Tresibaba Mountain

The Tresibaba Mountain is set in the East Serbia, south of Knjaževac and north of Svrljig. Svrljiški Timok River makes border on the north-west, west and south, while the Trgoviški Timok River on the north-east borders the Tresibaba Mountain. On the south spread the Svrljiske planine mountains, and on the east are located the Zaglavak and Stara Planina Mountains. The Mesozoic carst dominate among the geological features of the Tresibaba Mountain.

The valley of the Timok river in eastern Serbia was one of the oldest and most important Balkan routes in antiquity – the old itinerary road Naissus–Ratiaria connecting the central Balkans with the Danube Basin. The road started in the area of Naissus (modern Niš), a city at the crossroads of other trans-Balkan land routes leading in four directions: northward to Viminacium and Singidunum; westward to Lissus and the Adriatic coast; southward to Thessalonica and the Aegean; and eastward to Serdica and Constantinople.

Situated in the middle course of the Svrljiški Timok river, the Svrljig Valley is a geographic whole bounded on all sides by the Svrljiške Mountains and the tall peaks of Kalafat and Tresibaba. This is one of the largest valleys in Serbia and one of the most prominent transverse valleys in the Carpatho-Balkan mountain arc in eastern Serbia. Its easiest connection with the Niš Valley and the roads starting there is the Gramada Pass (at 555 meters), a former checkpoint on the border between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire, but also the site of a smaller settlement dated to the third century AD. To the north, the Svrljig Valley connects the Morava and Nišava drainage with the areas along the Timok and the Danube. The earliest evidence of continuous human occupation in the region is a Palaeolithic cave site (Prekonoška pecina cave), while a strong presence of the Triballi and their settlements and fortifications is documented in the Early Iron Age. The area became part of the Roman Empire in the final period of Augustus’ rule, about 5 AD, when, following the conquest of areas south of the Sava and Danube rivers, the province of Moesia was created. In the reign of Domitian (in 86 AD), Moesia was subdivided into Upper (Moesia Superior) and Lower (Moesia Inferior), and the Timok area became part of Upper Moesia. In the late third century, after the loss of Dacia, Rome carried out administrative reforms and the Timok area was included into a newly-formed province, Dacia Ripensis. This division continued into Byzantine times and the reign of Justinian (6th century).

In Roman times the Timok area was inhabited by the Timachi, as inferable from a passage in Pliny pertaining to the mid-second century AD:  Pannoniae iungitur provincia, quae Moesia appellatur […]   In eo Dardani, Celegeri, Triballi, Timachi, Moesi, Thraces, Pontoque contermini Scythae (In the neighborhood of Pannonia lies the province called Moesia […] In it are the Dardani, the Celegeri, the Triballi, the Timachi, the Moesi, the Thracians, and, on the Pontus, the Scythians). The Timachi most probably were a branch of the formerly powerful Triballi inhabiting the territory between the Morava river (in modern Serbia) and the Iskar river (in modern Bulgaria) at the end of the Iron Age. In later periods, the southern Timok was taken by the Dardanians expanding to present-day Ravna (Timacum Minus ?) and Knjaževac, and giving their name to the Roman cohorts.

The shepherds product made of cheese is the famous Svrljig belmuz /Svrljiški belmuž/ which is produces in the few villages of the Svrljig Municipality. Stock breeding is the main occupation of locals in the villages close to the mountain ranges of the Svrljiške planine Mountains, as well as in villages scattered from the source to the upper course of the Svrljig Timok River, where this uniquely delicious dish is traditionally prepared of young cheese and flour. The Svrljig sheep species and local cow of the Simenthal species are exclusively found in the Svrljig Municipality. Stock breeders of the Svrljig area achieved the production of one of the most productive species of sheep in Serbia of the pramenka type, which is called the Svrljig pramenka species. Thanks to skills of local stock breeders and high quality of pastures, this area became one of the most recognized in Serbia, famous for its high quality of agricultural products.

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