Great archaeological discovery at Stobi

April, 19 2012 | Ioannes Stobaeus


During the excavations of the temple this week, the archaeologists of NI Stobi uncovered a 2nd century AD marble sculpture of the goddess Isis. The oversize statue is a masterpiece of the ancient art, but its significance is much bigger due to the fact that after four years of systematic investigations we finally have the answer which deity was worshipped in the temple. The existence of a sanctuary of Isis in Stobi was recorded in 1977 after a discovery of an inscription, but the location remained unknown until 2008.


Isis is an Egyptian goddess whose cult was spread in Macedonia and across the Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period. The goddess was worshipped until the Late Antiquity and the Christian domination. During the Hellenistic and Roman period her mystery cult was syncretic and included attributes from various goddesses of the Greco-Roman pantheon. In most cases she was worshipped together with the god Serapis, a deity also confirmed at Stobi. In R. of Macedonia, two marble sculptures from Ohrid were the only finds of this kind so far. The temple in Stobi is a unique discovery in R. of Macedonia as a religious building where the cult of Isis was practiced.   


The archaeological investigations and conservation of the temple are financed by the Macedonian Ministry of Culture as part of the annual program for 2012.

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