AND CLASSICAL MONUMENTS OF CULTURE
Neolithic and eneolithic period
In the Ohrid region there are several Neolithic
settlements: Dolno Trnovo in Ohrid and Zlastrana in the village of Gorno Sredorece
(Debarca), as well as the Kutlina site in the village of Velmej (Debarca) that dates back
to the Eneolithic period. There are also several sites from the Bronze Age: Lakoceresko
Gradiste, Koselsko Gradiste, Tumba near the village of Svinista, and the recently
discovered lake-dwelling settlement "Ploca Micov Grad" located near Gradiste
peninsula on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid.
Excavations carried out in the three Neolithic settlements have
shown the presence of the remains of buildings, graves and ceramics. On the surface of the
sites Lakocersko Gradiste and Koselsko Gradiste fragments of ceramic pots as well as stone
and bone tools were found.
Most probably the Neolithic sites now known in
the Ohrid region date back from IV - III millenium BC
The Iron Age
Excavations carried out near the village of
Gorenci, around 9 km from Ohrid (Suva Cesma, Tri Celusti and Vrtulka), have shown the
presence of certain material indicating that the site dated back from the late period of
the Iron Age II. Going back chronologically through the Iron Age in Macedonia, new
cultural developments can be traced back to the VI and V century BC This period is marked
as the Iron Age III, or the period of formation of the Macedonian archaic style manifested
by the "principal's crypts". These tombs were discovered in the necropolis
"Trebenista" near village Gorenci. Another necropolis from the same period was
discovered near the village Recica, northern of Ohrid.
In the archaeological excavations that started in
1918 and were carried out with interruptions until 1972 a total of 56 burial structures
were discovered. The majority of them contained wealthy funeral artifacts.
During the VI century BC formation and
presence of certain ethnic groups in the Balkans was already evident. In the Ohrid region,
the Enhelians were mentioned. The most significant findings are the golden funeral masks
contained in the rich "principal" crypts in Gorenci. The masks were made out of
golden tin and they are subjects of a series of observations in the scientific world.
According to some scientists, the characteristics of their style, i.e. the incrusted
ornamental patterns, are characteristic for the Greek art from VI century BC Others claim
that these patterns can be related only to the Macedonian art.
Today the precious findings of the necropolis
"Trebenista" beautify the exhibition stands of the museums in Sofia - Bulgaria
and Belgrade - FR Yugoslavia.
From the time of Philip II of Macedonia
entering in the region of Lychnidos, the cultural influences of the Greek-Macedonian world
were more present. This notable culture left its mark in this territory and various
artifacts have been found: from marble molds, through ceramic and bronze pots, to small
pieces of jewelry made of gold, semiprecious gems and glass paste.
Recent archeological examinations have shown
that the line starting from St. Erasmus through Gabavci, Paterica and Kozluk to Koselska
Reka was an urban entity. This entity in archaeology is known as "Hermeleia".
The acropolis is located high in the hill of Gabavsko. Its southeast footage is the lower
town, and the sacred and secular buildings are located on the eastern and western sides.
Two necropolises from ancient times were
discovered near Ohrid. One of them is located in Trebenisko Kale, and the other was
discovered on the site Crvenica near Prentov Most. On the ruins of the former a stronghold
was found built in several different periods, as well as ceramic pots and 17 grave units.
On the site near Crvenica, 143 tombs dating back to the Hellenic period and the early
Middle Ages were found.
Also one Macedonian crypt was found in the
area of Varosh, the old part of Ohrid. On the locality Deboj, the central necropolis of
Lychnidos and the medieval Ohrid were discovered.
is another building that is usual for this period - the Roman theatre. It is located in
Varos (the old part of Ohrid). It was built in accordance with the Greek and Roman type of
theatres. The first findings of this monumental structure, without which a town centre in
the classical period would have been inconceivable, date from the beginning of the 20th
century, with two relief plates depicting Dionysus with the Muses. The first
archaeological probes were carried out during 1959 - 1960, when nine rows of seats in the
theatre were discovered. Some of the stone seats contain inscriptions of the names of the
families that had subscriptions.
The theatre covers an area of around 4,000 m2. In the
excavations carried out in three occasions, the locations of the entrances, theatre
building, orchestra with seats reserved for honourable people as well as the arena volume
In this period in the region of Lychnidos the
presence of religion was rather significant. One notable sculpture found in the region of
Lychnidos is the goddess of human destiny, Isis.
Many towns of that period, with the consent of the Macedonian rulers, used the mines and
minted coins with the common inscription of MAKEDONWN and the name of the region. Only in the case of Ohrid, the name of
the town was also imprinted.
Early Christian period
A polyconched church from this period was
discovered in the Lychnidos region. It is located north from the Monastery of St.
Clement's compound. Its monumentality, architecture and splendid mosaics distinct it from
all discovered Early Christian basilicas in the region of Ohrid. It is unknown to whom it
This polyconched structure was reconstructed
several times. It was built in a form of double shell typical for the early Christian
architecture. A similar church was excavated in the yard of Hadrian's Library in Athens,
Greece. Such structures were characteristic for the early Justinian period. It is possible
that the shrine was the cathedral of the Lychnidos bishops.
The basilica "Studencista" is
located outside the boundaries of the classical and medieval town, on the eastern slopes
of Mount Petrinska. Analysis indicate that the shrine dates from the end of V and the
beginning of VI century AD
Similar structures were found in the old part of the town. There
are even some indications that the church of St. Sofia was erected on the foundations of
an early Christian church, because some traces of an older architecture were found. The
discovery of an early Christian basilica, located in the immediate vicinity of the
medieval church devoted to St. Erasmus, was also important. St. Erasmus was the first
preacher of the Christian belief in this region. Apart from these, basilicas were
discovered southeast from the Classical theatre and eastwards from the Church of St.
Bogorodica Perivlepta (St. Clement).