• Pavla Chuka
  • Bonche
  • North Macedonia
  • Prilep


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 400 BC - 300 BC


    • The archaeological site of Pavla Cuka is situated between the villages of Podmol and Bonce. The text below refers to a Macedonian type of tomb, which is unique in its archaeological concept. It consists of an open dromos cut into the rock, which descents into the tomb, in a ramp - like shape. It merges into the vaulted part of the dromos which is 11 metres long and 3 metres high. On both sides of the entry of the vaulted dromos, a wall was discovered, which surrounds the whole tomb in a shape of a ring. The wall consists of three rows of monolithic blocks and reaches a height of 1.5 metres. The diameter of this wall is 32 metres and its entire length would be around 100 metres. The vaulted part of the dromos and the wall surrounding the tomb are build with monolithic rectangular granite blocks, some of which weigh up to 2 tones. The source for these monolithic blocks is situated at approximately 800 metres south of the tomb. They were brought to the tomb in their amorphous state and then crafted further at the site. Beyond the vaulted part, the following sections of the tomb were ascertained: the ante - chamber with dimensions 1.5 x 3 metres and the chamber with dimensions 4 x 3 metres, with a preserved height of 2 metres. The ante - chamber and the chamber are built of precisely cut rectangular blocks made of travertine, measuring 0.5 metres in height and between 0.8 and 1.2 metres in length. Also preserved are two marble doorsteps, where double-sided doors were once fixed. From the vaulted dromos, they led into the ante - chamber and the chamber. At the front section and outside the dromos, namely, east and west of the dromos, eight child graves were discovered. Based on the coins excavated in them, the graves can be dated to the end of the 4th and 5th century AD. According to the position of these graves, it can be concluded that the tomb was looted and destroyed in antiquity. In the absence of material finds from the time when the tomb was built, its architecture can be taken as a point of reference in establishing the dating. Namely, the earliest dating for analogous tombs with a similar vault is the period after the middle of the 4th century BC. Moreover, most who have worked on the topic agree that this type of vault featured at the Macedonian tombs began to be utilised after the conquests of Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great).
    • The Pavla Chuka site in the Prilep part of Mariovo is a monumental tomb from the end of the 4th-begining of third century BC, which has been a subject of archaeological investigations for a long period of time. The excavations of the end of 2019 were focused on the area outside of the tomb, at the plateau west of the dromos. Here, at an area of 21 m2, remains of stone walls and two burials were discovered. Some of the wall remains probably belonged to structures contemporary and in function of the monumental tomb. The two burials are the latest events at the site and according to the discovered artifacts inside (bronze and silver decorative pieces), they were dated to the 10-11 century AD. They were buried in, and therefore cut the stone structures. In the soil above the walls and the burials some isolated artifacts from the late Antiquity were discovered. Apart from the excavations, also part of this campaign was reconnaissance of the surrounding area, i.e., other sites from the Staro Bonche archaeological complex. During the reconnaissance, at the other end of the tumulus of the monumental tomb a burial was noted, which is probably dated to the Late Antiquity. At the Petochna Voda site, a new necropolis was noted, which, according to the few surface finds of coins of Alexander the Great, is dated to the Hellenistic period. At the Gramada Pod Tri Kamena site a few damaged burials were noticed, dating to the same period.
    • The 2020 field campaign at the Pavla Čuka site, in continuation of the previous years, was focused on the plateau on the western side of the dromos of the monumental tomb from the Hellenistic period. As discovered in 2019, this area was used as a burial place in the 11th century of the Medieval period, long after the 4-3 century BC monumental tomb was constructed. The 2019 excavation area was extended by 13m2. Tomb 13, discovered in 2019, was fully investigated and bronze and silver jewelry pieces, typical for the 11th century, were discovered. All aspects considered, tombs 13 and 12 (also discovered in the previous campaign), both date at the same time. In addition, two newly discovered structures, tomb 14 and 15, are also from the same period. Tomb 14 is only partially preserved and judging by the dimensions and the scarce osteological remains, it was the burial of a child. Tomb 15 on the other hand, is a complete trapezoid stone slab structure with relatively well-preserved remains of an adult. The only accompanying item was a ceramic jug positioned in the pelvic area of the deceased. In addition to the tombs, another circular stone structure was discovered, similar to the one found in 2019. It represents a small circular enclosure with 2,4 m in diameter. The scarce material found inside the structure suggests a late Roman date, although this remains to be confirmed. The finds from the general area in-between and around the structures, although very scarce, also suggest human activities at this location during various archaeological periods, including the Late Antiquity


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