OVERVIEW OF THE EXCAVATION OF THE
One of the most spectacular discoveries on the Balkan Peninsula, the TrebeniŠte necropolis was discovered during the last few months of the First World War in 1918, while renovating the road that lead from Ohrid to Kichevo, near the village TrebeniŠte. At the time of the renovation of the road towards Kichevo, some two kilometers south of the village TrebeniŠte, on May 20th 1918 the Bulgarian army under the command of Captain eng. Georgiev discovered the first grave of the necropolis, with rich grave goods. Ilija Acev and Nikola Darkev carefully collected the grave goods. Dimitar Mustakov and Evtim Sprostranov notified The National Archaeological Museum in Sofia regarding the new discovery in TrebeniŠte. Upon request from the Archaeological Museum, on July 6th 1918 the Bulgarian Command sent Karel Shkorpil to continue the excavation near Ohrid and 6 more graves were excavated. Later, the results from the excavations will be processed and published by Bogdan Filov, eminent Bulgarian archaeologist and politician, in cooperation with Karel Shkorpil. Today the finds from these excavations are housed in The National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia.
of the army in the town of Kyustendil about the results
of his mission between July 6 and July 30, 1918.
Archive of SMHA
1918. Archive of ASA
Archive of ASA.
excavations at Trebenishte with Mustakov’s note
on the back, May 23, 1918. Archive of ASA.
Museum in Belgrade)
Lahtov and Jože Kastelic at
Trebenishte in 1954 (Lahtov
family, private collection).
(Lahtov family, private collection).
National Museum in Belgrade.)
Filov by Stefan Ivanov, 1930.
National Gallery Collection
(Photo by National Gallery,
The second phase of the excavations of the TrebeniŠte necropolis took place during the period between 1930 and 1939, managed by Nikola Vulic, professor at the University in Belgrade. Nikola Vulic, together with Milovan Kokic, curator at The Museum of Skopje (Kurshumli Han) started to excavate in July 1930 in the village Gorenci. The excavations were carried on the area where the first graves were discovered. In July Grave 8 was uncovered and its discovery was published in the daily newspaper Politika. The sensational discovery attracted the scientific community and new projects were initiated. Vulic’s decade of excavation of the TrebeniŠte necropolis resulted in discovery of six rich and nine poor burials, as well as two burials under the fortification. The first themed exhibitions from this necropolis were made in 1932 in The National Museum in Belgrade, in the Cvjeta Zuzorik Pavilion. The finds from these excavations are housed in The National Museum in Belgrade.
The third phase of the excavations begun in 1953 and 1954 under the management of Joze Kastelic from The National Museum in Ljubljana and the curator Vasil Lahtov from The Ohrid Museum at the site of Suva Cheshma, in the immediate vicinity of the Turkish cemetery. During these excavations ten graves (from Grave 23 to Grave 33) were discovered, the so-called “poor graves”.
Vasil Lahtov made a systematization of the entire archeological material; he also made a revision of all of the aspects of the excavation, the boundaries of the necropolis, the burial rites, finds and their chronology.
In March 1972 it was established that the road bed for the regional road Kichevo-Ohrid would pass through the sites Suva Cheshma, Tri Cheljusti and Vrtuljka. For this reason, during the period between April and October 1972 archaeological excavations were conducted by The Institute for protection of monuments of culture in Ohrid and The National Conservation Centre of Republic of Macedonia under the management of Vlado Malenko. Twenty three burials, dated in the period between the 7th and the 4th century BC were uncovered. The results from these excavations were published in the publication “Tri Cheljusti and Vrtuljka” by Pasko Kuzman. The finds from these excavations are housed in the Institute for protection of monuments of culture and museum - Ohrid.