Fragment of 9th-century church discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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A carved stone panel has been unearthed at the site of the Christian Church of St. Peter in the historic village of Zavala, which is located near Bosnia and Herzegovina’s southern border and the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Fragment of 9th-century church discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Credit: Municipality of Ravno



The archaeological site of Crkvina is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The discovery of a stone relief altar partition also surprised archaeologists. The panel was found by chance, during the conservation of the site, which was considered to have been thoroughly excavated. 

Fragment of 9th-century church discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Credit: Municipality of Ravno



“We were surprised because we found one of the rare panels of the altar partition, which was once built into a Romanesque church. It turned out to be the oldest church from the 9th century, the time of the Romanesque. I must point out that this is a Romanesque-style church which is unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from here, they have two more in Croatia,” said archaeologist Snjezana Vasilj.

Fragment of 9th-century church discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Credit: Municipality of Ravno



The slab is richly decorated with Christian symbols, with a bird holding a bunch of grapes and a chalice carved on it. 

Fragment of 9th-century church discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Credit: Municipality of Ravno

Excavations conducted in 1957 revealed that five churches have stood on the site. A total of 42 graves has also been uncovered at the site, Vasilj said.

The historic village of Zavala is also home to the medieval Zavala monastery.

Source: SPC [November 20, 2020]

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