The Maculje necropolis is located 21 kilometres from Novi Travnik on the road to Gornji Vakuf, at an altitude of 998 meters. The tombstones are oriented in the west – east and north – south directions with only a small number deviating from these orientations. They are made of limestone and lined up in rows. The monuments are mostly well hewed but some are almost amorphous.
The necropolis has 101 tombstones: 32 slabs, 52 chests, 11 gabled roof tombstones , 6 tombstones the shape of which could not be determined as they caved in and 16 monumental crosses (krstača). The principal form is that of a chest on a base, followed by the form of sarcophagus with, or without a base and a few ordinary slabs. Only one stećak is decorated, with a circle (an apple).
The necropolis also contains 16 anthropomorphic tombstones, which some authors call crosses, all but one being decorated. Ornaments on anthropomorphic tombstones are crosses, stylized crosses, Greek crosses, circles (apples) and crescent moons.
No inscriptions have been recorded.
The necropolis with tombstones Maculje is located along the route of the former Roman road that led from Skopljansko polje to the valley of the Lašva River. That road passed from Gornji Vakuf and Podgrađe, through the Bistrica valley over the Brezovača mountains and Oštra Glavica, Opare, Bistro and Duboko to Gornja Večerinska. From that point, the road split into two directions: one section went through Veliki Mošunj to Mali Mošunj and the other one through Donja Večerinska to Vitez.
More than 50 necropolises with tombstones dating from the 14th and 15th century were noted in this area, as well as the medieval towns of Toričan, Travnik, Bosnić or Škaf and Vrbenac grad. At the serpentine in Okretnji near Zagrlj, there is another necropolis with tombstones, including the preserved traces of artificial works – retaining wall, curbs and paving.
The medieval county of Lašva covered the area of today’s municipalities of Busovača, Vitez, Novi Travnik and Travnik. It was under the administration of Bosnian bans (governors), and later, from 1377, under the reign of kings. It was probably largely populated and the main activity was agriculture.
Despite its large size and importance, there are not many historical documents about the county of Lašva, relating to the period of the Middle Ages. The county was first mentioned in the charter of Hungarian King Bela IV in 1244, in which a place “by the three churches” was referred to as part of the Bosnian Diocese.
Archaeological research has not been done.
Monumental crosses represent a special form of these grandiose crosses found near Travnik, Novi Travnik and Zenica, which do not have their analogues in the areas of tombstones. They represent a unique form of underdeveloped monumental crosses.
Except for Maculje, the known necropolises with monumental crosses (anthropomorphic tombstones that are reminiscent of a cross – declared a national monument) are also situated in the same municipality: necropolis near the village of Orašac, necropolis Kaurlaš in Zagrlj, necropolis with tombstones, anthropomorphic tombstones which resemble the cross, and tumulus Sebešić (where continuity of burials was recorded).
The lot with tombstones extends to the east along a macadam road going through the middle of the site and cutting the necropolis in two. The southern, northern and western borders of the site are defined by arable land and pastures. The national monument is located on a site designated as cadastral parcel 1394 and northern part of cadastral parcel no. 1396, Municipality of Novi Travnik, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina; state ownership.
The plot where tombstones are located borders a gravel road on the east side, cutting the necropolis in two parts halfway into the site. The south, north and west boundaries of the site are defined by plough land and pastures.
State of the location
The site is in a satisfactory state. The position of the tombstones indicates that they have not been moved and that the present state is identical to their original state. Upon completion of works on partial permanent systematic conservation of the tombstones in 2011, an inspection established that the tombstones on Maculje necropolis were in good condition. The site is cleaned and kept free from wild low vegetation. In 2011 the entire site underwent geodetic survey supported with photographs of individual tombstones thus enabling for implementation of a monitoring process.
In the vicinity of the necropolis there is just one family house with four family members. At the site there is one information board and a pointer to the necropolis with the tombstones. A brochure was published on the Maculje necropolis with tombstones. The municipal administration currently does not have any qualified personnel capable of working on the protection of the site, however, there is enough personnel that could be engaged in the activities of protection and management of the monuments. Here we refer to outsourced experts the Municipality could engage if necessary.
In the vicinity of the necropolis there is just one family house with four family members. At the site there is one information board and a pointer to the necropolis with the tombstones. A brochure was published on the Maculje necropolis with tombstones. The municipal administration currently does not have any qualified personnel capable of working on the protection of the site, however, there is enough personnel that could be engaged in the activities of protection and management of the monuments. Here we refer to outsourced experts the Municipality could engage if necessary. When it comes to recruitment, the Municipality should make an assessment of the need for new recruitment and change the systematization of jobs accordingly. In the Municipality of Novi Travnik there is a register of non-governmental organisations showing that there are plenty of NGOs registered and committed to the area of culture, sports, ecology, agriculture and environmental protection that could be engaged in promoting, affirming and other activities related to the protection and promotion of the Maculje necropolis. In the Municipality there are some representatives of the Tourist Board who could be engaged if necessary. As the necropolis is situated in the mountainous part of the Municipality, several kilometers away from the nearest villages, there are no additional catering/tourist facilities in its immediate vicinity. Statistical data on tourists visiting the Municipality of Novi Travnik are not available.