Blagotin Archaeological site Trstenik

The oldest urban plan in the world, 8,000 years old, was found at the Blagotin archaeological site near the Mali Blagotin Hill, 26 kilometers from Trstenik. The Serbian archaeologist Dr Svetozar Stanković found that carefully engraved plan on a model of a grain of wheat in this early Neolithic settlement. Dr Stanković was convinced that this is the oldest urban plan in the world, referring to the fact that by then the oldest known urban plan was the one of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, which was estimated to be about 6,000 years old.

Blagotin was founded by members of the Starchevo culture, i.e. its earliest phase of Proto-starchevo at the end of the 7th and beginning of the 6th millennia BC. There in Blagotin settlement which was uniquely spatially arranged economic settlement with streets radiating towards the square with the temple, as well as the religious center, lived some 100 families, predominantly engaged in agriculture. Staggering 16,000 objects were found at the site, mostly fragments of pottery, figurines, small goddesses, clay models of wheat grains, which indicate that the farmer from Blagotin believed that wheat grains are of divine origin. Seven dugout houses were discovered around the square, where was a special shrine to the goddess of fertility and the earth goddess. Among the found objects were also tools, planters, hoes, plows made of deer horns. Based on excavated static parts of grindstones from the nineties of the 20th century, it was concluded that the people of Blagotin made flour and that Blagotin is the site of the first bread production in the world.

Besides the excavated items at the Blagotine site there were found models of grains of wheat made of clay that were brought as gifts to the Temple, as well as tools, blades, toys, amulets for protection from evil spirits. There were also excavated gifts in the form of jewellery which indicate that Blagotin was important religious center and sanctuary where in some specific time of the year gathered people from the Balkans i.e. from Europe.

The already excavated scope of the Blagotin site includes only part of the settlement on some 300 sq meters from the assumed 6 hectares, with found movable items that testify on its importance. Part of the Blagotin collection is kept in Belgrade, and researchers will try to return the most of the excavated items back to Trstenik. Locals of this area of Poljna, Velika Drenova, Stragari and surrounding villages believe that the scholars – archaeologists will continue to excavate the Blagotin locality in the future in order to discover the secret of this highly important historical site.

Blagotin did not have defensive walls and thus is got name of the „Blatogin, town of good people“. Until now it is only excavated 2,5% surface of this locality. After the sudden death of Dr Svetozar Nani Stanković all excavations at the Blagotin site were suspended, likewise were stopped all innovative ideas of the student archaeological camps, with the doctorate of this outstanding pedagogue and scholar, Dr Stankovic is unjustly neglected and forgotten.

Three documentary mini series were shot for the program of Radio Television of Serbia in 1993 directed by Slobodan Ž. Jovanović. The written data created by the team of archaeologists and Dr Stankovic prove that the Temple of Blagotin site was erected 6000 year BC and had the semi-wall divided from the profane space, in the form of cut mushroom where there were four thrones positioned so to determine the absolute direction north-south. At the initial part of the altar, at the depth of 2,5 meters there was crashed scull of a deer with horns positioned in specific angle that was the first time phenomenon in the history of the mankind. In the interior of the altar there is the zig-zag line which is closely connected with the cult. Two sculptures of the Great Mother, turned by face to the west were found in the southern part of the Temple. Those figurines are inheritance of the Neolithic man for the future which keeps the complete philosophy of the human race.