Friday, March 07, 2014

HAEMUS as a part of the UNESCO application to protect the martinki as an intangible world heritage

Martinki - Republic of Macedonia3
On March 01, 2014, at 11:00 am, UNESCO Club HAEMUS hosted a public event at Skopje City Mall entitled “Grandma March” Day. Happy First of March! (mk. Среќна Баба Марта) is an annual event held by HAEMUS on 01.03. celebrating both, the beginning of the spring and ancient tradition connected with wearing of martinki (mk. мартинки). The event was supported by Cultural Heritage Protection Office and Institute of folklore "Marko Cepenkov".

Official Announcement submitted to UNESCO headquarter
‘Happy First of March’ is an annual event held by HAEMUS - Centre for scientific research and promotion of culture from Skopje on 01.03. This tradition celebrates both the beginning of the spring and ancient custom connected with wearing martinki .
The martinki are hand-made and given as present to one’s closest friends and family, a custom practiced for hundreds of years. On this day, red and white tassels, pom-poms and knit (braided) bracelets, all known as martinki, are given to the loved ones who pin them on clothing or tie them on wrist. The red and white woven threads symbolize the wishes for good health and prosperity. They are heralds of the coming spring. People wear them until the nature starts to bloom and afterwards, hang them on trees.
HAEMUS respect the martinki as an intangible cultural heritage and takes care about the spirit of the tradition, in all its shapes and ways, which will contribute to their wider promotion. Alongside the public audience, the promotion of the martinki is especially focused on children of pre-school and school age, for which the workshops with help to visualise and create knowledge on tradition and multiculturalism.
This statement is to provide support for multinational application to UNESCO about the martinki, in which the Republic of Macedonia also takes part.
Vasilka Dimitrovska
president of HAEMUS
Martinki-Haemus-Republic of Macedonia2

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Balaklija - new archaeological site registered by HAEMUS

The team of HAEMUS within the project about the ‘Cultural Resource Management of Skopska Crna Gora Mountain’, found new unregistered archaeological site around the toponym Balaklija (Mirkovci village), mostly determined on the base of surface architectonic elements.

Within the St. Elijah monastery, a base of white marble pillar from Late Antique or Medieval building at the floor level of the half-underground church from the Ottoman period was registered. Outside of the monastery in a nearby field, the remains of pottery from the Medieval period can be found. At the corner of the same field, there is dislocated and damaged architectonic element which was a part of some ancient object.

At about 700 m. distance from the St. Elijah monastery, in the courtyard of relatively new St. Virgin Mary church, a large size pillar was used as a decoration of the fence, suggests that it was probably part of big-size object from Late Antique or Medieval period. The configuration of the ground with the remains of a stone structure in the form of a semicircular apse indicates the possible existence of an object of religious character. Surface findings are lacking and without archaeological excavation, it is quite difficult to recognize the character of this building.

In the church beside one of the walls, a capital from Early Christian basilica was found, as a part of a marble architectonic plastic of early Christian period in the Republic of Macedonia The finding is quite damaged and frayed, indicating its secondary use both, as spolia in other later architecture and its usage for various needs and purposes associated with the folklore and beliefs of people, due to the remnants of wax. The capital is massive, heavy and decorated on both sides with different scenes. According to the metrics, shape and oval groove on the upper side, we can assume that it was a part of menno window of early Christian basilica with great dimensions.


According to the archaeological map of the Republic of Macedonia, two archaeological sites in the village of Mirkovcki were recorded. At the toponym Preku Reka (Across the river), with vague geographical reference, a lot of findings from Roman period kept in lapidarium at the Museum of Macedonia were found. North of the village, at the Shumanica toponym, a necropolis of late Roman period was recorded, without precisely description and lack of scientifically publications. In the previous prospecting of this region, archaeologists above the village Mirkovci recorded Late Antique fortification (4th-6th century AD).

Capital from Early Christian basilica – Balaklija. Fhoto by HAEMUS

The latest findings from 2013 suggest the existence of architectural structures from the Late Antique and/or Early Medieval period (Early Christian period), whose elements are used as spolio in buildings from later periods. The presence of capital from early Christian basilica points out at the remains of a large building with a religious character which probably existed at the same time with the city (fortification) and the necropolis. 

We are introducing in the scientific literature the archaeological site at the village Mirkovcki under the working title ‘Balkalija’. The full report from the field prospecting was submitted to the Cultural heritage Protection Office of the Republic of Macedonia, City Museum of Skopje and the Skopje’s ConservationCenter. We forwarded sublimated information about the site to the Macedonian press and media.

Director of the field prospecting 
Vasilka Dimitrovska, M. Sci. in archaeology

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monograph on The stone industry from the neolithic site of Rug Bair - Republic of Macedonia

On May 16, 2013, I published my second book, the monograph on ‘The stone industry from the neolithic site of Rug Bair - Republic of Macedonia’. The event was organized by HAEMUS - center for scientific research and promotion of culture. The book is published under Creative Common licence and is available online.

This book covers the unpublished stone artifacts from 1970s, taken from a trench from the excavation at Rug Bair, today housed at the Museum and Institute for protection of Stip, Macedonia. Through the stone material, an attempt was made at offering a more comprehensive picture of the raw material, the technical and typological characteristics of the Neolithic stone industry at this site, as well as its relationship with other related simultaneous industries.

All stone artifacts from the site at Rug Bair, village of Gorobinci (Sveti Nikole), were divided into three main groups: chipped, ground and grind/abrasive stone tools. The analysis of the material is reduced to petrographic and technological-typological analysis and definition of basic categories and types of tools, based solely on the morphological characteristics of artifacts. The results of the technological and typological analysis and analogy with other stone industries in the Neolithic cultures of the southeastern Balkans, contribute to a further clarification, in a regional context, of certain processes that occurred in the Neolithic period in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and the Balkans.

The small number of artifacts from the Neolithic stone assemblages from the Republic of Macedonia is due, above all, to the lack of knowledge about the lithic materials, the absence of sieving and flotation, as well as the personal choice of the researchers as to which type of findings is to be kept for the assemblage. Stone tools have not been yet analyzed in detail in Macedonian neolithic archaeology, and are still identified only by production of pottery.

This book is an attempt by a methodological way, to sublimate in one place all aspects of the stone industry which will contribute and enable to further studies about this topic in the Republic of Macedonia."

Key words: Neolihic, Rug Bair, Amzabegovo-vrshnik, Macedonia, row materials, chipped, ground, abrassive, stone tools, Vasilka Dimitrovska.

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