Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Provisional List

About the Provisional List

List of Petitions for Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Heritage at Risk

60th session - Decisions

Crkvina (Grudine) in Čipuljić, the archaeological site

gallery back

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 5 September 2005, the Commission adopted a






The archaeological site of Crkvine (Grudine) in Čipuljić, Bugojno 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 antique, late antique and mediaeval remains of buildings, a late antique and mediaeval necropolis, with movable archaeological artifacts housed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, and osteological material handed over during the excavations to the Institute of Anthropology of the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb, where it is now housed.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as c.p. no. 421/2, corresponding to c.p. no. 95/1 (old survey), c.p. no. 421/3, corresponding to c.p. no. 95/10 (old survey), c.p. no.421/1, corresponding to c.p. no. 95/2 (old survey), c.p. no. 419, corresponding to c.p. no. 95/5 (old survey), c.p. no.418/2, corresponding to c.p. no. 95/11 (old survey), the western part of c.p. no. 412/1 (new  survey), corresponding to c.p. no. 126/2 (old survey), land register entry nos. 57, 125, and part of the road on c.p. no. 416 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. no. 124/2 (old survey), cadastral municipality Čipuljić, Municipality Bugojno, 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 Federation 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 Commission to Preserve National Monuments (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.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection zones are hereby designated:

Protection zone I consists of the area defined in Clause I para. 3 of this Decision.

The following protection measures shall apply in this zone:

  • all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning (hereinafter: the relevant Ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);
  • the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public and may be used for educational and cultural purposes;
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.

Protection zone II consists of the strip to the north as far as the main Bugojno-Gornji Vakuf road to the Poričnica bed to the south: c.p. nos. 420/2, 420/1, 417, 414, 415, 422/2, 421/1 and 422 (new survey), and c.p. nos. 418/3, 418/1 and 412/2 to the east from the road through Čipuljić to the bank of the Poričnica.  In this zone the erection of residential, commercial and other buildings and facilities is prohibited, apart from deep ploughing and digging.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for ensuring that research and conservation works are carried out and that the site and the access path to it are made good.




The Commission shall be responsible for ensuring the return to Bosnia and Herzegovina of the osteological material referred to in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision and for ensuring that suitable conditions are provided for it to be housed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

The removal of the movable heritage items 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 para. 2 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 Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize its preservation.




            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional 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 Clauses II to VI 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.aneks8komisija.com.ba). 




Pursuant to Article 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.


Number: 05.2-2-223/04-5


30 August 2005


Chair of the Commission

Ljiljana Ševo


E l u c i d a t i o n




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 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, and the  property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH  (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.

On 25 August 2005 experts from the Archaeology Department of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo submitted a proposal to proclaim the archaeological site of Pod in Bugojno Crkvine/Grudine in Čipuljić 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,  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 copy of land registry entry,
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage if any, data on restoration or other works on the property if any, etc.,
  • Current condition of the property,
  • Historical, architectural or 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 Crkvine/Grudine with the remains of antique and late antique architecture dating from the 2nd to the 6th century, a mediaeval church and a necropolis dating from the 8th/9th to the 15th century, is located in the settlement of Čipuljić, the western part of present-day Bugojno. The entire complex took shape below the prehistoric hill fort of Pod, in the valley, on a site surrounded by the slopes of Mt. Koprivnica to the north, and the rivulet Poričnica, a left tributary of the Vrbas River, to the south. The Poričnica river, which flows along the slopes of Mt. Koprivnica and down into a valley near Čipuljić, erodes the fallow ground on the left bank where the above archaeological remains are situated.

The area has always had a good communications network. Two major roads led through the Vrbas valley: one upstream over the Makljen saddle to the Rama valley and on towards the Neretva, and another downstream towards northwestern Bosnia and Pannonia. The third, very old road, though less commodious, leads towards Kupres and on to Dalmatia. Salona Argentaria, a road of antiquity, led through Bugojno plain, and was linked with the main Salona-Servitium road. The Kupres-Bugojno-Donji Vakuf now runs below the slopes of Mt. Koprivnica to the north alongside the Crkvine site. 

Historical information


In prehistoric times, the prehistoric hillfort of Pod (2500 – late 3rd century BCE) was located immediately above the site of Crkvine. In the Iron Age it was settled by members of the Illyrian tribe of Desitiates. In the course of the 6th and 5th century BCE, a settlement took shape in the valley below the hillfort on the site of Crkvine (Čović, 1987, 481-530).

            The valley of the Vrbas upper course, including Travnik plain and the upper Bosna valley, is believed to have been the central area of the tribe or tribal community of Desitiates. After conquering the province of Dalmatia, the Roman authorities divided all tribal territories in the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia into smaller units dubbed civitates peregrinae, from which municipalities subsequently evolved. This took place during the rule of the Flavians, when the establishment of boundaries between the municipal territories and municipal centres took place in the second half of the 1st century. There is known to have been a municipium in central Bosnia, which is referred to on 2nd and 3rd century stone monuments as mun.Bist… According to Peutinger’s Tabula and archaeological remains, it occupied the area from the source of the Vrbas to the Zenica basin(1). Six tombstone stelas were found in Zenica, Fazlići near Travnik and Varvara in Rama, with epitaphs referring to magistrates of the municipium, decurions and duumvirs mun. Bist…, suggesting that it was a single municipal area. The territory of the Bestoen Bishopric, established in the 6th century, probably coincided with the territory of this municipium. This is suggested by, inter alia, the request of Bestoen Bishop Andrija, at the Synod of the Metropolitanate of Salonae, held in 533 in Salonae, for the territory of his bishopric to be reduced. It has not yet been established where this municipium, as a centre of the large municipal territory, was located. The central area of the municipal territory covered the Bugojno plain with numerous antique settlements, the largest of which is the one in Čipuljić, now part of Bugojno. A brick stamped Bistues, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century, originates from that site, which introduces new elements to the problem of locating the town. Thus far no epigraphic monument, apart from the brick, has been found in Bugojno, but this does not minimize the major importance of the Bugojno plain in communication, administrative and political terms. The Roman settlement in Bugojno was situated alongside an antique road leading below the hill fort of Pod toward Kupres.  Peutinger’s Tabula and other geographic maps from late antiquity contain symbols for the waystations of Bistue Vetus and Bistue Nova, but there is no mention of a settlement called Bistue. From his hodologic research, a survey of the Salonae-Argentaria road - Soli-Trilj-outlying parts of Buško Blato-Duvno-Kupreška Vrata-Kupres-Bugojno and on – and taking into consideration all previous finds on the road along this route, Bojanovski concluded that mun Bist [ves] had been located in Bugojno, which coincides with the late antique waystation of Bistue Nova (Bojanovski, 1988, 156-164; Paškvalin, 2003, 168, 176-178).  In view of the location of the epigraphic finds referring to Bistue, and late antique itineraries in which the waystations of Bistue Vetus and Bistue Nova feature, many scholars located these two waystations from Duvno, via Bugojno and Vitez to Zenica (for more on this see Bojanovski, 1988, 160-166; Paškvalin, 2003, 178-179).            

Mediaeval period          

           The earliest reference to the župa (county) of Uskoplje can be found in Barski rodoslov (Bar Genealogy), dating from 969, when the Croatian prince Mihajlo Krešimir II plundered this and neighbouring counties.  At that time it was an integral part of the Bosnian state (Knezović, 1991, 186; Perojević, 1991, 197; Mrgić-Radojčić, 2002,  32). A charter of King Bela IV, dated 1244, but possibly a forgery, refers to a 'St. John's church' in the county of Uskoplje as property of the Bishopric of Bosnia (Draganović, 1991, 751; Vego, 1957, 121; Klaić, 1994, 112-115). Late in the 13th century this and the surrounding counties were controlled by the family Babonjić (Mrgić-Radojčić, 2002,  32, 41).  

            Hrvatin Vučković “and his ilk” from the county of Uskoplje appears as a witness to a charter of Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić dating from 1326. Although the county belonged to Donji Kraji, it was under royal dominion (Vego, 1957, 121; Perojević, 1991, 252; Mrgić-Radojčić, 2002, 55-56). At the time of Tvrtko I the county of Uskoplje was still under the supreme rule of the Bosnian Ban (governor) and later the King. A royal charter of 1380 refers to knez (prince) Mladen Stančić as a witness “from Donji Kraji,” but he was the headman of the Donji Kraj territories that were under the king's rule: the counties of Uskoplje, Luka and Lušci (Mrgić-Radojčić, 2002, 69).  In the late 14th and first decade of the 15th century, however, at the time of Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, lord of Donji Kraji, all three counties came under his control. In 1413, in a conflict that arose between duke Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić and his enemies in Hungary (King Sigismund) and in Bosnia (Sandalj Hranić Kosača),  Hrvoje found himself in danger, and invited the Ottomans in 1414. That year the Ottoman Imperial army conquered the fort of Vesela Straža, and part of the Ottoman army remained for some time in Uskoplje. After Hrvoje's death, in 1416, his territory fell apart, and the town of Vesela Straža in the county of Uskoplje was among the estates joined to the Bosnian king (Mrgić-Radojčić, 2002, 115). In a charter dateed 22 August 1466, King Tomaš granted two villages in the county of Uskoplje, including other landed property, to the sons of Ivaniš Dragišić. After much of Bosnia had fallen under Ottoman rule, in 1463, Vladislav Hercegović, son of Herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, extended the war against the Ottomans beyond the Herceg's territory, and conquered the county and town of Livno, the county of Uskoplje with the town of Vesela Straža and the county of Rama with the town of Prozor. On 6 December 1463 the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus issued him with confirmation of these holdings. Vladislav Hercegović retained the lands and the county of Uskoplje until the summer of 1465, when the county finally came under Ottoman rule.  

            The site of the settlement inhabited by the people buried at Crkvine/Grudine still remains unidentified.  


2. Description of the property

Fr Ivan Frano Jukić wrote once that the hillfort of Čipuljić “must have been a large town, since all kinds of things are being unearthed all around” (Jukić, 1953, 101).

            On the wider area of Grudine, in addition to the antique buildings in Crkvine that have already been explored, there are the remains of an antique and late antique urban settlement, which have not been defined with archaeological certainty. Antique and late antique remains are now being found during the course of building works on the houses in the part of the modern settlement hard by the eastern edge of the explored areas; this residential area has now been divided into plots. There are antique and late antique architectural remains on high ground in Crkvine, probably in the centre of the urban settlement of that time. According to the documentation on the archaeological investigations, the northern remains of almost all the buildings were discovered in situ, but their southern sections had been scoured and swept away Poričnica river when in flood. In the 9th century inhumations began in the 2nd-6th century ruins, continuing until the 15th century. A large necropolis thus took shape, with over 750 explored graves, amid which a church was built (Paškvalin, 1991, 215-216 ; same, 2003, 132, Miletić, all listed works from 1963 -1984).  

2nd to 4th century antique complex

Architectural remains were found of a sizeable building dating from antiquity, 2nd-3rd century, the purpose of which has not been identified with certainty. The building was classed as a secular Roman edifice. Since no analysis of the material and conditions of the site was conducted, the author is unsure whether it was a thermal or a residential building, a villae rustica (Paškvalin, 1961, 90; idem, 1970, 131; idem, 1991, 210). It was built on a small, barely noticeable elevation and seems to stood at the centre of what appears to have been an urban settlement. Two construction strata were identified on this building during the course of excavations.  The walls of the older stratum were around 0.5 m thick, and those of the more recent up to 0.8 m. There were hypocausts in one part of the building (Paškvalin, 1970, 131).  The eastern parts of the building, lying north-south to a width of abouat 30 m, where uncovered.  To the north of the building three semicircular “apses” were found.  Both churches – the late antique and the mediaeval – were later built on the area of the central and north “apses.  Part of the north wall and north-west corner of this building were discovered, so that the building was about 20 m in width from east to west. The south-eastern half of the building had been swept away by the Poričnica. Judging from the remains of the walls, the building covered an area of over 600 m2.

            There was an antique brickyard figlina with many pottery kilns where the modern brickyard is now located, around 500 m east of Crkvine.  A brick kiln dating from the 2nd and 3rd century is evidence that an urban settlement was in existence at the same place. The antique settlement could have come into being during the time of the Flavians, or more specifically during the time of the Emperor Vespasian (68 -79), in the course of establishing the territorial boundaries between the municipia in this part of the Roman Empire (Bojanovski, 1988, 162; Paškvalin, 2003, 173-174, 180; Škegro, 1991,231). 

            There were movable artifacts scattered all around the site, mostly beside and around subsequent burials. They consisted of antique ornamental articles, fibulae, pieces of glass vessels, iron chains, cooking utensils and pottery vessels, and 12 coins from the 2nd to the late 3rd century, the time of the Emperors Hadrian (119-120), Valerian (253-260), Aurelius (270-275), Claudius II (268-270) and Gallien (253-258).

Late antique sacral complex


            In late antiquty, by the late 4th or early 5th century, a sacral complex was built on the ruins of an antique building. Judging from the poorly preserved archaeological remains and published documentation, the late antique church probably had a single nave and consisted of an apse (depth of apse 6 m), naos (12 x 7 m), narthex (4 x 7 m), and probably a prothesis on the northeast side of the apse (length of sides 2.5 m). No diaconicon was identified with certainty (Paškvalin, 2003, 135). The total length of the church was 26 m, and its width around 8 m. Two vaulted masonry tombs and two sarcophagi, lying west-east, were buried below the narthex floor (Paškvalin, 2003,136).

            Traces of the foundations and remains of the walls of the late antique church were built mostly of dressed and rough limestone, and to a lesser extent of tufa and marlstone. In addition to this material, the foundations and walls also contained stone and monuments from an older antique building, here in secondary use. The remains remains of the building that were excavated were built in the opus incertum technique, with lime mortar used as binder. The stone was dressed with a claw toothed tool serrum dentatum, with the teeth set at varying distances apart. The walls of the church were pointed on the outside, and plastered on the inside. The floor of the church and inside of the vaulted tombs were covered with a screed of fine-grained sand mixed with pounded brick.

            Pieces of the church furnishings were scattered around all over the interior of the church.

Circular piscina

            To the north of the church was a circular font with a drainage channel. It was built on the floor of an older antique building. The diameter of the font is 1.26 m, and its height 0.53 m. The outside masonry was of rough quarry stone with lime mortar as binder. The inside was covered with two fine coats of mixed lime and pounded brick, 3-4 cm thick. The font had a concave base, which was covered by a marble slab and the lime-brick coating. A narrow iron pipe (1 cm diameter) 0.23 cm long led from the font, forming an outlet through which water ran into a channel 3 m long, 0.3 m wide, made of flooring bricks (0.44 x 0.28 x 0.5 m in size). When the marble slab was attached to the bottom of the font at some later date, the connection between the font and the channel was cut.

            A fragment of a pluteus with images of fish was found adjacent to the font. The conditions in which the artifact was found and the shape of the font suggest that the font was part of an older profane building, and that it was recoated and converted into a baptismal font in late antiquity (Paškvalin, 2003, 138-139). 

Building with quadrifoliate ground plan

            To the northwest of the church narthex is a building of quadrifoliate ground plan, built on the foundations of an older structure. This contained mediaeval tombs. The structure has a diameter of 6 m, its foundations are approx. 0,8 m thick, and the walls approx. 0,65 m.  In the middle of the building an incomplete quadrilateral stone “construction” was found, which the archaeologist conducting the excavations assumed to be a baptismal font. This “construction” lies east-west, measures 1.8 x 0.51 x 0.28 m, and lay at a depth of 0.9 m, including the foundations of the conchal structure. On the basis of the conditions surrounding this find the archaeologist believes it was a baptismal font (Paškvalin, 2003, 140).


            Four masonry-built tombs, laid out from north to south and facing east-west, were found in the church narthex. Two of these are vaulted tombs and two are masonry-built sarcophagi covered with a stone slab.

            Vaulted tombs are almost invariably found alongside late antique Christian churches, inside the narthex or beside the church.  The vault of one of these tombs, which measures 1.81 x 1.24 x 1.40 m, has been almost destroyed; the tomb has a wedge along the longer side.  The entrance to the tomb was to the east, and was closed with a stone slab.  There was a single step on the inside below the entrance.  The tomb was plastered on the inside.  At some later date the vault of the tomb was broken and the tomb was used for a secondary burial.  The second vaulted tomb, measuring 2.71x1.12 m, was approx. 1.5 m in height including the vault. It is similar in structure to the previous tomb, but has no wedge, which is very unusual for this type of tomb.

            One stone-built sarcophagus (measuring 1.77 x 0.47 x 0.1 m (thickness of the stone slab) was surrounded by a wall, so that the stone facing around the sarcophagus was 2.5 m long, 1.3 m wide and 0.4 m deep at the base. The second tomb is similar, measuring 2.37 x0.70 x0.54 m, with walls 0.35 m thick.  The sarcophagi were found to contain the jumbled-up bones of the deceased.

            A gabled tomb built of flooring and roofing brick was found about 1.25 m from the north wall of the late antique church. A floor brick was also used as a head-rest. A disarranged skeleton was found in the tomb, with no grave goods.

            During infrastructure works in August 2004, a stone monument was found about 160 m to the east of the antique and late antique remnants at Crkvine/Grudine, on the road leading between private houses. Its purpose remains unknown. The monument is made of soft stone, and is about 0.4 m thick; it had clearly been built into a wall. The front face (0.62 m high, 0. 58 m wide), the top of which terminates in an arch, is decorated, with two panels.  The lower panel is decorated with two antithetically-facing branches. The upper, arched part is decorated with three highly stylized acanthus leaves in the form of palmettes.  A tendril emerges from these, with a four-petalled flower at each end.

            The discovery of flooring brick dating from the 2nd or 3rd century, stamped Bistues, the findings of the archaeological survey, and documents from the Synod of the Metropolitanate of Salonae in 530 and 533, which refer to Bishop Andrija of Bistues (ANDREAS EPISCOPVS BESTOENSIS ECLESI(a)E), suggest that this place, MUN(icipium) BISTVES, was a substantial civilian and religious centre and the seat of the bishopric in the 6th century (Paškvalin, 2003, 180-183).     

Mediaeval period


            A photograph illustrating a fragment of the parapet altar stone slab was found in the documentation of archaeologist Dr Dimitrije Sergejevski housed in the National Museum in Sarajevo. It is not known when and by whom the photograph was taken and where the slab is (Glavaš 1978, 349). By analogy, it would have measured 1.5 x 0.7 x 0.2 m. The decoration is incised with an oblique line and is subject to the general principle of linearity. The decoration suggests that the slab dates to the period between the 9th and the 11th century. Given the large number of tombs from the 9th to the 12th century, there was presumably a pre-Romanesque church here, the remains of which were not found, or not identified (Glavaš, 1978, 351-352; Miletić, 1989, 113, dates the slab to the eleventh century). Although the find is not well documented, the assumption is that there was a pre-Romanesque church at Grudine in Čipuljić. The church that has been excavated at Crkvine dates back to the late mediaeval period. It abuts onto part of the apse of the late antique church and the early mediaeval tombs (Miletić, 1963, 133). It is built of hewn or quarry forming the facings, and a stone infill. Walls are around 0.9 m thick. The church has a semicircular apse, 2.1 m deep and 3.1 m wide, and a naos measuring 8 x 5.5 m. The total length of the church is 12 m. The apse is narrower than the naos.  Running from the angle of the apse and naos walls, a parallel wall of the same thickness was added on later along both longitudinal walls of the naos, and the parts of what is presumed to be the original longitudinal wall were pulled down. This creates the  impression that the area in the eastern part of the naos by the apse was enlarged by 1.8 m. The graves surrounding the church were protected with a massive stone slab or a stone structure of irregular shape dating from the late mediaeval period.


In all, 776 graves were discovered in the narrower area of the site of the antique ruins at Crkvine and around it. An area of approx. 1500 m2 was explored. A  stećak tombstone has survived to the east of the site, beneath which a double grave, rich in finds, was explored.   In the eastern part of the site as a whole, where the strata have not been disturbed, outside the narrower area of Crkvine where the antique and late antique settlements are located, the graves were dug in a single layer, and tend to be arranged in regular rows.  The graves in Crkvine are located in several chronologically undifferentiated strata, and vary in depth from 0.5 to 1.90 m.  A tendency for the burials to be arranged in regular rows can be observed, with major deviations from this regularity dictated by the remains of the antique walls.  This system of regular rows is particularly noticeable in the case of graves dating from the 12th to the 15th century. Most of the graves lay east-west, though a number face in other directions: west-east, southeast-northwest and north-south. As far as can be determined chronologically, burials began at the northern edge of the area and continued southwards.

The deceased were laid on their backs, with a few rare exceptions, (one skeleton was found face down), with the arms in various positions. Most of the skeletons had their arms in their laps or along their sides, folded over the chest, clasped in the lap, or on the belt. The skeletons were mostly laid on the bare soil, with no protective frame; in a few cases only there was a temporary protection in the form of a massive stone slab, stones arranged to form a frame, or a wooden board above the skeleton. In some instances the deceased were laid in a wooden coffin of which only the cotters have survived. Most of the burials are of single individuals, though there are also some double graves and subsequent burials. In one double grave the skeletons were laid one above another, facing in the opposite direction, and in another double grave a mother and child were buried. In some cases a small stone slab was fixed above the head of the deceased. The skeletons were rather poorly preserved.

Preliminary reports reveal that 259 graves, which account for nearly one third of the total number of graves, contained gravegoods alongside the skeleton of the deceased. The finds from the graves have not been subject to detailed analysis. The most common artifacts were items of jewellery, the greatest number of which were bronze, silver and, rarely, gold earrings and rings. Earrings with three bobbles in various designs are the most numerous: small silver earrings were usually made using the granulation technique, while the bronze earrings are much bigger and produced by casting or granulation. There was a frizatik (mediaeval silver coin) found by one grave, which was minted during the time of Archbishop Eberhard (1164-1200) (Anđelić, 1959, 164). Pendants, clasps, gilt appliqué and the odd pair of bangles were more rarely left as gravegoods. Worthy of mention among the items of military equipment are spurs of various types, designs and chronological origin. A bronze mace was also found. Pottery was placed in only a few graves, and the same is true of pierced Roman coins. Textile remains were found in some graves dating from the early mediaeval period. One grave contained fragments of a prehistoric ceramic bowl laid by the head of the deceased. 

            There were items from the prehistoric and antique periods scattered all around the graves, including pottery, coins, glass, keys, chains, ladles, a bronze fibula, two mediaeval arrows, etc.

            Initial observations suggested that the necropolis dated to a wide time span from the 9th to the 15th century. In that long, uninterrupted period of burials, the items discovered make it possible to identify graves from the 9th to the 12th century and graves from the late mediaeval period to the 15th century. Here, as in other explored necropolises of the early mediaeval period, there is a distinct lack of pottery items in the graves, an old pagan custom, though the only detail suggesting the deceased  had already become Christian during the already ongoing process of Christianization was a cruciform pendant with a representation of the crucifixion (Miletić, 1984, 416). 


3. Legal status to date

In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation related to the protection of property was inspected, when it was ascertained that:

  • The archaeological site of Crkvine/Grudine in Čipuljić, Bugojno was not placed under the protection of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The Regional Plan for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 listed the property as Category I.
  • The site of Gradina (Crkvine) –  Čipuljić  is included in the section on the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Regional Plan for the Central Bosnia Canton 2001-2020, adopted in late 2005.

4. Research and conservation and restoration works 

  • In 1895 K. Patsch published the finds unearthed „in Bugojno“ in the course of construction works of a circular brick kiln, a clay lantern-lucerne, with an inscription of the workshop C. DESSI, a gold earring and parts of a clay vessel, all imported from the West. In the same work the author mentions for the first time that the foundation walls of Roman buildings were found in Čipuljić, including architectural and relief fragments. (Patsch, 1895, 586).
  • In 1897 the same researcher reported that the foundations of a number of buildings could be seen in the area extending from Braun's brickyard (on the site of the present-day brickyard, around 500 m east of Crkvine) to the hillfort of Pod. In the meadows below the hilIfort of Pod he observed local people unearthing clods of tile and brick of all kinds of craftsmanship and shape. Patsch assumed that the brick has been made for the buildings at Crkvine. Coins of the Roman Republican Era and one drachma from Dyrrhachium were found in Bugojno, while imperial coins of Vespasian, Antonius Pius, Faustina Major, Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla, Claudius II, Licinius the father and Constanze, dating from the 1st to the 4th century, ended up in the National Museum in the late 19th century (Patsch, 1897, 512-513).
  • In 1952 E. Pašalić discovered the layout of a cobbled road leading towards Crkvine, on the site of the district brickyard of Vrbas, where Braun's brickyard once stood. He noted that remnants of antique building material were found around the brickyard, since the site was constantly being cleared. (Pašalić, 1953, 345).   
  • In 1957, in the course of digging a channel for a new water reservoir about 200 m east of the hillfort of Pod, on the slopes once dubbed Grudine – a term not so familiar to the local population but which was adopted in scholarly works (the term Gradine is used on the new geodetic map) – leading from the water reservoir toward the settlement, stone slabs, large bricks, tombs and three silver bangles, fragments of glass vessels from an antique gabled, brick-built grave, shards of grey ware and terra sigilata were discovered. In this connection archaeologists Jozo Petrović and Zdravko Marić visited the site in 1957 and 1958. Jozo Petrović conducted small-scale archaeological excavations by the Poričnica rivulet that was eroding the site at Crkvine and carrying away some parts of the buildings. He then observed that there were hollows in the meadow at Crkvine, made by the stećak tombstones that were used to build the road leading from central Bosnia to Split, and later to buiild the church in Čipuljić (Petrović, 1958, 268). In 1959, after discussions with local people, it was discovered that there had been many tombstones on the site, and that they had been destroyed in the last 50-70 years. All that could be found were a few specimens in nearby hedges. A double grave was found under a tombstone in situ (Anđelić, 1959,164-165).

The foundations and walls, the latter “covered with many vivid colours,” of a solidly constructed building were found in the profile dug out by the left bank of the Poričnica, along with masonry-built vaulted tombs, and mediaeval graves barely 10-13 cm beneath the surface.  A channel built of large bricks led to the Poričnica. One of the bricks used as covering for the channel bore a stamp, BISTVE(s). This stamp suggests that there was a local brickyard in Bistue, to meet the considerable need for brick when building the antique complex.  That part of the channel served also as the floor of a subsequently erected tomb, buried by the wall of an as yet unexplored building. A few mediaeval graves, overlying a late antique vaulted tomb with painted inside walls, were discovered by the Poričnica river (Petrović, 1958, 267-268; isti, 1961, 229-231).

  • P. Anđelić and V. Paškvalin, archaeologists from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, began exploratory works on the site of Crkvine in 1959.
  • Intermittently from 1960 to 1984, a team of archaeologists from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, led by Dr. Veljko Paškvalin (antiquity, from 1959 -1970) and Nada Miletić (mediaeval period) conducted systematic excavations.

The movable archaeological material recovered during the excavations is housed in the National Museum in Sarajevo, while the osteological material is stored in the Anthropology Institute of the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb. The results of the research of the antique building, mediaeval necropolis and the analyses of the osteological material have not been published.

  • In 1961, with the agreement of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, the National Museum carried out the temporary conservation of the architectural parts discovered in 1960 and 1961. The conservation was carried out by eng. E. Dimitrijević, senior conservator.
  • On 09 August 2004, during infrastructure works, a stone monument decorated on the front face was excavated about 160 m east of the ancient ruins at Crkvine/Grudine. It has been erected on the green space outside the main entrance to the Bugojno Municipality building.

5. Current condition of the property

With densely-packed burials taking place between the 9th and the 15th century, the remains of the already ruinous structures from the prehistoric period and antiquity were disturbed. By 1958 there was already almost no trace of the necropolis of stećak tombstones.

Following an on-site inspection of the site at Crkvine/Grudine in Čipuljić, Bugojno, conducted on 16 May and 13 June, it was ascertained that the central part of the site, Crkvine, leading from the main road to Kupres and to the Poričnica rivulet, was covered with an asphalted parking place. This parking place was built by the owner of a commercial property on the opposite bank of the Poričnica and connected with the parking lot by a bridge. After the 1992-1995 war, the territory east of Crkvine, with antique remains and, probably, unexplored mediaeval tombs, was laid out in plots. Family houses are being built at a great rate on this part of the site. Antique and prehistoric material has been found in the course of building these houses and laying insfrastructure, as a result of which this area is lost to further investigation. The decorated stone fragment already referred to was found there. West of Crkvine is farmland.

Access to the site, which is from the Bugojno-Kupres road, is not marked.




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 as cited in the enacting clause. The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A) Time frame

B) Historical value

C) Artistic and aesthetic value

C.v. value of details

C.vi. value of construction

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 certain type, style or regional manner

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

F) Townscape/landscape value

F.i. meaning in the townscape

G) Authenticity

G.v. location and setting

H) Rarity and representativity

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


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-    Photodocumentation

a.    from the bibliography listed below

b.    five photographs provided by courtesy of Bugojno municipality, pertaining to the discovery of a stone monument

c.    photographs taken on a visit to the site in May 2005

-    Graphics

-    Geodetic map

-    Documentation  pertaining to cadastral details



During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of BiH, the following works were consulted:


1895.   Patsch, Carlo, Epigrafski nahođaji 1895 (Epigraphic finds 1895). Journal of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina VII, Sarajevo, 1895, 573-586.


1897.   Patsch, Carlo, Mali rimski nahođaji i posmatranja (Minor Roman Finds and Observations). Journal of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina IX), Sarajevo, 1897, 511-537.


1953.   Jukić, Ivan, Frano, Putovanje po Bosni 1845.godine (Travelling across Bosnia). In: Putopisi i istorijsko-geografski radovi (Travel Chronicles and History and Geography Texts). Sarajevo, 1953.


1953.   Pašalić, Esad, Antički tragovi iz okoline Bugojna i Gornjeg Vakufa (Antique Traces from the Surroundings of Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf). Journal of the National Museum in Sarajevo, volume VIII, Sarajevo, 1953, 345-348.


1957.   Vego, Marko, Naselja bosanske srednjevjekovne države (Settlements of the Mediaeval Bosnian State), Sarajevo, 1957.


1958.   Petrović, Jozo, Arheološki referati iz Bugojna i Ljubije –Japra (Archaeological Reports from Bugojno and Ljubija - Japra). Journal of the National Museum in Sarajevo,  Archaeology, volume  XIII/1958, Sarajevo, 1958, 267-271.


1958.   Paškvalin, Veljko. Antička istraživanja u selu Čipuljiću kod Bugojna (Antique Investigations in the Village of Čipuljić near Bugojno), Arheološki pregled 1 (Archaeological Survey 1),Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia), Beograd 1959, 98-99.


1959.   Anđelić, Pavao, Srednjovjekovna nekropola u Čipuljiću kod Bugojna (Mediaeval Necropolis in Čipuljić near Bugojno). Arheološki pregled 1 (Archaeological Survey 1), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1959, 163-165.


1961.   Petrović, Jozo, Novi arheološki nalazi iz doline Gornjeg Vrbasa (New Archaeological Finds from the Upper Vrbas Valley), Journal of the National Museum in Sarajevo, volume XV-XVI, Sarajevo, 1961, 229-234


1961.   Paškvalin, Veljko. Čipuljić, Bugojno – Kasnoantičke građevine (Čipuljić, Bugojno –  Late Antique Structures) Arheološki pregled 3 (Archaeological Survey 3), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia), Beograd 1961, 89-92.


1959.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - nekropola (Grudine,Čipuljić, Bugojno - necropolis). Arheološki pregled 3 (Archaeological Survey 3), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1961, 133-134.


1965.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine,Čipuljić, Bugojno-srednjevekovna Nekropola (Bugojno – Mediaeval Necropolis). Arheološki pregled 7 (Archaeological Overview 7), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1965, 177-178.


1965.   Paškvalin, Veljko, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno-starokršćanska Bazilika (Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno – Late Christian Basilica). Arheološki pregled 8 (Archaeological Overview 8), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1966, 146-148.


1966.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić,Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola, (Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno – the Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 8, (Archaeological Survey 8) Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia) Beograd 1966, 159.


1968.   Paškvalin, Veljko, Čipuljići kod Bugojna – nastavak istraživanja starokršćanske bazilike (Čipuljići near Bugojno – Continuation of Research of the early Christian Basilica) . Arheološki pregled 10 (Archaeological Survey 10), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1968, 159-162.


1968.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine ,Čipuljić, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola. (Grudine ,Čipuljić, Bugojno - The Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 10 (Archaeological Survey 10), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1968, 181.


1970.   Paškvalin, Veljko, Grudine, Bugojno – starokršćanska bazilika (Grudine, Bugojno – the early Christian Basillica) Arheološki pregled 12 (Archaeological Survey 12), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1970, 131-132.


1970.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola (Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - the Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 12 (Archaeological Survey 12), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1970, 179.


1971.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola (Grudine,Čipuljić, Bugojno- the Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 13 (Archaeological Survey 13), Archaeological Society of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1971, 87.


1973.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola. (Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - the Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 15 (Archaeological Survey 15), Federation of the Archaeological Societies of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1973, 119-120.


1974.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola (Grudine, Čipuljić, Bugojno - the Mediaeval Necropolis). Arheološki pregled 16 (Archaeological Survey 16), Federation of the Archaeological Societies of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1974, 120-122.


1978.   Glavaš, Tihomir, Ornamentirana kamena ploča iz predromaničke crkve u Čipuljiću (Ornamented Stone Plaque from the pre Romanesque Church in Čipuljić). Journal of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Archaeology, vol.  XXXII/1977, Sarajevo, 1978, 349-352.


1982.   Miletić, Nada, Grudine, Bugojno - srednjevekovna nekropola. (Grudine, Bugojno – the Mediaeval Necropolis) Arheološki pregled 23 (Archaeological Survey 23), Federation of the Archaeological Societies of Yugoslavia, Beograd 1982, 172.


1987.   Čović, Borivoj, Srednjobosanska župa (Central Bosnia county). In: Željezno doba - Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja V ((The Iron Age: Prehistory of South Slav Lands V), Sarajevo 1987, 481-530.


1987.   Paškvalin, Veljko,-Nada, Miletić, 12.103 Grudine (Crkvine),Bugojno- Čipuljić (12.103 Grudine (Crkvine),Bugojno- Čipuljić). Arheološki leksikon Bosne i Hercegovine (Archaeological Lexicon of Bosnia and Herzegovina), vol.II  National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1988, 178.


1988.   Miletić, Nada, Rani srednji vek (The Early Middle Ages). In: Kulturna istorija Bosne i Hercegovine od najstarijih vremena do pada ovih zemalja pod osmansku vlast (Cultural History of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Ancient Times to the Fall of these lands to Ottoman Rule). Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1984, 375-434.


1989.   Miletić, Nada, Srednjovekovna umetnost Bosne i Hercegovine (Mediaeval Art of Bosnia and Herzegovina). In: International Symposium – Bosnia and Herzegovina through Historical and Cultural Developments in Southeast Europe, National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1989, 111-120. 


1991.   Paškvalin, Veljko, Ulomak pluteja iz starokršćanske bazilike u Bugojnu (Fragment of Pluteus from the Early Christian Basillica in Bugojno). Collected Works in Memory of Academician Alojz Benac. Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, special editions, book XCV, Department of Social Sciences, book 27, Sarajevo, 1991, 209-219.


1991.   Škegro, Ante, Rimska žigosana opeka na području Bosne i Hercegovine (Roman Stamped Brick in Bosnia and Herzegovina) Collected Works in Memory of Academician Alojz Benac. Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, special editions, book XCV, Social Sciences Section, book 27, Sarajevo, 1991, 221-237.


1991.   Knezović, fra Oton, Bosna i Hercegovina od seobe naroda do XII stoljeća (Bosnia and Herzegovina from the migration of peoples to the 12th century)  In: Povijest Bosne i Hercegovine (History of Bosnia and Herzegovina), bk I, HKD Napredak, Sarajevo 1942-1991, 159-195.


1991.   Perojević, Marko, Ban Borić i ban Kulin (Ban Borić and Ban Kulin). In: Povijest Bosne i Hercegovine (History of Bosnia and Herzegovina), book I, HKD Napredak, Sarajevo 1942-1991, 196-215.


1991.   Perojević, Marko, Stjepan II Kotromanić. In: Povijest Bosne i Hercegovine (History of Bosnia and Herzegovina), book I, HKD Napredak, Sarajevo 1942-1991, 250-285.


1994.   Klaić, Nada, Srednjovjekovna Bosna (Mediaeval Bosnia). Zagreb, 1994.


2003.   Veljko, Paškvalin, Ostaci starokršćanske bazilike na Crkvini (Grudine) u Bugojnu s osvrtom na MVN(icipium) BISt(ue) ili BISTVES, sjedište bistuenske biskupije i biskupa Andrije (Remains of the Early Christian Basillica at Crkvine (Grudine) in Bugojno in the light of MVN(icipium) BISt(ue) or BISTVES, the Seat of the Bistuen Bishopric and Bishop Andrija). In: Kršćanstvo kasne antike u zaleđu Salone i Narone (Late Antique Christianity in the Hinterland of Salonae and Naronae). Vrhbosna Catholic Seminary, Sarajevo, 2003, 129-192.


(1) The territory of mon..Bist…extended between the mountains of Vranica and Bitovnja on the east, Vran on the south, Ljubuša and Raduša on the southwest and Vlašić on the north. It covered the entire valley around the upper course of the Vrbas, from the Vrbas spring to Donji Vakuf, across the areas surrounding the tributaries of the Vrbas and Lašva, and a part of the Bosna valley, from Lašva to Vranduk.

Crkvina-Grudine SiteLate antique stone monumentOrnamented stone slab, 9th-10th centuryRound piscina
Remains of the antique ruinsRemains of the building and tomb placed by early-christian basilicaParapet altar slab 

BiH jezici 
Commision to preserve national monuments © 2003. Design & Dev.: