavated outside the dugouts. An older (lower) dugout horizon was also identified in the Nebo settlement, but there are no dugouts in Obre II. Dugouts can be excavated only in clay subsoil such as that of the two former settlements; in Obre II the subsoil is gravel. The remains of wheat, barley and lentils were found in Butmir, as well as the remains of various wild species, such as crab apple and hazelnut. The Butmir settlement provided no information for the study of livestock breeding. Small numbers of animal bones from cattle, pigs and goats were found. This indicates that animal husbandry was of secondary importance in this settlement. It is clear from the bones found that big game was hunted (deer, roe-deer, wild boar), but also as a secondary activity. Whereas costly imported materials (rhytons and shell jewellery [spondilus]) from the Adriatic were found in the settlement Obre II, no evidence of such trade was found in Butmir (Benac, 1979, 439-441). Later protective investigations have given a different picture.

Flint and stone made tools were made in a special workshop in the settlement, in an open area between the houses. It seems that these “workshop premises” were jointly, not family owned. The Butmir settlement is distinct from the settlements contemporary with it in its variety of stone and flint materials, which may in part be due to the size of the area excavated. Most of the tools consist of various types of arrows, stone axes, axe-hammers with a hole for a handle, the production of which was most highly developed in Butmir itself, long retouched knives and other familiar types of the tools of the period. Flint knives with incisions for straps at the lower end are specific to this site (Benac, 1979, 425).

The only bone artifacts found were a few small needles, unlike Nebo, and in particular Obre II, where every possible kind of bone tools were found in large numbers.

No jewellery was found in Butmir, unlikely the settlements of Nebo and Obre II. (Benac, 1979, 428)

The pottery of the Butmir cultural group is the most diverse and most decorative pottery in the entire transition zone, which besides covers not only central Bosnia but also Metohia, Ohrid and Pelagonia. Its pottery, which is highly distinctive and often of considerable artistic value, long gave the Butmir site a special place in southern Europe (Benac, 1979, 431). The Butmir settlement belongs to the middle phase (classical phase) of the Butmir culture (Butmir II). During this phase all the finest characteristics of the pottery made in the Butmir settlements reached their full expression.

Coarse pottery is technologically the same as the pottery of the earlier phase, Butmir I, but the repertoire of shapes is much richer. As well as conical dishes, a standard shape that emerged during this phase is a conical dish with the top slightly curved. There are also oval, hemispherical and biconical vessels with less curved and shorter cylindrical necks, vases on feet, and coarse shallow dishes with a wavy edge. Handles are more common than in phase I, and come not only in strap and tunnel shapes but also in the form of stylized animal heads. The fine pottery of this phase in Butmir comes in three basic types: black-glazed, spiral-banded and pottery of the Hvar-Lisičići type (only a small amount of which was found in Butmir). The black-glazed pottery has been found in greatest quantities in Obre II, but is present in all its forms in Butmir II as well. These pottery wares come in three basic shapes: biconical and rounded bowls and dishes, and vases on feet, with the feet varying widely in shape. The most common decoration on this pottery is moulded studs, either in double rows or combined with animal heads, while the biconical vases are usually decorated with vertical grooves.  Spiral-banded pottery is the most marked feature of the classical Butmir group (the Butmir II phase).  Technically speaking, this is the finest ware, made by craftsmen who achieved high artistic standards in its decoration. The principal shapes of spiral-banded pottery wares are spherical vases, spherical vases with long necks, biconical dishes and bowls, vases with a rounded upper part or cylindrical neck, canopic (pear-shaped) vases, tall cups of oval profile, vases with several feet, a range of miniature vessels, and sacrificial altars with four feet, typical only of the Butmir settlement. C or S spiral decorations, which were highly developed here, often feature on the spherical vases, but less often on the spherical vases with a long cylindrical neck. Moulded spirals were often decorated with red or white incrustation. The finely glazed surrounding area was usually covered with red pigment.  The banded designs were adopted from the previous phase, but in much richer combinations, often with white incrustation. The most decorative motifs are those in the form of a meander, dog’s tooth, or the letter K. The srict geometric style reached its fullest development in Butmir, with the largest range of variations on motifs in straight lines. Following the archaeological works of 1893-1896, Butmir came to symbolize spiral and banded pottery (Benac, 1979, 415, 431-433).

Pottery artifacts of the plastic arts constitute an important component of the Butmir cultural group, giving it its own distinct individuality among the Neolithic cultural groups of the Balkans. Such artifacts have been found in the Butmir, Nebo and Obre II settlements, with those from Butmir outnumbering the other two sites. They consist mainly of human figures, meticulously crafted in black-glaze technique. Incisions accentuate certain details of the body or clothing. Female figures with the feminine qualities of the body greatly emphasized are the most common. Some of the surviving heads from the human figurines have certain features of realistic art, making it possible to identify three basic racial types: Armenoids, Negroids, and Europeid (Alpine type), but it is hard to say whether this is merely the artist’s vision or a genuine attempt to depict racial types (Benac, 1979, 437-438). The lower body ends in the form of a cylinder, slightly flared at the base (? representing a skirt), with the feet and legs only rarely depicted. The details of the clothing are accentuated on some of the figurines with incisions and pricking. As well as these realistic figures, schematic examples of the human figure were found in Butmir, in two variants: variant 1 being “figures with masks” and variant 2 “adorants.”  These figures were probably of a cultic nature. Most of the female figures were probably associated with the cult of the feminine or a fertility goddess, attributable to the matriarchal system of Neolithic times. The realistic figures probably represented solely the uniform cult of the mother. The figurines with “masked faces” and those in the pose of adorant probably stood for people taking part in cultic activities or magic rituals (Benac, 1979, 443). This raises the question of whether the Butmir settlement became a cult centre in the classical phase of the Butmir culture (Butmir II) or whether, living in an isolated area away from main communications, its inhabitants had created their own distinctive style and continued to foster it. It could have been a combination of both, as is seen in other parallel Neolithic groups such as those of Vinča, Danilo and so on (Benac, 1979, 444).

There are few animal figures, mainly horned domestic animals (cattle), but lacking the sense of realism of the human figurines (Benac, 1979, 436-438).

It was not until 1979, when minor protective archaeological works were being conducted during the construction of the UPI institute for research and development, that the remains of a rammed clay floor were discovered, belonging to an above-ground house of rectangular outline. The size of this house was not determined.There were three hearths along the southern edge of the building, of which only the substructures of stone and gravel were identified. The findings were not published, and it is not known which period this above-ground house belonged to.

In 1998, with the construction of the Ilidža – Hrasnica road that runs along the northern and eastern edge of the prehistoric site of Butmir, investigations on the site were reactivated in association with the route of this road, and later with the construction of the Čatež thermal baths complex. Part of the roadworks had been completed by the time an expert commission visited the site, so that part of the northern edge of the settlement between the Health Centre and the Agricultural Institute had already been lost to archaeological investigation.

The easternmost edge of the prehistoric settlement at Bare in Butmir was discovered in 1999.  This resulted in completely new findings from the Neolithic and the later Iron Age, La Tène. Two horizons of habitation were identified: the upper, more recent layer, and the lower, older layer, which was partly damaged by the exacavation of buildings in the upper layer.  It proved impossible to assess the significance of the older layer because of the lack of sufficient archaeological material, but it was probably the edge of the Neolithic settlement previously excavated (Kujundžić-Vejzagić, 1999, 4 – 8).

New details were obtained in 2002 during protective investigative works at the eastern edge of the central part of the settlement. The finds in the inhabitedlayers indicated, first, a stage of the Kakanj culture (before 5100 BCE), two phases of the Butmir culture (Butmir I, approx. 5100-4900 BCE) and Butmir II (which until 1979 had been regarded as the only period represented on this site, approx. 4820-4750 BCE), and a phase of the Hvar-Lisičići cultural group, which was parallel with the Butmir III phase (to 4500 BCE). These excavations confirmed the suspicions entertained by experts towards the conclusions reached as a result of the 1893-1896 excavations. The second local investigated was in Tilava, on the site of the future thermal baths. These protective excavations form the basis for future systematic archaeological investigations, and provide an insight into the geological and cultural stratigraphy of the site. Based on the movable archaeological artifacts, it was determined that a late Mesolithic culture had taken shape here, probably between 8000 and 6000 BCE. The basic features of the artifacts found are related typologically and chronologically to the proto-Neolithic cultures of the Danube basin and the Mediterranean (Kujundžić-Vejzagić, 2002a).

3. Legal status to date

In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, an inspection of the documentation on the protection of the property revealed that the archaeological site of Butmir, municipality Ilidža, was not under the protection of the SR BiH Institute for Protection of the Monuments of Culture and Natural Heritage.

At a session held on 6 April 1999, the Sarajevo Cantonal Government issued a conclusion on the adoption of the Programme for the Protection and Use of the Archaeological Sites of Ilidža, drafted by the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage. Ilidža municipality was charged with the urgent adoption of a Ruling on legal protection, as proposed by the Cantonal Institute.

The Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, Sarajevo, added the site to the list of cultural monuments, and drew up a Proposal to place the property under full legal protection, no. 220/01 of 23 March 2001. This ensures that the property is entitled to prior legal protection and is treated in the same way as any protected monument.

The Regional Plan for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the site as a category I monument.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

  • 1893-1896 – archaeological excavation of the Neolithic site in Butmir on the site of the agricultural station
  • 21-27.08.1979 – protective archaeological works associated with construction of the UPI institute for research and development. The works were conducted by Dr Čović Borivoj and Marijanović Bruno M.A. of the National Museum of BiH, Sarajevo. Except for the expert report, the results of the works have not been published.
  • 21.12.1998 15.02.1999 – first stage of protective archaeological works along the route of the new Ilidža – Hrasnica road. The route of the road runs along the entire northern edge of the protected archaeological zone. A road is also planned along the eastern edge where a new site was discovered at Bare, route section K47-48, representing the south-eastern part of the Butmir Neolithic settlement. Protective excavations were conducted on this site in February 1999.
  • March 1999 – Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, Sarajevo, drew up a Programme for the Protection and Use of the Archaeological Sites of Ilidža. The programme provides for revisionary excavations at the Butmir Neolithic settlement, systematic investigation of the area between the  part of the prehistoric settlement already excavated and the newly discovered site at Bare, conservation of the remains of the dugouts, the reconstruction of above-ground houses, and the display of the material in the museum collection for which exhibition premises are to be provided in the old Agricultural School in Butmir.
  • 06.04.1999 – the Sarajevo Cantonal Government issued a conclusion on the adoption of the Programme for the Protection and Use of the Archaeological Sites of Ilidža, drafted by the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage. To ensure the legal protection of the Butmir Neolithic settlement, Ilidža municipality was charged with the urgent adoption of a Ruling on legal protection, as proposed by the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Culturalm Historical and Natural Heritage, to cover the entire Neolithic settlement of some 50,000 m2, i.e. from the part of the settlement already excavated, to the north, to the newly discovered settlement to the south-east (Bare).
  • 2002 – archaeological excavations at Tilava (on the site intended for the thermal baths complex), to the west of the central part of the Butmir site that has already been investigated. A trench was also opened alongside the road running from the Agricultural Institute along the edge of the central part of the settlement excavated in the late 19th century.
  • 2004   a draft programme of protective archaeological investigations was drawn up for the area of the newly designed sports park in Butmir at Bare to the east of the central part of the Butmir site already investigated.


All the movable archaeological material is listed in the inventory books of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Department of Archaeology, Prehistory Section. Much of the material is housed in the National Museum, with a lesser quantity on loan to the exhibition in the Sarajevo City Museum.


5.Current condition of the property

During an on-site inspection on 28.07.2004 it was established as follows:

It was determined a long timeago that all the conditions had been met for revisionary archaeological works at the Butmir site, which were planned to take place in the 1980s, but never carried out (Benac, 1979, 415). Nevertheless, because of the most recent postwar construction works, as well as because of trenches dug during the 1992-1995 war, almost the entire area where the Neolithic settlement was located has been devastated, and in addition, the whole area was mined. It was observed in early 1999 that the area was also being affected by illicit building works, changes of use of existing properties, the enlargement or demolition of existing buildings, and illegal timber felling in the remaining area of the park between the Austro-Hungarian properties (1999, 4). The Cantonal heritage protection authority and Ilidža municipality are responsible for the areas that so far remain unaffected, at Bare and Tilava, where archaeological works are planned in accordance with the above regulations and programmes.




Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A. Time frame

B. Historical value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C.i. quality of workmanship

C.ii. quality of materials

C.v. value of details

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

D.i. material evidence of a lesser known historical era

D.ii. evidence of historical change

D.iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

D.v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E. Symbolic value

E.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies

E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.ii. material and content

G.v. location and setting

G.vi. spirit and feeling

H. Rarity and representativity

H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

  • Photodocumentation;
  • Drawings



During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted: 


1895.    Radimsky, Waclav – Hoernes, Moritz, Die Neolithische Station von Butmir bei Sarajevo in Bosnien, teil I, Wien, 1895


1898.    Fiala, Franjo – Hoernes, Moritz, Die Neolithische Station von Butmir bei Sarajevo in Bosnien, teil II, Wien, 1898


1971.    Benac, Alojz, Obre II – neolitsko naselje butmirske grupe na Gornjem polju (Obre II – A Neolithic Settlement of the Butmir Group in Gornje plain), Jnl of the National Museum, vol. XXVI (Archaeology), Sarajevo, 1971, 5-300


1973.    Benac, Alojz, Obre II – Obre I Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Bosnisch-Herzegowinischen Landesmuseum, band III, Heft A, Archäologie, Sarajevo, 1973


1974.    Gimbutas, Maria, Chronology of Obre I and Obre II, Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Bosnisch-Herzegowinischen Landesmuseum, band IV, Heft A, Archäologie, Sarajevo, 1974, 15-35


1979.    Benac, Alojz, Prelazna zona (Transitional Zone), In: Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja, Neolit (Prehistory of Yugoslav Countries: The Neolithic), Sarajevo, 1979, 363-471


1999.    Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, Sarajevo, Program zaštite i korišćenja arheoloških lokaliteta Ilidža (Program for the Protection and Use of the Archaeological Sites of Ilidža), Sarajevo, March 1999, 1-16


2002.    Kujundžić-Vejzagić, Zilka, Sondažna istraživanja na neolitskom naselju Butmir 2002. godine (Trial Digs at the Neolithic Settlement of Butmir, 2002) (See attached documents)


2002a.  Kujundžić-Vejzagić, Zilka, Izvještaj o realizaciji programa zaštitnih arheoloških istraživanja na lokalitetu Butmir-Ilidža predviđenih za izgradnju Kompleksa Terme-Čatež (Report on Implementation of the Programme of Protective Archaeological Investigations at the Butmir Site in lidža Planned for the Construction of Thermal Baths) (See attached documents)


2004.    Kujundžić-Vejzagić, Zilka, Prijedlog programa zaštitnih arheoloških istraživanja na području novoprojektovanog Parka sportova u Butmiru (Programme Proposal for Protective Archaeological Investigations on the Site of the Newly Designed Sports Park in Butmir), Sarajevo, 2004 (See attached documents)





Plan af archaeological site ButmirView at the archaeological site ButmirView at the archeological site during excavationThree phases of Butmir culture
Butmir II – clasical phase of Butmir culture, ceramics material Butmir II – clasical phase of Butmir culture, statues made of clay   

BiH jezici 
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