The Miller's trade in the Loka region
Archeological collection
Settlement of the loka area in the archaeological period from pre-history to 973 A.D
The Krancelj collection
The Komun collection
The collection of Loka's painted bourgeois pottery
Cultural history collections
ŠŠkofja Loka Passion
Art history collection
Ethnological collections
ŠŠkopar's house – open air museum
Dražžgošše before the world war two
The recent history collection
Natural science collection
Settlement of the loka area in the archaeological period from pre-history to 973 A.D« Back
The archaeological collection of the Loka Museum presents material remains of human occupancy and their activities in the area of Škofja Loka, the Poljanska and Selška dolina (valleys) as well as a part of Sorško polje (field) from the early Stone Age to the end of late Antiquity and the settlement of the Slavic people.

The first settlement of the Loka area took place in the early Stone Age (80.000 – 30.000 B.C.). In the village of Suhi Dol near Lučine in the Poljanska valley numerous stone tools were found, accompanied by charcoal from fireplaces.

Stone hammer axe from Sovodenj (photo: Jože Štukl).

The next period represented by finds was the Copper Age (2200 – 1800 B.C.). In that period people began to use copper ore and produce the first metal objects. 

There are some known deposits of copper ore in the Loka area, mainly in the area of Sovodenj. The two stone hammer axes found in Trebija and Sovodenj were most likely used for crushing the ore in the processing procedure.
Ceramic vessels and stone, animal bone and corneous tools from the Kvederc cave (photo: Jože Štukl).
The most significant finds from this period originate from the Kevderc and Lubnik caves in the Lubnik mountain. These finds include various stone, animal bone and corneous tools, most numerous however are the fragments of hand-made ceramic vessels. Some of them are decorated with incised ornaments which were later filled with a white encrustation.

Bronze socketed axe from the surroundings of the Krancelj Hill (photo: Jože Štukl).
Traces of Bronze Age (1800 – 800 B.C.) settlement in the Loka area are very scarce. No permanent settlements or graveyards from this period have been found so far. Findings from the late Bronze Age include a socketed bronze axe found by chance around the Krancelj hill and the findings from Zgornji Povdn under the Ratitovec mountain where the fragments of pottery, remains of charcoal and a small unretouched flint flake tell us about the presence of hunters, herdsmen or ore seekers near a mighty dolomite rock.
With the use of iron we mark the beginning of the Hallstatt Period (800 – 400 B.C.) which lasts until the arrival of Celts. In the Loka area, we have a fortified settlement or hill fort from this period on the Puštal hill above Trnje with remains of a wooden house on low stone foundations with clay paving and the remains of a fireplace. In the house fragments of the clay-coating of the house walls, pottery, loom weights and iron scoria were found. This fortified settlement was surrounded by a dry wall and rampart which controlled and guarded the entrance to the Selška valley.

Fragments of pottery but no traces of a fortified settlement were discovered on Babnik over Selca in the Selška valley. Individual accidental findings, such as an iron lance head from Martinj vrh dating from the 6th. century B.C., a bronze certosa fibula found under the village of Rudno from the 5th. century B.C. and a bronze animal fibula found in Podgora dating from the 4th. century B.C., give evidence of ancient prehistoric roads.

Partly preserved footed vessel in the shape of a situla, bronze belt buckle, bracelets and leg bracelets from the mounds in Godeške dobrave (photo: Jože Štukl).
In Godeške dobrave a large cemetery with 54 earthen mounds was discovered. All the mounds examined so far proved that the burials inside were cremations. A male grave from mound D stands out. In addition to the urn with the deceased’s ashes, the grave also contained the deceased’s personal belongings – a bronze bracelet, two fibulae, rectangular belt buckle, two iron knives and seven ceramic vessels. The grave dates back to the 5th. century B.C., in the certosa horizon.
A view over the partially excavated “Villa Rustica” in Žabnica (photo: Zorka Šubic).
The period of Hallstatt is followed by the Laten Period (400 – 0). The lack of findings from that period could be contributed to the absence of settlement but most likely this is a consequence of the research conditions.

The arrival of the Romans marks the beginning of the Roman period (0 – 476). The Roman remains in this area are scarce, especially the ones from earlier in the period. So far the accidental findings do not provide evidence of any permanent settlements but they illustrate the transience of this territory. The bronze fibula from Malenski vrh in the Poljanska valley is an example typical of the 1st. century. Objects lost by the road from Emona to Carnium (a horseshoe from Reteče and a lance head from Žabnica) tell us about the road connections.

First evidences of a permanent Roman settlement in the Loka area date back to the late Roman Period. In Žabnica, Villa Rustica, which covered an area of 50x100m, was discovered. The findings include remains of the roofing, fragments of pottery, glass, nails, a piece of painted plaster and a mosaic made from black, white and grey stones. With the help of the coins found, the building was dated to the mid 4th century.

The pot, goblet, oil lamp, iron knives and part of a human skull from Stari dvor (photo: Jože Štukl).
he Romans buried their dead outside the settlement walls, along the roads. Preserved objects (a pot with a handle, a goblet with a foot, an oil lamp, iron knives and a part of a human skull) found by the road from Škofja Loka to Kranj and dating back to the period from the 2nd to the 4th century bear evidence to the ruined Roman graveyard in Stari dvor. A part of a sarcophagus found built into the base of the St. Urh’s church tower in Žabnica reminds us of the presence of a graveyard somewhere around Žabnica. 
Late-antique fibula in the form of a pigeon or a peacock from Puštal above Trnje (kept by the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana).
In the restless times of late Antiquity various barbaric peoples passed through Slovenian territory on their way to Italy. As a defence against them, the Roman army used to build defensive walls. Such walls were also found near the south-western edge of the Loka area, around Nova Oselica, and on the watershed between Škofje and Bevkov vrh. During these times people lived in constant danger. They moved out from the towns to remote, naturally protected locations. In such places the Roman indigenous population formed smaller fortified settlements. In that time Puštal above Trnje was re-settled which is proven by the fibula in the form of a pigeon or a peacock, the treasured finding of tools and weapons, a silver coin of Emperor Teoderik, a fragment of a gilded silver fibula, a nomadic Čmi-Brigetio-type mirror and numerous ceramic finds.

Late-antique fibula in the form of a pigeon or a peacock from Puštal above Trnje (kept by the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana).

The antique tradition in these parts was finally broken off with the arrival of newcomers – the Slavic peoples. In the Loka area we have not discovered any material remains of their settlements. Only four skeleton graves with modest add-ons found on Sorško polje dating to a time from the 9th. to 10th. century give evidence of the presence of Slavs. Most information about the settlement of Slavs is provided by the deeds of donation from 973 and 989, which include the Slavic names of places (Lonca, Susane, Sabniza, Zelzah), grounds and waters (Stresoubrod, Lubnic, Zouriza). Almost all of them have been preserved to the present day.

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Loški muzej Škofja Loka, Grajska pot 13 , 4220 Škofja Loka
tel.: +386 4 517-04-00, fax: +386 4 517-04-12