It was discovered in 1893 when Austro-Hungarian authorities started construction of agricultural college. This finding was mostly responsible for the International congress of archeologists and anthropologists which was in Sarajevo next year. Digging began immediatelly and lasted until 1896. The foundings were great. It was a great interest among archaeologists worldwide. Traces of human settlement were found dating to the Neolithic period. Tools made of hard stones were found in the ground and artistic designed pottery and unique ceramics. Pottery decoration was spiral with other geometrical shapes. Decoration of the pottery was very interesting and is still debated all over the world becouse of it's resemblance with Kamares style Minoan pottery. Certain characteristics of this pottery designs suggest a connection to the Minoan culture of Crete. Some of this pottery can be seen in National Museum.
|Butmir Neolithic settlement|
Another very interesting thing about this connection was Mexican philogogist Roberto Salinas Price. He published a book named Homer's Blinde Audience in which he argued that ancient Troy was not in Minor Asia but on the site of town Gabela. Word Gabela comes from Italian word for customs and Arabic word for taxes(al-qabala). At the mouth of river Neretva he claimed to have found traces which were totally in accord with his research and which point out that Gabela was really a Troy. His sketches from the description of Iliad agree totally with air pictures of Gabela, as well as archeological digs in the area from the early Iron age. Town and temple descriptions, palaces, names of allied cities, islands, the Trojan hinterland all agree. The stars mentioned in Iliad could only be visible from Gabela in those positions that Homer describes in the Iliad. He visited Gabela in 1985 and continued to claim that it was really ancient Ilios and that in the ruins of Gabela there are remains of the Temple to Athena. He died at the age of 77 after short disease.