Archaeological Sensation: Evidence of Vikings on Border of Zadar and Šibenik-Knin Counties?

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How did a Swedish toponym come to Bribirska Glavica, and what does it all mean?

Older Croatian history did not endow us with a multitude of epigraphic monuments, so any discovery of an inscription in stone, such as the newest from the archaeological locality of Bribirska Glavica, bearing the name of a Croatian ruler represents a true sensation. The highlands between Ravni Kotari and Bukovica in the Šibenik hinterland, where prehistory and history were made over three thousand years of continuous living, a fraction with the name of Duke Branimir was found, Šibenski List reported.

The discovery was a lucky one for the team of archaeologists led by Dr. Ante Milošević, director of the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split, and Nikolina Uroda, curator of the same museum for Bribir. The formal announcement is being prepared for the 5th Gunjača Days, an international scientific colloquium named after the legendary archaeologist Stjepan Gunjača, to be held and organised by their Museum and Šibenik Town Museum, on Bribirska Glavica on May 5 and 6.

The Bribir inscription is the seventh found in this area, with the words INTERIBUS (during the reign) B…MIRO (Branimir) DUCE (ruler)… There is also the name of abbot Tedabert, who is also present in the inscription in Nin town. There is no date, but scientific discussions will ensue.

The stone with Branimir’s name was found within the church of St. Joakim and Ana on Bribirska Glavica, whose foundations contain a stone circle which Dr. Milošević dates back to the 6th century, making it the first among such structures in Dalmatia, older than the well-known stone circle of St. Donat in Zadar. Research was conducted “to the bottom,” and such an approach led to an archaeological abundance and another sensation of not only national, but of global proportions.

In another inscription found on two stones, the Swedish province ”Skania Inferior” is mentioned. It is known and well documented that the Vikings resisted Christianity for a long time, with their early Christianity reaching to the 12th century. How did a Swedish toponym come to Bribirska Glavica, and what does it all mean considering the current opinions regarding Viking connections? The spiritual space of the Vikings is ruled by Odin and Thor. What is the bond between Scandinavia and Balkans? These are questions for which there are no answers as yet.

The wide slab of stone with Branimir’s name also has an older inscription written in four rows in Latin, so it is presumed that it once belonged to a sarcophagus. The shorter inscription about the Duke was carved in later, when the bottom of the sarcophagus was removed.


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