The greatest archaeological discoveries worldwide usually happen by chance. Today, in the Archaeological Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia in Skopje, we are proudly presenting the story of such a discovery, which happened in 1918, in the vicinity of the village of Trebenište, by the Ohrid Lake. This story is quite unique and inspiring, not only for the exclusivity of the finds or the circumstances of the discovery, but also for its international character, since archaeologists from three countries, during the past 100 years, have individually excavated pieces of a mysterious historical and cultural puzzle. The puzzle is now being assembled as a whole, for the first time in its history, yet this time with the joint effort of archaeologists from the same three neighboring countries where these pieces are being kept and presented in their main museums.
The exhibition “100 years Trebenište” honors the anniversary of the discovery of the Trebenište necropolis, one of the most significant and certainly one of the best known sites in the Balkans. Even now, 100 years since the discovery of the very first golden mask, the site remains a mystery, challenging many generations of archaeologists to reveal the story of the unknown aristocracy that lived by the shores of the Ohrid Lake during the 6th century BC.
Couple of years ago, custodians from the National Archaeological Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia in Skopje, the National Museum in Belgrade and the National Archeological Institute and Museum from Sofia started to meet and discuss the anniversary of the discovery of Trebenište. On the basis of our excellent professional relations and joint enthusiasm, we have all agreed that the most appropriate way to celebrate the anniversary would be to prepare an exhibition that would include the finds from the excavations at Trebenište. The exhibition containe more than 400 finds, among which are funerary masks, plates in the shape of a hand - appliqués made of gold, rhytons, kantharoi and other jewelry, objects made of silver, amber necklaces, bronze vessels, weapons and ceramic objects. All these finds, together with the photographs, archive data , as well as the design of the exhibition, are aimed to present the myth of Trеbenište.