Kostoperska Karpa archaeological site near Kumanovo


Kostoperska Karpa (Bone Washing Rock, Костоперска Карпа) is archaeological site near the village Mlado Nagoricane (Младо Нагоричане) on 10 km northeast of Kumanovo and over international road that goes east to Kjustendil.

At the same time, archaeological remains are on the ancient highway Scupi (Skopje, Скопје) – Serdica (Sofia, Софија).
Natural volcanic phenomenon called Zheligovski Kamen (Stone from Zheigovo, Жеглиговски Камен) is the crucial point in the history of the famous Zhegligovska area. It is a basalt cone on which, in the past and today, were washed bones that inspired people in the past to cal this rock “Kostoperska Karpa” (Bone Washing Rock, Костоперска Карпа).
Around the Rock in imaginary circle of about 500 m are found the remains of a Bronze Age settlement which today is partly destroyed by a modern road.
On the western slope of the rock  was buried the local population in Roman times or the III – IV century AD in whose graves were found personal items of the deceased that were used in everyday life.
The highest isohypses of the rock was surrounded by a defensive wall as a whole resembles a small acropolis. In its interior the archaeologists have discovered early Christian church of VI century around which the medieval population buried certain category of persons.
Most unusual and so far unknown to the Balkan Peninsula are found underground facilities on the south side of the rock that completely brought into the bowels of the hill whose geological structure tufot.
Objects with niches and benches for sitting or sleeping, and the stairway was entered deeper into the lower rooms. Through vertical channels circulated air through them while rainwater is collected in the interior of this unusual construction and functioning system.
The small entrance led to the interior of the premises and was imprisoned with massive stone slab resembling Water mill stone.
In the partially uncovered space archaeologists have discovered fragments of pottery, glass and animal bones from the food the inhabitants have prepared.
Such reduced or hermetic mode of existence is the result of the turbulent times in the Byzantine Empire, which was exposed to the attacks of barbarian people who had been sheltering in the so-called “dead cities”. Simultaneous and nearly identical structures of these are found in Asia Minor provinces in Cappadocia in Syria and the Crimea peninsula.
These buildings now under the Zhegligovski Kamen are unique in the Balkans.

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