ZAGREB, 26 Dec (Hina) – An exhibition of artefacts found in a burial mound in Jalžabet, a village located between Varaždin and Ludbreg in northern Croatia, dating back to the sixth century BC opened recently at the Croatian History Institute.
The “Gold to gold” exhibition was opened by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who said the Gomila burial mound was one of the most valuable examples of prehistoric burial architecture of its kind in Europe.
From the end of the ninth to the mid-fourth century BC, the region from the Atlantic to the Danube was dominated by the Hallstatt culture, which was sort of an early form of European unity, he said.
The region along the Drava and Mura rivers belonged to the east Hallstatt culture and it is part of our prehistoric cultural heritage, the prime minister added.
In our region, the Iron Age came out of the spiritual and material culture of the late Bronze Age, he said, adding that the deceased were incinerated and the most prominent members of society were buried in tombs below artificially made mounds called tumuli, Plenković said.
He added that it was of special value to Croatia that one of the best preserved and most important locations from the early Iron Age in central Europe was south of the Drava river, in Jalžabet and nearby Martijanec.
Two tumuli called Gomila were found in Jalžabet in which experts recognised the burial places of the Hallstatt aristocracy, Plenković said.
He recalled that luxury finds made of various materials were discovered in the tombs. They are rare items of gold and amber, examples of supreme craftsmanship which show that the people who made them had developed many of the techniques and skills which we inherited, he said.
Those items were buried for millennia and now researchers are faced with the challenge of finding out about a prehistoric society, lives and beliefs centered around one event, the ceremonial burial of a ruler for whom one of the biggest tumuli in Europe was built, the one in Jalžabet, Plenković said, adding that there are still many mysteries concerning the complexly built Gomila. He said the burial mound also had tourism potential and that the exhibition comprised everything archaeologists found in the last four years.