Institute of Archaeology


Gornja Tuzla

Gornja Tuzla is a prehistoric settlement located on the terrace of the Jala river, which runs through the modern city of Tuzla, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The site and the modern city built above it spread across the slopes of Majevica mountain, facing the frontiers of hilly landscapes of Bosnian Dinarides and Pannonia. Tuzla is today one of the main suppliers of salt in the region, which is exploited in the nearby salt mines; this very important aspect for economy of the region is believed to be the reason for various populations to settle here from the Neolithic (Čović 1961).

The settlement was identified in 1949, during the modern building activities which disturbed the upper cultural layer of this settlement (c. 0.6-0.9 m thick). First excavations commenced in 1955 with a small test-trench 1 x 4 m, and a 3 x 4 m in the following year (Čović 1961). In 1957 and 1958 a total of 70 m2 was uncovered, revealing several prehistoric cultures that spanned across 5.5 m thick cultural layer, and within an estimated size of 12-15 ha. Cultural deposits of this tell-type site mainly belonged to the Vinča and Vinča cultures, with shorter occupations during the Late Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Age (Čović 1961: 80). The 1958 excavations (Trench II/1) unearthed large collection of archaeometallurgical materials belonging to the later phases of the Vinča culture (Vinča C-D), selected for this project.