Of all of them, the greatest attention is caused by the ancient Roman city of Argos, which is due to its monumental architecture, and even more due to the stories that a huge amount of gold and other valuables is hidden in it.
According to historical data, Argos was an ancient fortress, located near the village of Rgotina. It was built by the Romans, who had mines and smelters all around. In the canyon of the Bor River, they had a refuge to which high dignitaries retreated, carrying everything that slaves dug every day in nearby mines or washed from gold-bearing rivers in eastern Serbia.
Imaginative ancient craftsmen made jewelry from molten precious metal. The little jewelry that the archaeologists of the Bor Museum of Mining and Metallurgy found in the vicinity of the city, are real jewelry pearls and attract the attention of every visitor to the gallery there.
All those beautiful chains, rings, earrings, brooches, buttons and hair clips that decorated the royal ladies two thousand years ago, were found near Krivelj, about fifteen kilometers away from the village of Rgotina. Where rare old writings only incidentally mention the city of Argos, there have been no findings so far.
However, all this does not discourage the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, nor the adventurers from other parts of Serbia. They are still searching, because practice has shown that most of the valuable archaeological finds so far have been found by chance. Only after that did they go in search of sites and dig up the foundations of old buildings.
The story of Argos is even more interesting, because it is claimed that the city was built in a canyon, between the high cliffs of limestone rocks that surround Rgotina. The scene is also impressive for today’s passers-by because the bright white heights of the hill rise indefinitely and it seems as if they are drowning in the sky itself.
“Maybe that atmosphere makes us believe that the ancient Romans chose a low plateau that was surrounded on all three sides by hills and that they built a city on it,” says one of the locals, who himself is actively searching for buried treasure. is prohibited by law.
He, like other locals, believes that the Romans blocked the entrance to the city with heavy rocks, so that the light came only from the opening above the valley. Then, in the hill that formed their hinterland, they opened the entrance to the cave, even more spacious than the built fortress, and arranged rooms for possible protection from barbarian tribes.
‘The cave is said to have had a deep lake surrounded by narrow canals that led to spacious halls. In one of them, many rooms were arranged and all had bathrooms similar to the ancient Roman one, which still stands today in Brestovačka Banja, about twenty kilometers away from Rgotina. The second, slightly smaller hall was obviously intended for entertainment. In it were tables and chairs whose corners were lined with vignettes forged of gold. On the low, but long rectangular sofas, there are many beautiful pottery, bowls and glasses from which the Romans probably drank their good wines and enjoyed delicious food. I believe that they enjoyed those famous trifles that today’s world envies them. The more hidden chambers served as treasures. one was a mint. It was worked on for more than two hundred years. The other was the pantry. The metal coffins were full of gold coins, silver coins, jewelry and copper and clay carved vessels – said the treasure hunter mentioned above.
As he spoke, he did not pause, as if speaking at someone’s dictation. And his eyes, staring into the distance, glazed strangely, like the eyes of a travel writer describing a place where he had been impressed several times and remembered every detail he saw.
Everyone in the world would be happy if an object from the ancient Roman Empire remained so well hidden, that one can authentically testify to this probably the most exciting epoch of our civilization.
The mood of our treasure hunter subsided to disappointment, when he continued his story.
‘I wasn’t so lucky to see it all. The whole story is related to the fate of one Rajko from the neighboring village of Vrazogrnac. Four decades ago, he visited these white mountains in search of his own peace. He was looking for a secret place to sometimes come, sit down and forget about his unhappy love, Jasmina. Rajko was rich. He had fields all the way to Metovnica and beyond to Grljan near Zajecar. And he was the only one. His sister and two brothers died when he was a child. His father died in the war, and his mother managed to save her wealth with her brother-in-law. When they took everything away, Rajko didn’t have much left either, but there were a lot of buried gold coins left in the yard under the oak, and he didn’t need anything else. But he wanted only one, tall and thin jasmine with grass-colored eyes and pale, almost airy hair. She lived in his neighborhood. He watched her all the time, and what you watch every day, in the end, you want.
The story of Rajko and Jasmina is, in fact, a story about Romeo and Juliet in the Serbian way. However, it was not only their parents who interfered. The obstacle was much bigger because Jasmina was married and even had a child, and after the Second World War, all white widows were called Gestapo whores.
In fact, Jasmina was not indifferent either, although they say they married out of love before that. But you know that you will find it hard to resist, when you feel that someone is constantly thinking of you, that he is looking you straight in the eye for a long time and sadly, and that his heart is splitting with longing. Here, she also fell in love with the tall and stocky Rajko and his black eyes. When the embarrassment broke out in the village, she cried for a long time, and then she packed a few things and left with her daughter. Nobody knew where, but that everyone was looking for her.
It was rumored later that she got along well, got a job and got married.
However, fate gave Rajko a bad end. He neglected the job he loved, he didn’t even groom horses anymore. He was just planting some trees and wandering on a white alien rock. During one walk, he came across a board. It was probably already a little moved, so Rajko managed to enter. When he saw all that wealth, he took the most beautiful ring and necklace to give to his Jasmine when he returned one day, as he had hoped. And then he decided to make his peasants happy. He himself knew that the Roman city of Argos had been talked about for centuries, that sorcerers were afraid to find their way, and that every year the ceilings were turned over again in order to find a map left by their ancestors.
Everyone in the village gathered around him. They watched in amazement the jewelry he brought for Jasmina. They listened to what he saw there. That same night, the people of Vražogrn took a bath, the women prepared clean underpants for them because unclean people do not go on treasure hunts, and they came here, close to our village. They followed Rajko up the steep cliffs, through the bushes. And when their guide told them that they were close, a stone fell and flew towards a group of peasants. Rajko remained dead on the spot, he never opened his mouth again, the others survived, two were seriously injured, three had just been scratched. ‘