Burial Practices at the Roman and Late Roman Necropoleis of Stobi
The Balkan Heritage Foundation and the Department of Archaeology at New Bulgarian University organized the BEMA Online Seminar in Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology on Saturday, May 07, 2022. Guest lecturer Dr. Silvana Blazhevska (National Institution Stobi, R. of N. Macedonia), presented on the following topic: “Burial Practices at the Roman and Late Roman Necropoleis of Stobi”.
The ancient city of Stobi located at the confluence of rivers Axios and Erigon in the northern part of the Roman Province of Macedonia flourished from the time of Augustus until late 6th or early 7th century when it was abandoned. The systematic excavations conducted at the site over the past 100 years have revealed a prosperous city with lavishly decorated public buildings, private residences and rich moveable finds which provided an extensive data for its history, urban development and various aspects of everyday life.
Several burial sites were also excavated at different locations outside and within the city walls, providing evidence for burial practices of ancient Stobenses. The majority date to the Roman and Late Roman periods, except for a small Hellenistic cemetery discovered below the Late Antique residences House of Peristeria and Domus Fullonica and small medieval cemetery found above the Civil Basilica.
The 2840 graves excavated so far show a variety of grave types and constructions, burial rituals and grave offerings. Those dated between the Augustan period and the late 4th century are located at the West Cemetery, while later burials from the 5th and 6th centuries were concentrated around extra mural churches and along the southwest and northwest fortification. A group of 4th century burials found above the ruins of the Building with Arches inside the city walls as well as graves of infants or juveniles buried below the floors of the 6th century houses require further investigations to be properly explained.
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