NI Stobi has planned 10 projects for 2014, five of which have already been finalized until the end of July. During June, two international workshops for conservation of pottery and mosaics were held at Stobi. The projects are part of the collaboration between NI Stobi and Balkan Heritage Foundation. The pottery conservation workshop involved restoration of imitations and original roman vessels. The workshop for conservation of mosaics was realized with the second phase of the project for conservation of the mosaic from the narthex of the Episcopal Basilica. The project included application of new mortar bedding and aluminum honey comb panels on the mosaic from the narthex which was removed from its original position in 2012. The both projects were extended with two smaller workshops for conservation of glass vessels and frescoes.
The excavations at the West Necropolis and the Theatre were conducted during June and July as part of the capital projects financed by the Macedonian Government. More than 50 graves from the 1-3 century AD were uncovered with the excavations at the cemetery. Most of the deceased were cremated and had different grave offerings such are ceramic vessels, oil lamps, glass vessels and bronze coins. Particularly interesting is the grave with cremated remains in a lead urn. The excavations of the theatre were limited on a small part of the central circular corridor where the NI Stobi team investigated several floor levels from the Late Antiquity (5-6 century), the period when the theatre walls and corridors were incorporated in the newly built houses.
The third project from the collaboration between NI Stobi and Balkan Heritage Foundation was the international field school, realized between 29 of June and 28 of July. The project had 16 participants from different countries. The excavations were conducted in the area between the Theodosian Palace and the so-called “Prison”, in one of the later rooms of the Palace. The room has several renewed floor levels and during the 6th century it was divided into two parts. The discovered moveable finds include pottery sherds, glass vessel shards, fragments of window glass, animal bones, bronze coins, iron arrowhead and a small white marble statue with the representation of a nude male god.
The remaining five projects, sponsored by the Annual program of the Ministry of Culture will take place at Stobi in the following months. The two projects for conservation of metal objects and glass vessels will begin in August while the excavations in the area of the Temple of Isis will begin in September. The conservation of the theatre will continue in September and it will last until the end of November. The plan for this year is to reconstruct the brick vaults above the central radial corridor and the lateral rooms, as well as the mortar beddings for the marble seats. It is expected that in 2015 the eastern half of ima cavea will be prepared for the reconstruction of the marble seats. The last project for 2014 is placing back the mosaic from the nave of the Old Epsicopal Basilica in its original position. The preparations for the project will begin at the 15th of August.
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