Between East and West. Stobi and the Cities in the Roman Provinces on the Balkans

October, 08 2018


The International Archaeological Conference “Between East and West. Stobi and the Cities in the Roman Provinces on the Balkans”, organized by National Institution Stobi was held in the conference room in the Stobi Winery, between September 27-30, 2018.


The opening ceremony was scheduled on September 27, 2018 in 5.45 pm, with welcome remarks of Mr. Spase Perovski, director of the National Institution Stobi. Mr. Robert Alagjozovski, national coordinator for cultural development in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, addressed the audience, referring to the significance of the archaeological site Stobi and the efforts of the Government for future cultural development in general. Besides the participants, other guests, mayors of Gradsko and Veles, officials of the local and central governmental bodies, as well as colleagues from the national or local cultural institutions attended on the opening ceremony.


Three presentations followed the opening ceremony, honoring the former and present explorers of Stobi. Academican Vera Bitrakova-Grozdanova spoke about the earliest explorers from the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Professor Emeritus James Wiseman for the Joint project for Stobi in the 1970’s, while Silvana Blaževska for the researchers in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the project “Roman Forum”, and for the projects of the National Institution Stobi since its foundation in 2008. Professor Emerita Carolyn Snively promoted the renewed publication “Studies in the Antiquities of Stobi vol. IV”, published by the National Institution Stobi.


Total number of 55 participants affiliated to respectable academies of sciences and art, universities, archaeological institutes and museums from eleven countries had applied on the conference: Macedonia (20), Greece (4), Bulgaria (11) Albania (2), Serbia (3), Croatia (1), Montenegro (2), Austria (2), Germany (1), France (4) and USA (5).


The presentations were organized in 9 sessions, based on topic and chronology. The working part of the conference had started on Friday, September 30. The first three sessions various lectures were presented referring to topography, urban development, economy, architecture of theaters, libraries and residences, organization of public space in the Roman cities, religion, cults and beliefs in the Roman period as well as one lecture regarding social structure of the population of Stobi and the surrounding area based on epigraphic evidence. The second day was dedicated to funerary practices and grave offerings in the Roman period, Roman coinage and various objects made of ceramics, glass and bone. Topography and urban development of the Late Antique cities were main topics in the third session, including a study of coin circulation in Stobi. The last day of the conference included presentations referring to Early Christianity, basilicas, mosaics and wall paintings, and especially the role of bishops in creation of Early Christian architecture and art.


The lectures encompassed various aspects of the archaeology, history, material culture, architecture, topography and urban development of many cities in the Balkans, which existed during the Roman and Late Antique period: Stobi, Scupi, Heraclea Lyncestis, Thessalonica, Byllis, Dyrrachium, Heraclea Sintica, Viminacium, Caričin Grad, Mursa, Odessos, Philippopolis and Doclea. Many new discoveries and knowledge of the various aspects of everyday life were presented, fostering constructive discussions which will contribute towards a better understanding of our past.


The papers presented at the conference will be published in the Proceedings of the conference as a special edition of the series of Studies in the Antiquities of Stobi by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.


The International Archaeological Conference “Between East and West. Stobi and the Cities in the Roman Provinces on the Balkans”, was funded by the Ministry of Culture and from donations of National Institution Stobi and Balkan Heritage Foundation from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.

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Related: International Archaeological Conference at Stobi (September 27, 2018)

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