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Many of the churches and monasteries dated back to the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.
Peter of Cetinje, the (alleged) right hand of John the Baptist, particles of the True Cross, the icon of the Philermos Mother of God, the remains of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš (relocated), Royal Regalia of Serbian Emperor Stephen Uroš IV Dušan, among others.
Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples and especially those within former Yugoslavia; Y-DNA results show that haplogroups I2a and R1a together stand for roughly two thirds of the makeup (as of 2014).
The history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate the Byzantine Empire.
The Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro.
The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in Eastern Orthodoxy and traditions.
Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, and Kosovo Myth.
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It was founded during the reign of Stefan Nemanja, or even earlier. The Macedonian Orthodox church declared autocephaly on July 19, 1967, from the Serbian church, a move which is not recognised by any of the churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and since then, the Macedonian Orthodox Church is not in communion with any Orthodox Church.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language which was shared by other South Slavs (Croats and Bosniaks).
The origin of the ethnonym is unclear (see Names of the Serbs and Serbia).These states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.