The archaeological excavations during May and June were conducted in two locations: the area of the Temple of Isis and the Theatre. The investigations in the Temple area were focused on documenting the remains of Late Antique houses which were built during the 5-6 centuries after the Temple was abandoned. Particularly interesting discovery is the small inscription devoted to the divine couple of Isis and Serapis, which implies that the building was not devoted to Isis alone. The existence of the cult of Isis and Serapis at Stobi was indicated by several finds from the past excavations. The temple was found in 2008, but the mystery of its dedication was solved in 2012 by the discovery of large marble sculpture of the goddess Isis.
Same as the seasons of 2013 and 2014, the excavations of the Theatre continued in the eastern half of the central circular corridor and the eastern radial corridor. Until the end of June, the corridors were almost fully excavated to the original levels of construction and use, in the period when the Theatre was active. The past three years of excavations meant careful documentation of all post-theatre phases of occupation, from the end of the 4th century AD until the 12-14 century. The eastern half of the central circular corridor is around 44 metres long, 2.5 metres wide while the height of the corridor reached around 6 metres.
Several international projects were realized in collaboration with the Balkan Heritage Foundation. The first two projects were the workshops for documentation and conservation of pottery, glass, mosaics and wall paintings which took place in June. The workshops involved international participants and instructors from Ni Stobi and Balkan Heritage.
The Archaeological Field School and the Workshop for advanced methods of photo documentation of artifacts and architecture were held in July. The excavations in the sixth season of the Field School were continued in the area between the Theodosian Palace and the so-called Prison. Parts of two streets and a destruction layer of a house from the 6th century were uncovered and documented. The buildings such is the Theodosian Palace were abandoned in the 6th century and their walls were incorporated in the newly constructed houses.
The workshop for advanced photo documentation was established this year and it is a very interesting new project which includes photogrammetry, reflective transformation imaging, VR (Virtual Reality) tour of the site and object VR for a virtual museum. Part of the results will be available on the Stobi web site, and part of them will be included in the interactive presentation of the site in the Visitor’s centre, planned to be opened next year.
In August, NI Stobi will continue the Project for conservation of the mosaic from the narthex of the Episcopal Basilica and the Project for conservation, restoration and reconstruction of the Theatre which started in 2013.
Check the album from the projects on our Facebook page.