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The area of Arupium in Gacko Valley

Ivan Šarić

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (147 KB) str. 43-46 preuzimanja: 869* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Šarić, I. (2004). Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja. Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, 37 (1), 43-46. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Šarić, Ivan. "Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja." Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, vol. 37, br. 1, 2004, str. 43-46. Citirano 22.09.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Šarić, Ivan. "Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja." Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu 37, br. 1 (2004): 43-46.
Šarić, I. (2004). 'Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja', Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, 37(1), str. 43-46. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 22.09.2021.)
Šarić I. Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja. Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu [Internet]. 2004 [pristupljeno 22.09.2021.];37(1):43-46. Dostupno na:
I. Šarić, "Arupijski prostorni koncept u arealu Gackoga polja", Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, vol.37, br. 1, str. 43-46, 2004. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 22.09.2021.]

It gives me special pleasure to dedicate this article to my colleague Ru`ica Drechsler- Bi`i}. In
this way thanking her for the ready and unselfish expertise which she offered me when I first began to be
interested in Gacko polje (valley) and its rich archaeological heritage.
Gacko polje, is the south-eastern part of the wide Gacko depression in the centre of southern Lika,
and is geographically its most important part. It is surrounded by mountains which undulate down to the
plains.Within the valley there are isolated hillocks – Humac, Prozorina, Veliki and Mali Vital, [piljni~ka
glava, Pra`inovac,Umand Um~i}. The river Gacka rises in the south-east and flows west on the southern
boundary of the valley. In both appearance and geological-petrographic composition the area has a very
distinctive makeup characterised by extensive fields and is topographically and climatically favourable.
Human settlement on Gacko polje can be traced from pre-historic times until today and was based
on the conditions described above which allowed the creation of a separate identity and settlement area
and way of life.
Gacko polje was part of the wider Japod area and life was largely structured according to the
physical conditions of the Japod Arupini. On the basis of archaeological research we can reconstruct the
region’s development according to the special conditions in which this took place. The settlers selected
various natural sites which suited their needs and showed a preference for settlements on the lower
mountain slopes and on the hillocks which provided the basis of a settled life. There they built Japod hill-
forts whose position allowed control of the immediate and further areas. Unlike other locations, such
as graveyards and cult centres, these forts were placed within man-made enclosures. Rather than give a
description of each settlement in Gacko polje I will describe their common features. The enclosures were
strongly built, adapted to the natural formation of the area and were centrally focussed. They had the appearance
of a closed settlement which controlled the low-lying surrounding area of Gacko polje. The valley
exit was usually protected by three hill-forts in the form of a triangle around the entrance, one each side
of it the other facing it (Map 1.). In this way the exit towards Gacko polje was protected from the north-
west and the exit towards Lika polje was similarly protected. The north-western entrance was built in
the same way as was the western exit to the fields. Asimilar arrangement is found in Vrhovine and Kompolje
showing that the »triangular system« served as a model for Japod defence.
The territorial relations of the settlements in Gacko polje favoured a certain pattern among the
Arupians and the right to a certain area. The central Arupian settlement, Arupium developed on the hillocks
of Mali and Veliki Vital in the village of Prozor which had a central and dominating position and
beside which land routes passed. Arupium was a dual hill-fort with strong defences and its size suggested
that it had a larger population.
The organisation of the settlements was dictated by the natural conditions as is shown by the fact
that they are located on the plateaus of the lower hill slopes and on isolated hillocks. On the basis of topographical
and climatic conditions we can gain an understanding of how the region as a whole developed.
The function and character of the Japod settlements in Gacko polje was a result of their interaction
with their environment. The positions they selected to build allowed maximum opportunities for defence
of the communities of the area. Unification of the land, and a shared concept of how it could be made use
of, was made possible by the configuration of the area, and the Japods took full advantage of this in their

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