Dolmen in Dalmatia?

I get to cross a lot of territory when traveling. It still amazes me how there are still so many beautiful places to see and things to discover in this little country of ours. Yesterday, I was doing an inspection in Tugare: a tiny village in the hillside of Omiš best known for Tugarke cherries. The entire region is known as Poljica: an autonomous community which existed in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. It was organized as a “peasants’ republic”, and it’s best known because of the Poljica Statute first written in 1440. Today, the region is slowly getting abandoned as people moved to the coastal towns and work mostly in tourism,

Overlooking Srednja Poljica and peaks of Očur in the distance
Overlooking Srednja Poljica and peaks of Očur in the distance

First we met with locals in a tiny hamlet of Truša. Very colorful Điđi is the soul of the place and a walking encyclopedia of everything related to the region as he was born and grew up here.

Điđi! Điđi!

Our goal was very scenic view point of Stomorica with an ancient church and a stunning panorama of the region and Brač Island. But, along the way, I have noticed something strange in the woods.

Dolmen?
Dolmen?

The structure has all the features of a dolmen and definitely looks like one. This is on Wikipedia on dolmens:
A dolmen, also known as a cromlech, portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BCE). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact.

Or read more on the actual page

However, this is not something encountered in Croatia!

Dolmens are characteristic for most of Europe and Asia but almost none have been discovered in Croatia. There is only one on Cres Island: http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=15452 and it does not really look anything elaborate like this one in Truše. Here are more images:

dolmen in croatia

interior

From above From above

There are several structures nearby that need proper inspection.

Structure Structure

It is quite unlikely that no one ever wrote about this as it is on a very popular route. However, I have not encountered a single word on this particular structure. It is particularly strange as Mons. Ante Škobalj (a local priest) was born here and actually wrote a well known book on ceremonial mounds, customs and traditions. It is almost impossible that he was not familiar with this place!

Obredne gomile
Obredne gomile

In any case, this should be inspected soon. I am sure there were lots of dolmens in Croatia in the past but all were destroyed for all sorts of reasons. Is this the last one standing?

And that is not the only mystery these woods hide…

Some 50 meters from the road, is a set of strange, megalithic ruins. Called “Muratov dvor” (Murat’s home), it is a set of ancient buildings built of large rocks. Very large rocks…

megalithic walls

The walls with windows
The walls with windows

No one really builds houses this way…

Entrance to first floor?
Entrance to ground floor?
The interior
The interior

measure

Tugare… small village with some serious mysteries.

 EDIT: Not a dolmen. A small team of local experts did further research and we realized it was juts a conveniently positioned flat rock that fell (or was broken off) the larger cliff nearby. It was positioned as a shelter.

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12 thoughts on “Dolmen in Dalmatia?

  • Damned Alan, you did it again !!!
    What an amazing discovery.
    You’re absolutely right, this is something to be researched by professionals.
    Can’t wait to hear more about it.
    Bravo my friend !!!

  • Thx Pim! :)))
    I should be bringing few archaeologists and a geologist to the site quite soon. If this really is a dolmen, then it is nothing short of a sensation. If this is a dolmen… 😉

  • hi, very interesting, but you must know that in Herzegovina region you may found many this-like megalithic structures (in official archeology completely unknown) and a numerous real cyclopean – megalithic walls as well in several hundreds old houses, and so as in more numerous prehistoric illyrian or preillyrian hillforts – called ‘gradina’s, Herzegovina is the biggest potential megalithic and not yet discovered paradise for any king of adventurers or investigators – lot of greetings from rocky Herzegovina

  • I am quite aware of those buildings and you can check the older posts of this blog for articles on numerous historic monuments (Daorson being one of them) but the point is that dolmen monument has not been found in this region: Dalmatia and Hercegovina being ONE region culturally for millenia. However, I stay away from branding everything as Illyrians as that is basically calling all those tribes “Yugoslavian” mashing everything under one culture: There were Daorsi, Dalmati, Liburni… and possibly a culture preceding all of them. Of course, happy to investigate more! You can write to my email if you want to stay in contact when I visit Hercegovina next month

  • Yes, you are right but on the basis of my field observation (more than 100 big bronze-iron aged hillforts in Herzegovina) and based on till now published archaeology papers about prehistoric hillforts and prehistoric settlements and prehistoric places – it can be clearly concluded that the best preserved real megalithic structures in whole area from Istria, Dalmazia to Monte Negro – are located (without any doubt) in so called lower Herzegovina – in the area where have lived the Daorsi tribe, and Protodaorsi (possible Pelasgi) during Bronze age period. So I know, besides Daorson, several bronze-iron aged hillforts, so monumental and big with real megalithic walls like no any in Istria and Dalmatia, and what is most interesting, not at all known to people, even not known to archaeologist, this is all because – their very inaccessible position on the top of steep rocky hills, where if you want to get there, you must have a alpinistic climbing methods and you must have a very good condition. When you get in Herzegovina send me mail , I can tell you coordination of some of this-like megalithic hillforts.

  • Ok, I will, and so for this dolmen – this is also without any doubt something very very interesting, I have found similar megalithic structures here in Herzegovina, for which I think that represent a some kind of ancient house or somekind of deposit ? So, the main conclusion and for Dalmatia and for Herzegovina is that this area just started to showing many remains of real megalithic civilisation, valuably just as those in western and southern Europe– maybe even more valuable and interesting.

  • This is Vinko without any doubt real dolmen – absolute is clear that this huge megalith have been intentionally moved to this position. Thanks Alan for this post- because with this (whatever it will be showed what is it) you are lounched very big interests in whole Dinaric-Adriatic karst area for finding thislike megalithic remains.

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