NP Žumberak Homepage



When was it?
1st century before Christ – 476 AD

Roman army general Octavian (later became the first Roman emperor, later also known as August) led the military campaign and conquered the area around the Sava 35 - 33 BC. Žumberak area became a part of one of the most powerful states in human history – the Roman Empire. Newly conquered areas were administratively divided into provinces, and Žumberak became the part of province of Panonia.

What remains from the Roman period are found in Žumberak?
Several graveyards dating from 1st century AD which were active until mid 2nd century were found in the central Žumberak in villages of Gornja Vas and Bratelji. Although it was a period of Roman administration formation, people buried in those graveyards ethnically belonged to the Celtic tribe of Latobics that had lived in neighboring Dolenjska on the territory of today's Slovenia for centuries before Roman conquest. There have been 43 tombs preserved on the graveyard in Bratelji and 64 in Gornja Vas. They were partly destroyed due to centuries-long usage of the grassland where they were originally placed. The Latobics managed to preserve most of their ancient customs during Roman reign (for example, building tombs of stone plates or making unique pottery). Typical example is the urn shaped like a house that was sometimes topped by a decorative rooster. An exceptional example of urn in the shape of a house was found during excavations in Gornja Vas. Besides an opening symbolizing the door, it is decorated with carvings of armed men – the oldest known example of human figure in the area of Žumberak.
Despite keeping their own customs, the Latobics acquired the new Roman ones as well. Many glass containers excavated in Bratelji and Gornja Vas present something completely new in the material culture of the area. They are produced in big workshops specialized in glass-making in northern Italy and exported to decorate the tables of the richest Latobics.

Where can you see the finds?
The items found in Gornja Vas are exhibited in Samobor museum and in Archaeological museum in Zagreb.
The finds from Bratelji are kept in Archaeological museum in Zagreb.