In the last period Vasilka Dimitrovska, director of HAEMUS gave a few smaller statements for Macedonian media and a couple of interviews in order to promote Kokino, an archaeological site from Bronze Age period and a prehistoric archaeo-astronomical observatory. As a host of the Northeastern planning region of Macedonia, HAEMUS works on strategies for cultural tourism in this region, as well as providing the licensed guides for the tours. To share our experience on finding the archaeological site by yourself, we wrote few tips and tricks how to get to Kokino – the oldest ancient astronomical observatory on the Balkans and the second one in the world after Stonehenge.
Stateman for Vecer.mk – the most popular Macedonian newspaper
MИА.mk is the leading news agency in Macedonia. For the article we would like to thank to Ms. Irena Radovanovic, journalist of MIA who conducted the interview.
Professional guides and audio tours for Macedonia’s Bronze Age observatory
MIA Monday, July 25, 2016 11:27 AM
Beginning with 1 August, the Bronze age observatory in Kokino, one of Macedonia’s best known historic sites, will be serviced by 52 licensed tour guides. Dated back to the 19th century BC Kokino is the oldest observatory of its kind in the Balkans, and is known as the “Macedonian Stonehenge”.
“In the past period we have back to back training of licensed guides organized as part of a USAID program to support small businesses, with the assistance of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation”, said archaeologist Vasilka Dimitrovska who leads the HAEMUS center for promotion of culture, and is one of the future Kokino guides. The Kumanovo Museum is also supporting the promotion of Kokino, establishing a news site http://www.kokino.mk , and preparing signs and other necessary infrastructure.
“A new development with our project is the audio guide that can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store, in English or Macedonian. The guide provides information for visitors who want to explore the site themselves, without the help of a guide. Only certified guides will be able to organize tours and this will improve quality in presenting our cultural heritage and will remove the possibility of spreading mistaken interpretations about the site”, said Dimitrovska.
According to her, the training program for guides has helped inform the tourism operators as well about the Kokino site. “Whichever way you enter this region, from the first sight of the old, extinguished volcanoes, you realize that you are entering a site of exceptional natural and cultural heritage. This site helped create Kratovo and several unique archaeological sites such as Kostoperska Karpa, Kokino, Cocev Kamen and Konjuh. Add to this the good food and this makes your stay in the region unforgetable”, says Dimitrovska.
Dimitrovska says that Kokino is a site that dates back to the Bronze Age and is seen as oldest in Europe, except for the legendary Stonehenge site. “This is something that we can be proud of”, she adds. The site has carvings that were used to mark the movement of the Sun, the Moon and the planets. It also includes several so-called throne carvings.
“In order to inform the world that Macedonia has an observatory dating back to the 1800s BC Kokino needs to be promoted on digital media. If it’s not online, it might as well not exist at all. I’d add that it is necessary to have several major production or TV brands do documentaries here, on top of the locally produced promotional content which is also important. But, a documentary on Kokino would be able to reach millions across the world”, says Dimitrovska.
Set up in 2012, her organization HAEMUS has worked with the tourist industry in Macedonia to promote professional tours of historic and cultural sites. “We are proud to be cultural ambassadors of Macedonia of sorts”, she says, adding that while many tourists come to Kokino after seeing it online, it is also important to have tourism agencies involved in the process, to add this additional link in the chain.
Journalist: Irena Radovanovic