Stećak necropolis is found in village Boljuni, part of a larger village Bjelojevići, 15 km southwest from Stolac, near the road Stolac-Hutovo Blato. It’s located in the plain, beneath the village houses and arranged in two separate groups some 400 meters from each other. Surrounding lands hold sites from Illyrian period (ruins and tumulus), while, not far, Crkvina site can be found, probably from late classic period and graveyard fragments (early medieval?).
Boljun stećci have many common traits with stećci from eastern Herzegovina, and especially with stećci from areas of Stolac and Čapljina – with Radimlje, Opličićima and Nekuk. They were placed in rows and oriented strictly in direction west-east, or with a just small divergence from it.
According to usual scale of basic shapes, necropolis consists of: 82 plates, 176 chests, 12 ridges and 4 crosses. Out of the whole necropolis, 92 tombstones are decorated. The decorated stećci consist out of 29 plates, 57 chests and 6 ridges. In terms of decorated monuments, Boljuni necropolis is numbered amongst several large necropolises with richest decorations.
Embossing motifs which appear most often are bent stems with three leafs, as a bordure on the horizontal sides of the plates or as a frieze on the upright sides of the chests. This motif is characteristic for whole Herzegovina, but it appears here as well in relatively large number of instances. Frequently depicted are shields with swords and rosettes, which appear in several variants: as heraldic devices on shields, in composition with crescent or on their own. They appear as stylized rosettes as well with helical circular wreaths or presented as a cross-rosettes. Following, by number of depictions, are plastique ribbons, different bordures, cross – plain and stylized, crescent, lilies, floral stylizations with spirals and clusters, arcades and swords. There are numerous figural representations and compositions: scenes of deer hunt, tournaments and kolo (folklore dance). Shown as well are fantastic animals, lion figures and horsemen.
Original motifs of Boljun are: lion, woman holding a child in her arms, stylized rosettes, and fantastic animals in shape of lizards and kolo with leader of kolo riding a deer.
By number of inscriptions, 19 in total, Boljun provide historical date and date important for cultural history of Serbs in Herzegovina. Inscriptions mention the names of the deceased: Bogavac Taraha Boljunović, died before 1477; Radić Vladisalić; Herak and Radoslav Heraković who repose “on their heirdom”; Petar Vukić and his brother and others. Some of these persons are even historically documented. Therefore, there are buried members of the Boljun group – Vladisalići, who belonged to Donji Vlasi. Several stećci hold a signature of artisan Grubač, recognizable by his artistic expression and motifs, dijak (scribe) Semorad and others (artisans Milić, Zelija and Dragiša and two scribes Radoje and Vuk). It is presume that Boljuni were an important stone-carving and artistic center.
Largest number of stećci in the necropolis originate from period artisan Grubača (between 1440-1460), and his pupils were active, that is, the second half of the XV century. In that time period, the area around Stolac was one of the centers for epigraphic monuments, whose inscriptions were written in Cyrillic writing.
Although there is no precise data, due to the number of existing stećak monuments, assumption is that deceased were buried here since second half of the XIV to the start of the XVI century.
Near the necropolis, some 200 meters northwest and 200 meters east, two quarries used to exist and most likely provided stone for creation of stećak monuments.
Prepared: Boris Radaković
Translate: Ljubisa Malenica