The Archeological Site ‘Zidovar’ Near Oresac

‘Zidovar’, a famous prehistoric archeological site, is near the village of Oresac in South Banat, at the east edge of DeliblatoSands. It is on a high and mostly sand plateau above the riverCaras. The plateau is about 40m higher than the valley, with irregular, oval shape and covers the surface of approximately half a hectare. Its remarkable position drew the attention of researchers. It was first mentioned on the topographic map from the early 18th century which was drawn for Prince Eugene of Savoy. It describes the site as ‘Zidovar, the ruins of the ancient settlement’. In the last decades of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, several Hungarian archeologists visited the ‘Zidovar’ site. The surface clay discoveries classify ‘Zidovar‘site as a Dacian settlement. Felix Milleker, the first South Banat archeologist, adopted that opinion, but he guessed, apparently correctly, that there was a Bronze Age settlement on the Zidovar plateau.

The first archeological excavations on ‘Zidovar’ site were done in 1948, and 1949, supervised by Professor BrankoGavela. The excavation continued with intermissions until 1977 (1964-1966, 1971 and 1977). The ‘Zidovar’ was identified as Celtic settlement of the oppidum type due to the discoveries made in the upper cultural layer. The recognition of the‘Zidovar’ as a Celtic settlement remained the main interpretation of the findingsfor a long time.

Recent thorough archeological researches on the ‘Zidovar’ site were organized by the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade, Department of Archeology and the City Museum of Vrsac in 1996-2002 and 2006. The primary goal in the initial years of the research was to establish a plausible vertical stratigraphy. A small stratigraphic pit was investigated in the west of the Zidovar plateau. The thickness of the culture layer was 5,60m with the remains of the objects from I and II millennium B.C. The research led to the distinction of five cultural horizons in the vertical stratigraphy of the ‘Zidovar’, from the Bronze Age to the so-called Roman Dacia at the end of the 1st century A.D. In the south-east section of the Zidovar plateau, a large surface of approximately 750m2 is being researched, and the excavation has reached the depth of 1,10m to the present day. The most numerous excavated archeological items are made of clay but there are other discoveries such as tools and weapons made of stone, bones, animal horns, bronze and iron.

During the archeological excavation in September 2001, a storage of luxurious silver jewelry was uncovered in the south-east section of the settlement. The storage of the ornaments contained 160 silver items, 129 amber pearls, 2 silver rings and 2 pendants of brown bear canines. The weight of all the items after the preservation process is 2300g.

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