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Archaeology Department

The organisation and systematisation of collections at the Archaeology Department is based on classical chronological divisions, thus the department itself is divided into three sections: the Prehistory Section, the Classical Antiquity Section and the Middle Ages Section. The department also has a Conservation Workshop and a Documents and Records Section.

The archaeological collections cover all aspects of human life in Bosnia and Herzegovina (habitation, everyday life, economy, art, spirituality, religion, etc.), from the early Stone Age to the late Middle Ages. The artefacts were mostly gathered in the field, while a small portion were purchased or received as gifts.

In addition to their collection and curatorial activities, the staff engage in scientific and research work. The results of their research are processed and published in the Herald of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Archaeology, which has been in print ever since the museum was founded in 1888.             

Belt end from Vrbljani

Several early mediaeval artefacts were discovered during archaeological exploration of a castle from late antiquity in Vrbljani near Ključ. Especially notable is the gilded bronze belt end decorated on both sides in the so-called insular style.

arheologija srednji vijek nadgrobna ploča

Fragment of a panel from the tomb of king Stjepan Tomaš

During the excavations in Bobovac, the seat of Bosnian rulers, several fragments of panels from the graves of three Bosnian kings were discovered.

arheologija prahistorija lonac

Butmir culture pot

The most significant Late Neolithic cultural phenomenon in Bosnia and Herzegovina was named after its type-site (the site considered representative of a particular culture), Butmir near Sarajevo.

arheologija prahistorija figura glave

Human head figurine from Butmir

Figural sculpture is an especially notable characteristic of the Butmir culture. Most of these finds of human – or rarely, animal – figurines are from the Butmir findspot.

arheologija prahistorija figurina

Figurine of a woman

Most human figurines from Butmir are female and have prominent sexual characteristics. Some items feature carved lines and punctures highlighting clothing details – dress, shoulder straps, necklaces, etc.