Stećci as (Inter)national Heritage: Three Case Studies

  • Vladimir V. Mihajlović Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, Belgrade
Keywords:
stećci, archaeology and the public, identity, heritage, Balkans

Abstract

Stećci, the monumental mediaeval tombstones, are one of the most characteristic traces of the past in the region of the Western Balkans. Their monumentality, frequency and the prominent place in the local landscape have influenced that, apart from the significance for the local population, they have attracted the attention of foreign travellers, and from the second half of the 19th century they have become the object of scientific interest. In this manner, over the last two centuries, stećci have been promoted into heritage. Illustrated by three paradigmatic examples, the paper points to the “elusiveness” of stećci, i.e. to the fact that they engender various interpretations, due to their materiality and aesthetics, but to their frequency and spatial distribution as well. At the same time, they influence the establishment and abolishment of frontiers – national, cultural, religious and other.

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Published
2018-10-31