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Macedonia - Cultural Tourism - Prehistorical Period

Macedonia's Megalithic-era Kokino Observatory is located 1,030m above sea level on the Tativec Kamen Summit near Kumanovo. Archaeological and astronomical analyses have shown that the observatory is more than 3,800 years old. The oldest archaeological finds date from the Early Bronze Age. Finds from the Middle Bronze Age are the most numerous (mainly ceramic vessels, stone-mills and a few molds).. According to NASA, which earlier this year released a list ranking observatories by age, it is the fourth oldest in the world, after Abu Simbel in Egypt, Stonehenge in Britain and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. According to lot of researches, Kokino has incredible astronomical preciseness and has a central observation post and accessory observation posts. Kokino consists of two parts. It includes special stone markers used to track the movement of the Sun and Moon on the eastern horizon. The observatory used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox.


Neolithic Settlement Tumba Madzari

Tumba Madzari is most significant Neolithic settlement in Skopje valley. It was discovered in 1961/2 in the course of the archaeological trial excavations related to the construction of the motorway. The settlement of Tumba lies under it in the fertile field. Its location is very favourable. On one side there is a hill which provides the necessary security, first of all from the potential water rise of Katlanovo lake, and on the other it has everything that such a natural morphology can provide: wood, pastures, possible hunting, and it has fertile fields on the slopes turned towards the sun. In a way, the settlement has a central position in Skopje valley.Tumba Madzari was an economic and first of all a cultural centre in the micro-cosmos of the Neolithic man of this region.
The settlement has an irregular circular shape with a 220 m in diameter and 3m in height.
The first archaeological excavations were conducted in 1978 by the Museum of Macedonia, under the leadership of Voislav Sanev. There were three trial probes opened. The results showed that it was a Neolithic settlement, in three stages of life. The stratigraphy of the settlement has a cultural layer with 2.40 m in thickness, and 2.80 m with the pits. The life here was continuously taking place in the period between year 6000 and 4300 bc.
This settlement had its economic and cultural peak in the period of 5800-5200 year bc, that is in Anzabegovo-Vrshnik II-IV.
The settlement of Tumba Madžari is a protogenic core of today’s Skopje.
The first house was discovered in 1981, and it was identified as a sanctuary. Seven more houses have been discovered so far, but only the first one has been published. The house was built in the traditional technique of piles stuck in the ground, often flanked with stones/mills. The house construction shows that big chopped beams were built in the walls, and their prints are still visible. The walls are decorated with fingers from the outside, in spirals that end as primitive volutes. The area of the house is 8x8m, with a square shape. The roof is on two layers, made of straw placed on a wooden construction that is carried by thick piles on the outside, placed on the frontal and back side. The interior of the house is divided by a thin irregular parapet. It separates the two facilities built next to it. Another facility has been discovered in the north-east part of house 1. According the thesis that house 1 was a sanctuary; these facilities have been explained as sacrificial altars for cults, where food was treated. During the excavation there are a various of findings earthenware pots, pythoses with barbotine decorations, big frutaria with clay ribs on the inside of the rim, plates, cups, a small pyxis with a clay work relief on the bottom as a pintadera and various small vessels and tools, weights for a vertical loom, fishing nets biconal weights (reels), many bone spatulas with standard shapes, awls and needles With its perfect simple shape, askoses give a special character to Tumba Madzari and Upper Vardar region. In the later research, other fragments of cylinders and house with various dimensions and hair styles have been discovered. The hair styles in general indicate the extraordinarily rich fashion of the Neolithic woman. All of this material has been exhibited in the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Macedonia.
In this day you can visit reconstruction of the Neolithic village at the site of Tumba, and you can see how the Neolith people live in this area.


Govrlevo – Tserye

One exceptionally meaningful piece of evidence that a prehistoric Macedonian state did exist consists of the seals from the archeological site "Tserye" at the Govrlevo village, close to Skopje. Archaeologist Milosh Bilbiya, while researching the Neolithic suburb at Govrlevo on the 2nd horizon of living in 1982 - 1983, discovered a round ceramic seal with a handle in the shape of a stylized head of a bird, with a deeply engraved inscription on the round periphery of the artifact and on the round surface of the seal. The general composition of the inscriptions of the seal has a solar, cosmographic symbolism made up of written signs with the ancient Macedonian phonetic alphabet and in the ancient Macedonian language. On the surface of the circle a cosmography has been performed in the shape of concentric circles with graphemes and ligatures of the phrase: which deciphered from the right to the left, properly transcribed with the letters of the modern Macedonian standard language with meaning "Solely with god I am". The Adam of Govrlevo, often referred to as the Adam of Macedonia, is a Neolithic sculpture found by archaeologist Milos Bilbija of the Skopje City Museum. More than 7.000 years old, it is the oldest artefact found in the Republic of Macedonia and among the oldest in the world. At the world archaeological symposium in Croatia in 2002, archaeologists declared the sculpture one of the world's ten most important archaeological finds. It dates from the 6th millennium BC. The sculpture represents a male body sitting and shows remarkable details in the spine, ribs and navel, and erect phallus.


Bay of Bones

Ohrid was enriched with another cultural and historical landmark as well as with a tourist attraction - Museum on Water - an exceptional archaeological complex, which is one of a kind in the region.
On the southern coast of Gradishte, the Bay of Bones, a pile-dwelling settlement has been erected, which in the past was spreading at a total surface of 8.500 m2. It is an authentic reconstruction of a part of the pile-dwelling settlement, dating back between 1200 and 700 BC.
A Roman military fortification (Gradishte) has been reconstructed on the hill above the Bay of Bones simultaneously with constructing the pile-dwelling settlement and the Water Museum. The walls of the fortification that once had protected the Roman Empire from its enemies, are once again lifted up on the hill near Gradishte.
The Roman fortress is connected with the settlement in order tourists and visitors to be given an extraordinary opportunity to experience time travel, from prehistoric to ancient times and vice versa.


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