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Vinica Fortress (Виничко кале)




Location: Vinica  Map










Vinica Fortress is situated on a strategic hill overlooking village of Vinica in the eastern Republic of Macedonia. This is an important archaeological site those first settlements date back to the ancient times around 2200 BC. Some of the oldest Christian icons from the 4th and 6th century were discovered here. Today 25,000 square metres of the historic settlement still undergo exploration by the historians and archaeologists. Most of the artefacts discovered here are presented in the Macedonian capital of Skopje.




The Vinica Kale as an archaeological site has been recorded since 1954 by M. Grbic, under the name of Gradiste, and later, in 1958, M. and D. Garashanin coined the term "Kale Bair". The interest in his research arose in 1978, when archaeologist F. Krstevski brought to the Museum of Macedonia five fragments of terracotta reliefs with iconographic representations, hitherto unknown, particularly interesting for the study of the ancient Christian period. Thus, since 1985, archaeological excavations have been underway, which continue to this day. At first, as a safeguard, and later systematically, these excavations revealed the relative stratigraphy of the site. According to archaeological findings, especially ceramics, life in the settlement continued for a long time, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, with the largest number of architectural remains from the late antique period (IV century-V century). Remains of walls have been found on several profane objects, with organized porches, seating benches, warehouses, stone walls and lime mortar, which are preserved up to 4 m in separate places. Some have pits, preforms, plumbing and more. The objects were erected beside a defensive rampart, from which part of it was discovered along with a semicircular tower. The rampart is made of crushed stone and lime mortar, and is 3 m wide. It is noteworthy that a large number of whole and fragmented replicas of terracotta icons were found in the rubble between the walls, with invaluable archaeological, artistic and theological value dimensions. Approximately in the middle of the site are poorly preserved remains of the walls of a small medieval church, much earlier dug by "wild diggers" - gold diggers. Around the church there are numerous specimens of architectural plastic, such as columns, bases, capitals, parts of cancers, transects, floor boards, etc., and of moving material fragments of ceramic vessels, bronze objects, iron and bone, then jewelry. , coins and more. A 12th-century rich female tomb was also discovered, containing 9 glass and 4 bronze gold plated bracelets, 11 bronze rings (several gilded) and one bone object (needle).





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