Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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60th session - Decisions

Neolithic settlement of Lug, the archaeological site

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the “Offical Gazette of BiH” no. 60/08.

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 25 March to 1 April 2008 the Commission adopted a






The archaeological site of the neolithic settlement of Lug, Municipality Goražde, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).         

The National Monument consists of the archaeological site and movable heritage found on the site and now housed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, as recorded in the Museum's inventory.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1870 (part), title deed no. 1485/02, cadastral municipality Goražde II, 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, 6/04 and 51/07) 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 providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and erecting signboards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated.

-          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 and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is essential that an archaeologist be present during these works,

-          the site of the National Monument is a potential archaeological site, and in consequence all works that could alter the site or endanger the monument in any way are prohibited,

-          the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public, and may be used for educational and cultural purposes.


The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for ensuring as a matter of urgency that the existing rubbish tip at Lug is relocated and that the damage caused by waste on the archaeological site is made good.

The dumping of waste and all works that could have an adverse effect on the protected site and a buffer zone 100 m wide around the boundaries of the National Monument are prohibited.




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 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, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




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 Articles 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 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.: 05.1-2-240/2008-12

29 March 2008



Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović


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 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.

On 21 December 2007 Mr. Muhidin Zupčić of Goražde submitted a proposal/petition to designate the archaeological site of the Neolithic settlement of Lug, Municipality Goražde, as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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 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 register entry)

-          Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.

-          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 and the condition of the property are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The Neolithic settlement is about 3.5 km south of Goražde, on the right bank of the Drina, at an altitude of 386 m, latitude 43°38’00.1”, longitude 18°58’22.5”, in the village of Zupčići, hamlet of Lug. The settlement was built on the very edge of the plateau above the river.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1870 (part), title deed no. 1485/02, cadastral municipality Goražde II, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

            The geographical location of Bosnia and Herzegovina, between the eastern Adriatic coast and the central Balkans, together with its geomorphic features, were among the factors that have dictated its cultural and historical evolution over many millennia, but perhaps most markedly during the Neolithic period. Certain regional features can be identified in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, although there have never been any clear regional boundaries. The tendency of these regions to gravitate towards other parts of the Balkans with which they had natural links had a marked impact on their cultural and historical evolution and on the formation of different cultural zones. However, these development processes were not ideal and did not coincide fully with strictly geographical criteria, so that the cultural zones do not exactly coincide with them either. The only areas where cultural zones coincide with geographical regions, though without sharp divisions, are the central region and present-day Herzegovina. The position of the central region meant that it was exposed to outside influences from various sources, which coloured its cultural development.

The eastern Bosnian region is less clearly differentiated from the adjoining areas. The southern mountainous region of the watershed of the Upper Drina, Neretva and Bosnia appears to form part of the borders of the Herzegovina region. This entire area of the Drina valley and eastern Bosnia is associated with corresponding processes in the central Balkans, from the early Neolithic, with the Starčevo culture(1), through to the end of the Neolithic with the Vinča culture(2),  with its settlements concentrated roughly to the east of the line running from Odžak to Goražde.

The main economic resource of the Neolithic inhabitants of present-day Herzegovina was livestock-raising and hunting, with agriculture in third place, whereas in what is now Bosnia the three were of equal importance. As regards the social structure of the Neolithic population, the widespread assumption that it was a matriarchal clan-based society centred on the family has been corroborated by observations from sites studied in Bosnia and Herzegovina (such as the large extended-family dugout house near Kakanj, indicating a clan-based society). On the other hand, bipartite houses such as those at Obre II indicate that some families carried out their own separate economic activities, suggesting the individualization of the family. The spiritual culture of the Neolithic population is harder to interpret, and many of its features remain hypothetical.  Sources providing information on their spiritual life are: necropolises and graves (particularly those with ritual burials), and cultural artefacts such as figural sculptures, altars and so on. A feature of the Neolithic in Bosnia and Herzegovina is individual finds of parts of the skeletons of adults and children (Zelena pećina, Lisičići, Ravlića pećina), and the separate ritual burial of children within the habitation itself (Obre I and II). The greater number of cult artefacts are associated with the fertility cult; of particular interest here are figural sculptures, especially anthropomorphic ones. In the early stages of the Neolithic they are few in number and associated only with the Starčevo culture, with highly stylized anthropomorphic sculptures.

Anthropomorphic sculptures from the Late Neolithic are more numerous and of better quality than the older models; this is especially so of the sculptures from the Butmir culture. The ornamental motifs of a solar-lunar character, the rhyta (sing. rhyton) with four feet, and the use of red to decorate the vessels, suggest that the spiritual life of the Neolithic population in this part of the world was a symbiosis of two different religious systems. The first, associated with the eastern and northern Balkans, is also associated with beliefs in the fertility of the land and pastures, while the other – typical of the coastal region – is based on a distinctive attitude to natural features and phenomena.

The Neolithic in Bosnia and Herzegovina covers the period from the 6th to the early 3rd millennium (B. Marjanović, 1988, 18).

The late (and to some extent the mid) Neolithic is represented in north-eastern and eastern Bosnia by the Vinča culture, which has been identified with certainty in the area between the Drina and Bosna rivers, or Usora, while to the south it extends as far as the river Spreča valley and along the Bosna valley to Tešanj and along the Drina valley to Goražde. The major sites of the Vinča culture in this area form part of its peripheral or less sophisticated variant. The eastern Bosnian variant is characterized by markedly more modest features than the classic and other variants. The principal pottery artefacts are biconical vessels and pots with feet, with cannelure decoration. The other forms and decorative techniques typical of other Vinča variants cannot be said to be typical of this one, and the same is true of the very poor sculpoture.

The eastern Bosnian variant has certain specific features that are unknown in the other regions of the widespread Vinča culture (such as the pointed base or undulating rim of vessels from Gornja Tuzla).


2. Description of the property

           The Neolithic settlement of Lug was built on the very edge of a plateau above the river Drina. During the construction of a sedimentation tank in the 1950s, the settlement was almost completely destroyed, but it is still possible to see that the centre of this small settlement was on a slight rise in the ground on the plateau. All signs of the settlement have quite understandably been lost towards the swampy ground (known locally as Jezera, the lakes) beside the site.  Pieces of very thick daub (15-20 cm thick) were found in the middle of the settlement, with or without the remains of thick stakes; the upper surface of the daub is flat and quite well smoothed in every case. Comparing these thick slabs of daub with finds in Koraj and Vinča suggest that they belonged to the solid flooring of a house.

Elsewhere in the settlement, dark stains in the clay were observed. Clearing one of these circles revealed that they are the insignificant remains of former pits in virgin soil.  Most of the pits have been destroyed. The dark circles in the clay were very close-packed, and always consisted of very small pieces of daub, indicating that the pits themselves were small, with a lightweight wall structure. It would seem that larger, solidly-built houses, including perhaps one quite large house, were erected on the higher ground, with covered pits surrounding them.

During a later inspection of the site, quantities of pottery and other finds were collected, from which the cultural and chronological features of the settlement in Lug could be identified with certainty.

Stone axes are represented in both standard shapes, tongue-shaped and triangular, mainly made of quartzite. One stone hammer-head was made of fine-grained gabbro. A few small flint tools were also collected.

The pottery is fairly simple. The more crudely-worked pottery is mainly reddish and brown on the surface, and is well fired, with the clay mixed with a fair quantity of fine sand. As a rule the base of the vessels is flat and the neck has a plain, unaccentuated rim.

The better-quality pottery provided the basis for determining the culture to which the Lug site belonged. The most typical and most common form of this type of pottery is the biconical bowl, with a tall or short upper cone, mainly stylistic variants. Bowls with flared necks are less common than those in which the upper cone rises more or less vertically from the transition from the belly. All these bowls are of well-purified clay, with a dark grey or red, relatively well glazed surface.

Dishes or shallow amphorae are a further evolution of the deeper bowls, and cannot be rigidly differentiated from them. The amphora that was found is small, and of a shape typical of the Vinča culture. Vases on hollow, bell-shaped or conical feet were also found. Finds with feet of this kind are quite rare, which does not mean they were in lesser use, since it is impossible to create a statistical image from this kind of material (on a destroyed site, from excavated soil).

None of the handles found were true strap handles. Most were tunnel-shaped, with horizontally-pierced holes; only a few bordered on the strap-handle type. One of the markedly individual features of the settlement in Lug is a handle in the shape of a bird's head (Benac, 1959, 58). Two such examples were found, one in coarse and the other in fine pottery, the latter relatively well modelled and almost realistic.

Ornamentation on the fine pottery consists of two basic groups: grooving, and various elongated protuberances, usually surrounded above by a row of circular indentations. The grooved ornaments are invariably found on the top cone of the bowls. The grooves are diagonal, twisted, or form the impression of hatched triangles. There are two basic variants of the moulded protuberances with decorative circles:

-          circles forming a decorative semicircle above the protuberance (the most common variant);

-          circular indentations on each side of the protuberance (giving the impression of a tunnel-shaped handle).

Incised zigzag lines, which are rarely seen in this culture, were observed on just one small fragment.

The figure that was found is an outstanding example of a flat statuette(3), which is highly schematically worked, and yet shows a harmony and elegance of form. The arms are crossed, with the long, incised fingers on the hips. The legs are unusually short, the buttocks very prominent, and the chest barely indicated. The head has no features apart from the modelling of the nose (pinched between the fingers), and has holes on either side from which the statuette can be hung. The figure shows no realistic details.

As well as this figure, the lower part of another figure was found, also with very prominent buttocks, but the surviving fragment is too small to determine with certainty what the figure looked like.

In overall expression, the pottery from Lug belongs to the Vinča cultural group. It is all dark grey or black, of average glazing, and almost exclusively with grooved ornamentation.  These features of the pottery place the Neolithic settlement in Lug within the Balkan-Anatolian Neolithic complex. The site in Lug is the southernmost site of the Vinča culture in Bosnia.

Two Neolithic settlements came into being at the same time: in Lug, on the right bank of the Drina, and Popov Do, on the left. Clearly the Drina was an obstacle to the spread of cultures here: people of the Vinča culture came as far as the river and went no further, while people of the Lisičići culture(4) (Popov Do) did the same on the other bank. Since these two settlements represent two different Neolithic complexes, with the river Drina forming the boundary between them at this point, it is also the boundary between the Balkan-Anatolian (Lug) and the Adriatic-Mediterranean complex (Popov Do), which is of great importance for the study of the spread of different civilizations in Neolithic times.


3. Legal status to date

According to information from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport, the archaeological site consisting of a prehistoric settlement, Middle Neolithic, Lug, Goražde, was not under the protection of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of BiH.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works 

The site has never been systematically investigated.

During the construction of a sedimentation tank in the 1950s, bulldozers broke up and almost entirely destroyed the cultural layer of the Neolithic settlement, and the only material to be collected was that found in the soil that was removed. Archaeologist Alojz Benac was able to determine roughly what kind of Neolithic site had been on the destroyed site, and to attribute it on the basis of pottery finds to the Vinča culture.


 5. Current condition of the property

The finding from an on-site inspection on 20 February 2008 is that there is a large rubbish tip on the site.

The site is at risk from the tip. During the preparations for drafting the Decision to designate it as a national monument, the Commission took steps to reduce the risk from the tip.  A letter (ref. 05.1-35-240/07-2 of 21 December 2007) was sent to the Federal Inspectorate Authority requesting that inspectorate supervision be carried out and protective measures introduced (a copy of the letter was also sent to Goražde Municipality and to the public utilities corporation). While the decision was being drafted, a letter was received from the Federal Ministry of Tourism and the Environment, ref. 07-23-1542/06-342, of 27 February 2008, notifying us that work is in hand on a study for the choice of an alternative site for the regional tip. Once the regional tip has been built, the dump will be relocated. Since the choice of site for the regional tip could take time, it is essential that the dump be removed from the site of the National Monument.


6. Specific risks

The archaeological site has been turned into a dump.



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.v.       value of details

D.         Clarity

D.ii.      evidence of historicalchange

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

E.         Symbolic value

E.i.       ontological value

G.         Authenticity

G.i.       form and design


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan

-          Photodocumentation;

-          Drawings



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


1959.    Benac, Alojz, “Dvije neolitske stanice kod Goražda”, Članci i građa za kulturnu istoriju istočne Bosne (Two Neolithic settlements near Goražde, Articles and material for the cultural history of eastern Bosnia), Regional Museum, Tuzla, vol. III, Tuzla, 1959.


1988.    Marjanović, Brunislav, “Neolitsko doba” (The Neolithic Period), Arheološki leksikon (Archaeological Lexicon), Sarajevo, 1988, 16-19.


(1) The Starčevo culture is the oldest Neolithic culture in Herzegovina, and one of the two components of the earliest features of the Neolithic in central Bosnia: the Starčevo-impresso culture. (Arheološki leksikon, Vol 1, 1988, 166)

(2) In north-eastern and eastern Bosnia the Vinča culture belongs to the Late (and in part to the Middle) Neolithic (Arheološki leksikon, Vol 1, 1988, 183)

(3) Captain Vaso Savić of the former JNA is to be thanked for rescuing the statuette and bringing it to the National Museum in Sarajevo.

(4) Widespread in Herzegovina during the Late Neolithic, this is a continental variant of the Hvar culture (Hvar-Lisičići culture). Major sites: Lisičići near Konjic, and Ravlića pećina (phase I a-c), Zelena pećina (stratum II), Gradac near Konjic and Popov do near Goražde (Arheološki leksikon, Vol. 1, 1988, 91).

SiteDepot Grave-round 400 meters from site Grave-round 400 meters from site
Archeological material - potteryArcheological material - Ornamentation on the potteryArcheological material - Statuette 

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