Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

Revisiting the Walls of Asseria

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Few months back I had a chance to revisit the impressive walls of Asseria near Benkovac. Asseria is, now abandoned site, is boasting some of the most impressive defense walls in this part of Europe. I am quite often here but this was a special visit as I was visiting with conservationist Ivan Matković and directors of both Benkovac Museum (Marin Čurković) and Museum of Broken Glass (Mr. Ivo Fadić who was in charge of the excavations since the beginning).

asseriablog011I wrote about it almost 9 years ago: https://secretcroatia.blog/2009/07/25/lost-roman-cities-of-dalmatia-asseria/ so here is just briefly:

Asseria was founded in the pre-historic iron-age period. It was then an important settlement and center of the Liburnians, the Illyrian tribe that inhabited the area before the Romans. Scholars think that name Asseria originates from word in Illyrian that describes the “mast” or high position since it is located on 234 m high hill. It had a very prominent position on the road that connected the colony of Iader (the present day Zadar) with other the municipal centers like Nedinum (Nadin), Varvaria (Bribir) and the military outpost in Burnum (Ivoševci). The boundaries of the territory of Asseria reached as far north as the village of Bruška and east to Dobropoljci. The borders were established to control the pastures for livestock. Some border stones from the time of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Nero and Vespasianus, which marked the borderlines, have been found and preserved.

You can learn more on the site at wonderful post at GoHvar blog: https://gohvarblog.com/2016/06/12/the-walls-of-asseria-ancient-liburnian-settlement-and-roman-town/

And then it got abandoned, initially assumed, because of the Barbarian invasion that destroyed several important cities in the Panonia region of the Empire. The walls are still standing: 2,5 km in length and over 7 meters high in places. Certain megaliths weighing up to 5 tons.

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The main walls are quite impressive but there are several puzzling layers.

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Liburnian grave

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There are several walls that are preceding the well know megalithic one. These walls are not as impressive in quality of build but they are telling a different story of the layers of history before the main wall. Obviously, the people of Asseria got so wealthy to be able to build these massive walls. There was also some leveling over the centuries so there are a lot of puzzles and answers hidden.

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Enforcement to the ancient wall with grave next to it

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Digging deeper

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But the biggest mistery is the medieval house found within the walls.

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This is “not supposed” to be there as there was this long standing belief that Asseria got abandoned in the late antiquity and life never returned.

New excavation campaign coming up this Fall to bring more answers. And questions.

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5 Replies to “Revisiting the Walls of Asseria”

  1. So sorry that I missed this. I am enjoying Croatia vicariously thru the World Cup. Argentina tried to bully the Croatian players but they misread the Croatian character.

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