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02. 02. 2016 @ Antonija Eremut

Archaeological collection, Gorica

Category: cultural heritage GPS: LAT: 43.4198009272211 / LONG 17.2909248144962

Archaeological collection in Gorica was set in 2006 in the rooms of the old parish office. The permanent collection consists of the exhibits that were found in the course of the archaeological research of the site of Samatorje, Grabarje and Grotuša in the period from 1995 - 2003, and also of other singular finds revealed on the area of Gorica and Sovići.

The oldest finds in the collection belong to the Early Stone Age (Neolithic) and they originate from the Ravlić cave in Drinovci and from the hill of Pit. Within the collection there are mostly the finds such as ceramics, the reconstructed dishes, glass artefacts, jewellery, crosses, gemstones, 53 coins, parts of mosaics and sacral stone ornaments.  

Systematic research of the site Šamatorje in Gorica, on the local cemetery in the vicinity of the ancient church of St Stephen, was carried out only in 1995 and it was under the guidance of the archaeologist Tihomir Glavaš. Under the St Stephan church there were discovered the foundations of the Early Christian basilica from the 5th and the 6th century. On the northern part of the church there was explored the narteks (the entrance hall), katekumenikon (the area for the baptized) and the baptistery. Piscina (the well) for the baptismal water has the form of the cross, with the bottom made out of lime mortar. Basilica is oriented in the direction east-west, with the altar on the east and the main entrance on the west. It used to consist of three naves, which on the eastern parts used to finish with the rounded apses. On the broader area of the Early Christian basilica there were found several decorative stone fragments from the Pre-Romanesque period. A realistic assumption is that on the remains of the Early Christian basilica from the 9th century there was built an Early Croatian church of small dimensions and its remains have never been found. Around the church there used to be performed the burials in the course of the Middle Ages, because during the excavations there were found several Early Croatian graves.  Inside them there were recorded typical grave finds, such as earrings, rings, spurs, little knives and other objects.  In the 14th and the 15th century in Šamatorje there used to be a big graveyard of bilig, and the greatest part of it was built inside the foundations of the church, while some of them can be seen even today among the new graves.

The site of Šamatorje in Gorica in the vicinity of Grude shows that on that area is preserved the sacral and sepulchral continuity from the prehistory until today.  It is possible that from the late antiquity until today the patron of the parish Gorice–Sovići, Saint Stjepan the First Martyr, has been the same because the saintly cults have been maintained for a long time among the local people.