Unique prehistoric settlement found in E Slovenia
The site, containing the remains of ceramics from the Early Iron Age, has been stumbled upon by a hiker on a steep slope of Donačka Gora, a 884-metre peak above Rogatec and Rogaška Slatina.
Archaeologist Boštjan Odar has established that the remains are about 2,800 years old and date from the time between the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age) and the Iron Age.
"This is an exceptional find. We have many high-altitude settlements in Slovenia but we have so far not known such an exceptional site even in Europe. It's unique," said Odar.
A further proof that the mountain used to be populated is the terraced terrain. The terraces are not the work of nature but rather man-made.
"To be able to live on the mountain and build their homes there, people had to transform the steep terrain into flat terraces. These are about 20 metres long and five metres broad."
Odar estimates that the area was populated by at least a hundred people 2,800 years ago. The community's survival on the mountain also depended on a nearby water spring and pastures.
After work on the site has recently been concluded, the finds will now be subjected to analysis and by mid-2017 the findings will be published.
The finds will be displayed next year in Rogatec, at the Regional Museum in Celje and probably also at the National Museum in Ljubljana.