Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The Sanctuaries

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.02.00  Humanities  Archaeology   

Code Science Field
H340  Humanities  Archaeology 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
landscape archaeology, ancient Slavs, Early Middle Ages, old faith, sanctuaries, society, early statehood
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  09029  Mateja Belak  Archaeology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  192 
2.  02595  PhD Timotej Knific  Archaeology  Researcher  2014 - 2015  415 
3.  18894  Marta Tamara Korošec    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
4.  15298  PhD Zvezdana Modrijan  Archaeology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  81 
5.  29464  PhD Daša Pavlovič  Archaeology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  85 
6.  09461  PhD Andrej Pleterski  Archaeology  Head  2014 - 2017  602 
7.  24055  Vesna Svetličič Turk  Archaeology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  45 
8.  27737  PhD Benjamin Štular  Archaeology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  261 
9.  19993  Dragutin Valoh    Technical associate  2014 - 2017  82 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0613  National museum of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055482000  2,648 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,484 
That religion, economy and society are inextricably linked in a whole does not have to justify. We currently have a deeper insight into this set among the Slavs for the time of Christiansation onwards, with assistence of written sources. This is highly related to a social stratification and to the formation of large territorial medieval Slavic states. About the pre-Christian forms of Slavic statehood give us written sources very little information. Therefore, historiography in some cases created a caricature of some kind of anarchy, in which the ancient Slavs lived. Does this mean that the ancient Slavs were without statesmanship and were unable to create a state? What is able the archeology to tell about this topic? This raises the methodological question of what kind and how large are the interpretive possibilities of archeology to be included in a discussion about a creative social role of the old faith (neutral term instead of pejorative word paganism). Previous research has shown that it in this question "a mythical landscape" has a very big interpretative potential. With the mythical landscape those forms of a cultural landscape are meant, which were formed by the people in accordance with their mythical conceptions, or which were at least in such a way treated, with the aim to gain the mastery over the forces of nature. The main items in space, on which magical acts rely, are sanctuaries. Since the mythical landscape is materialized, of course, it could be the subject of an archaeological research. A research question is suggested, whether each ancient Slavic territorial unit had its concluded structure of the mythical landscape? A positive answer to this question would mean that it is possible to archaeological identify and to explore the traces of the ancient Slavic territorial political units.   The objective of the project, based on selected Slovenian cases, is to determine whether there are concluded spatial structures of the mythical landscapes, which could be linked to the existence of old-faith-based political units of the ancient Slavs.   In order to achieve this, there is the intention to publish the results of excavations of the potential sanctuaries Otok na Blejskem jezeru (Island on Lake Bled) and Sv. Jurij na Legnu (St. George in Legen), as well as to review the publication of Ptujski grad (Ptuj Castle) and the discussion that followed, and to perform spatial analysis of micro-regions in which these sites are located. Furthermore, to locate with this analysis the spatial structure of the local mythical landscape and to determine whether there were changes in its structure, which could be linked to the development of local ruler elite, respectively to the process of Christianisation, and to determine whether there exist recurring features of mythical landscape structure that could be understood as an evidence of the existence of old-faith political units of the ancient Slavs.
Significance for science
Archeology is not only objects, but also the environment of these objects, from narrower than graves and buildings, broader than cemeteries and settlements, to the widest - landscape. The project develops new methodological tools for studying the landscape as an archaeological artifact and thus opens a new research area. It provides an additional possibility of studying the organization of past societies, such as those poorly documented or even undocumented by written sources, as well as those that are apparently well documented, but only with the biased optics. The project shows what, and of what kind is the spatial imprint of the territorial smaller political units of the old Slavs (župa). Its materialization is the recurring spatial structure of the mythical landscape. Therefore, the methodological results of the project are not only important for the knowledge of the development of early medieval society of the old Slavs, but also for the development of all those societies that at any time wrote their beliefs and organization into space. The project therefore represents an important incentive for the development of the profession at European level.
Significance for the country
With the implementation of the project, we obtained additional methodological tools for better protection of the cultural and natural heritage in the Republic of Slovenia, because many of the holly places are at the same time important natural monuments, which have always attracted people's attention. In the narrowest sense, however, the project solved the collapse of information about objects, the graves of published sites, and about the sites as a whole that constantly decay (unstable metal objects, the collapse of paper documents, the death of most of the excavators). The organization of the mythical landscape derives from a specific understanding of nature. This is the "soft" knowledge and knowledge that has enabled people to live sustainably and sustainably development in a given natural environment. We can get insights that are useful even in the present. Knowing the old meanings of spatial arrangements, the identity of the population with the environment increases significantly, which increases the sensibility of all harmful interventions in this environment. With the appropriate organization of this sensitivity, Slovenia can become an international example of good practice.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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