Butmir culture

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A typical Butmir vase
Butmir culture and their geographical environment.

Butmir culture existed in Butmir, near Ilidža, Bosnia and Herzegovina, dating from the Neolithic period. It is characterized by its unique pottery, and is one of the best researched European cultures from 2600–2400 BC.[1]


The Butmir culture was discovered in 1893, when Austro-Hungarian authorities began construction on the agricultural college of the University of Sarajevo. Various traces of human settlement were found dating to the Neolithic period. Digs were begun immediately, and lasted until 1896.

The finds caused interest among archaeologists worldwide. They were largely responsible for the International Congress of Archaeology and Anthropology being held in Sarajevo in August 1894. The most impressive finds were the unique ceramics, which are now found in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Certain characteristics of the Butmir pottery designs (e.g. its resemblance with Kamares style Minoan pottery) made some suggest a connection to the Minoan culture on Crete. Of course this was during the same time that some suggested Troy was found in the Neretva river valley, and overwhelming modern opinion is that the Butmir people were a unique culture of their own in the Sarajevo area.

The culture disappeared during the Bronze Age, most likely conquered by the Illyrians who settled the area at the time. The tribe who occupied the area after them were the Daesitates.


  1. ^ kons.gov.ba (25 March 2012). "prehistoric settlement in Butmir". 
  • W. Radymský / M. Hoernes, Die neolithische Station von Butmir bei Sarajevo in Bosnien. Ausgrabungen im Jahre 1893 (Wien 1895).
  • F. Fiala / M. Hoernes, Die neolithische Station von Butmir bei Sarajevo in Bosnien. Ausgrabungen in den Jahren 1894–1896. II. Teil (Schlussband) (Wien 1898).
  • A. Benac, Obre II – Neolitsko naselje butmirske grupe na Gornjem polju. Glasnik 26, 1971, 5–300.
  • M. Gimbutas, Chronology of Obre I an Obre II. Wiss. Mitt. Bosnisch-Herzegowin. Landesmus. 4, 1974, 15–35.
  • S. Peric, Butmirska kultura. Geneza i razvoj. Butmir culture. Origin and development. Posebna Izdanja Arheoloski Institut (Beograd 1995).
  • Z. Kujundžić-Vejzagić / J. Müller / K. Rassmann / T. Schüler, Okolište – Grabung und Geomagnetik eines zentralbosnischen Tells aus der ersten Hälfte des 5. vorchristlichen Jahrtausends. In: B. Hänsel (Hrsg.), Parerga Praehistorica: Jubiläumsschrift zur Prähistorischen Archäologie. 15 Jahre UPA. Universitätsforsch. Prähist. Arch. 100 (Bonn 2004) 69–81.

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