New knowledge is gained about the afterlife in Antiquity in the Prespa region

  • Post category:Events
  • Reading time:3 mins read

This year, the fourth archeological research campaign of the Hellenistic necropolis “Gimbabica” near the village of Izbishta in Prespa was concluded.

The necropolis is located on a flat plateau that rises above the modern road that connects Resen and Ohrid, near the village of Izbishta.

In fact, with the construction of the modern road in the distant 1953 the first findings from the necropolis were discovered by chance. After the expert inspection by the archaeologist Vasil Lahtov from the Museum in Ohrid, it was established that the tombs date back to the 3rd century BC. Exactly 65 years later, the story about this necropolis was revived. The team of archaeologists from the NI Archaeological Museum of Republic of North Macedonia, led by Pero Ardzanliev, MA, in 2018 managed to accurately locate and chronologically determine the necropolis. Meanwhile, this year the focus of the research was aimed at getting more information about its organization, grave forms and rituals and discovering something more about the life stories of the people buried here.

What is interesting and what emerged from this year’s research is the discovery of new grave forms, as well as the observation of a new burial ritual. That is to say, this year, for the first time in the necropolis, and thus for the first time in the region, graves were discovered which are rectangular pits freely dug in the virgin soil without any kind of construction, which in turn is something new compared to the grave constructions from the previous research seasons where various grave constructions made of stone and stone slabs were discovered. Furthermore, a new occurrence that was observed at the necropolis is the discovery of cremation burials, discovered for the first time in this region in the Hellenistic period, and something that is not typical even in the neighboring Ohrid region, where much larger number of necropolises and graves have been excavated. According to the discovered movable archeological material, these tombs can be freely dated in the already established chronological frames of the necropolis, the second half of the 4th century BC and the first half of the 3rd century BC.

This necropolis is very important for the Macedonian archeology because so far it is the only necropolis in the Prespa region dated from this period that is being systematically researched. All the results obtained are a novelty for the science that fill in the unjustly created gap.

After the field research, we continue with the cabinet analysis and study of the obtained data and material, and then with public presentation of the results. Gimbabica and Prespa offer many more years of valuable archaeological research work.

The project manager is Pero Ardzanliev, MA, and the expert team consists of archaeologist Ilija Boshkovski and Blagoja Fuzevski and it was carried out with financial support from the Ministry of Culture.