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Stobi in Yugoslavian Macedonia: Archaeological Excavations and Research, 1977-78

Author(s): James Wiseman

Source: Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Winter, 1978), pp. 391-429
Published by: Boston University
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Stobi in YugoslavianMacedonia:Archaeological
Excavationsand Research,1977-78
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts

Theancientcity of Stobihas beenthesite of archaeologicalinvestigations

by ajoint American-Yugoslavstaff since 1970. Thesite is locatedin
Macedoniaat thejunctureof the VardarandCrnarivers,ca. 150
km.northof Thessaloniki,Greece.TheStobi Projectis an interdisciplinary
undertakingconcernedwithproblemsrelatingto thenaturalandman-madeenvironments
of thepeoplewholivedat Stobiandin the vicinityfrom the 3rdcenturyB.C. to the late 6th centuryA .C. The1977and1978field seasons
on excavationsin the CentralBasilica/SynagogueComplexandthe
EpiscopalBasilica.In addition,programsof study,conservation,
of architecturalfeatures
1. Introduction
During the summers of 1977 and 1978 the joint
American-YugoslavStobi Project conducted archaeological excavationschiefly in two areas of the ancient
city of Stobi in YugoslavianMacedonia:'the Episcopal
Basilica and its immediate environs, and within the
structuresthat successivelyoccupiedthe site of the Central Basilica.2 There were additional short-term excavations in the Theater and a few other areas both
within and outsidethe walls of the ancientcity. The excavations were the eighth and ninth consecutive
summersof researchby the Projectand markthe end of
the current program of major excavation at Stobi.3
During the next three years, includingthe summersof
1979 and 1980 at Stobi, the Project staff will be concernedprimarilywith the study and publicationof the
resultsof those excavations,and with conservation.
1. Preliminaryreportsof earlierwork by the Projectare by James
Wiseman and Djordje Mano-Zissi,"Excavationsat Stobi, 1970,"
AJA 75 (1971)395-411;"Excavationsat Stobi, 1971,"AJA 76 (1972)
407-24;"Excavationsat Stobi, 1972,"AJA 77 (1973) 391-403;"Excavationsat Stobi, 1973-1974,"JFA 1 (1974) 117-48;"Stobi:A City
of AncientMacedonia,"JFA 3 (1976)269-302.Thesereportswill be
referredto hereafteras W-MZ (1971), (1972), (1973), (1974), and
(1976) respectively.Studiesin the Antiquitiesof Stobi I, II (Beograd
1973,1975),JamesWiseman,ed., will be citedas StudiesI and II.
2. Cf. the map of Stobi publishedin W-MZ(1976)272-73,fig. 2. The
Episcopal Basilica and its adjacentstructures,along with the Via
Sacra,are designatedon that map by the numbers18-22;the Central
Basilicais No. 6.
3. The principalaims of the Stobi Projecthavebeen discussedin WMZ (1974) 120and W-MZ(1976)269-70.

The work of both seasons was rewardedby results

significantfor our understandingof the evolutionof urban life at Stobi and of the form of the city itself from
the 3rd century B.C. to the late 6th century A.C. when
Stobi, as an organizedsocial community,ceasedto exist. Otherdiscoveriesprovideadditionaldocumentation
for the importanceof Stobi as a regional center for
ecclesiastical,commercial,and artistic concerns. This
importanceis in part a resultof the strategiclocationof
the town at the junctureof the Vardarand Crna rivers
(FIG. 1), but other factors more directly related to
human behaviour,as revealedin the materialremains
and their context, contributed to the ascendancy of
Stobi in this regionof the Roman Empire.In particular,
recentdiscoveriesfurtherattest to the presenceat Stobi
of an active and evidentlyprosperousChristiancommunity,and of skilledgroupsof artisans.Whatis more,
some of the most significant results of the past two
seasonscontributeto our understandingof EarlyChristian architecture,and the history of religions(pagan,
Jewish,and Christian)in Macedonia.Otheractivitiesat
Stobi in 1977 and 1978includedconservationof walls,
especiallyin the EpiscopalBasilica area, and mosaics;
cleaningand preservationof frescoes;and the studyof a
number of groups of artifacts, especially glass and
4. VirginiaAnderson-Stojanoviccompleted a study of the earlier
pottery at Stobi as her Ph.D. dissertation:"Pottery of the Late
Hellenistic and Early Roman Periods at Stobi," Departmentof
Classics,Universityof Texasat Austin, 1977.A studyof the glass by
DraganStojanovicwas acceptedas a Master'sthesis in Archaeology
at the Universityof Beogradin September,1978.These works will

392 Stobi in Yugoslavian

The Project is sponsoredby Boston Universityand
the National Museum of Titov Veles. Funds for the
supportof the Projectin 1977and 19785wereprovided
serve as the bases for the definitivepublicationsof glass and pottery
vessels now being preparedby Dragan Stojanovic'and Virginia
5. In 1977 and 1978 the Co-directorsof the Projectwere Wiseman
and Blaga Aleksova, Professorof Art History at the Universityof
Skopje;the formeralso servedas Field Director.A1 B. Wesolowsky,
BostonUniversity,was DeputyDirectorfor Wisemanduringmuchof
July and August, 1977.The AdministrativeDirectorin 1977wasTiho
Najdovski,Directorof the National Museumof Titov Veles.Nikola
Tripbev succeeded Najdovski both as Director of the National
Museumof Titov VelesandAdministrativeDirectorof the Projectin
1978.Otherstaff memberswere as follows (the year is cited for persons present during only one year). Dean L. Moe, Minneapolis,
Minnesota,supervisedwork in the CentralBasilica/Synagogue,and
wasassistedby ProfessorWilliamPoehlmann(1978),St.Olaf College;
Eleanora Petrova (1978), ArchaeologicalMuseum of Skopje, and
Anita Moe, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Area supervisors in the
EpiscopalBasilicawere:Zvonko Beldedovski,National Museumof
Stip; Ricardo J. Elia, Boston University;ProfessorRuth Kolarik,
ColoradoCollege;Kleanti Ljakovska,Universityof Skopje;Djordji
Petacki, National Museum of Titov Veles; Carolyn S. Snively,
Universityof Texasat Austin.
BusinessManagerand Inventory:LucyWiseman,BostonUniversity. Records:Caroline Downing Hemans (architectural),who also
assistedas an artistand draftsman,IndianaUniversity;LynnStowell,
Universityof Michiganat Ann Arbor,andCaseyElia(1978),University of Massachusettsat Boston.Architects:FrederickP. Hemans,II,
IndianaUniversity;MilenkoMilojevic',Skopje;Angel Milanov,Titov
Veles;assistedby Anne MarieBaranowski(1978),CornellUniversity;
Iv Miladinov(1978),Universityof Skopje;and CraigMorgan(1978),
Cornell University. Cornell University provided travel funds for
Baranowski. Artists and Draftsmen: Dragan Stojanovic'(1978),
Chambersburg,Pennsylvaniaand Universityof Beograd,who also
assisted in various areas of conservation,and Blaze Kuzmanovski
(1977), Academy of Arts, Ljubljana.CeramicsAnalysts:Professor
(1978), Wilson College, and Ankica
Milosevic'(1977), Universityof Beograd.Photographers:Professor
William and Janet Berry, Boston University(1977);Judy Durick,
Fredonia, New York (1978); Bore Levkov, National Museum of
Titov Veles (darkroomtechnician).Aerialphotographyby Professor
Wilson and E. Myers(1978), MichiganState University,assistedby
Nancy Stuart.Geochemist:SalvatoreValastro,Jr. (1977), Radiocarbon Laboratory,Universityof Texasat Austin.
Conservators: (Frescoes) Djordje Georgievski, Conservation
Instituteof Macedonia,and TrajanVitlarski,Universityof Skopje;
(Mosaics)EftimDimovski(1978),National Museumof Bitola;Lazo
Djakovski, National Museum of Bitola; Slave Kirkovski (1978),
National Museumof Bitola, and Momcilo Petrovski,Conservation
Instituteof Macedonia;(Architecture)
MilanIvanovski(1978)andZivoin Vincic (1978), Conservation Institute of Macedonia;
(Laboratory)DjordjinaGabricevic',National Museum of Beograd
assisted by Ljubomir Grujcic'(technician, 1977). Art Historian
(Frescoes):Zagora Nikolovska, ArchaeologicalMuseumof Skopje.
AdministrativeAssistant and General Manager, Stevo Andov,
NationalMuseumof Titov Veles.Studentassistantsin variousareas;
(1977)Angel Dimovski,ValentinoDimovski,ZoranJulovski,Viktor
Lilcic',LjiljanaNedelkovka,Krste Martinovski,Lazo Plavevski,and
Dobrila Stojanovska,all fronl the Universityof Skopje;(1978) Bil-

Figure1. Mapof the CentralBalkans.Namesof ancientsitesarein

smallerletters.Drawingby B. O. Davis.

by the Socialist Republicof Macedonia,by a grant to

Boston University from the National Endowmentfor
the Humanities (an outright grant in 1977 and a
matching grant in 1978), by a grant from the Kress
Foundation,and by a numberof privatecontributorsin
the United States.All membersof the Stobi Projectare
grateful for the generous support provided by these
organizationsand individuals.
2. CentralBasilicaandSynagogues
Excavationbelow the Central Basilicahas enlarged
our understandingof the occupationalhistory of the
area,6 but a number of specific details, especially
regardingthe periods of use and re-useof some of the
architecturalremains,have yet to be worked out. The
drawingin Figure 2, therefore,is preliminary:some of
the wall associationsrepresentedthereare basedon tenjana Djodjevic',Universityof Beograd;DimceNaumovski,University
of Skopje; Mirjana Petkovic',University of Beograd; and Ivica
Tanaskovic',Universityof Skopje. Other staff membersfor brief
periods of time were ProfessorElizabethGebhard, Universityof
Illinois at Chicago Circle, assisted by MargaretFarwell, Chicago;
ProfessorTomicaIvanov(geologist),Universityof Skopje;Apostolos
Keramidcliev,ArchaeologicalMuseum of Skopje; Professor Ivan
Mikulcic',Universityof Skopje;and Voislav Sanev, Archaeological
Museumof Skopje.
6. See note 2 for location.A studyof the structureshere,basedon excavationsthrough 1975,has recentlyappeared:Dean L. Moe, "The
Crossandthe Menorah,"Archaeology 30 (1977)148-57.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 393

tative interpretationsthat may be alteredin the course
of the stratigraphic analysis that is currently in
progress.7The Central Basilica, a Christianchurch of
the 5th and 6th centuries,is shown in light outline in
Figure2.8SynagogueII, whichwas built in the early4th
century A.C., iS representedin the drawingby walls in
heavy outline; hatchedlines designatewalls of the lst3rd centuries^.C.9 Room designationsby numberrefer
only to SynagogueII.
Room 1 is the long, main hall of SynagogueII.' The
floor was paved with mosaic, the bema for the torah
shrinestood againstthe east wall, and a benchwas built
along at least part of the south wall towardsthe east.
The mannerof communicationbetweenRoom 2, SE of
Room 1, and other parts of the synagogueis still unknown. Room 2 may even havebeen two spacesinstead
of one, as is suggestedby the discoveryin 1978 of one
face of a cornerof a wall at an elevationappropriatefor
SynagogueII. A portion of the east wall of Room 2 was
found in 1977and, as can be seen in the drawing,is in
line with the east wall of Room 1.
To the east of Room 2, at a distanceof 1.10m., part
of a wall parallelto the east wall of SynagogueII has
been cleared.The new wall is irregularlycoursedwith
stones set in earth mortar and bedded only on earth,
some two courses below the use level associatedwith
the wall. This constructionis considerablyless substantlal than the lime-mortaredwalls founded on bedrock
that are elsewherea part of SynagogueII. The wall is
also associated with a street to the east, presumably
runningN-S, that was discoveredin 1978.The street is
preservedfor a distanceof 2.4 m. to the east where it
was cut throughby the foundationof the east wall of
the basilica. Several stones with flat surfaces and a
number of pebbles that were preservedin the hardpacked surface indicate the nature of the road metal.
The streetsloped down, NW to SE, elevations136.33m.

7. The narrative in this section is based in part on the staff reports of

Dean Moe and William Poehlmann.
8. For a detailed plan of the basilica see Moe, op. cit. (in note 6) 152.
Readers may find it helpful to refer to the following elevations above
mean sea level for- the successive structures in the Central Basilica
area: basilica, nave floor, 139.31 m.; bedding of mosaic of Synagogue
II, 137.74 m.; floor of Synagogue I, 137.5 m.; flagstone courtyard
below the eastern end of Room 1 of Synagogue II, 136.7 m.; floor of
1st century A.C. structure below east end of south aisle of basilica,
135.47 m.; bedrock below the western end of the basilica south aisle,
136.32 m.
9. The Hellenistic walls below the narthex of the basilica are not
shown in fig. 2; see W-MZ (1972) 409- 11.
10. See the plan of Synagogue II in Moe, op. cit. (in note 6) 154-55;
cf. Ruth Kolarik and Momcilo Petrovski, "Technical Observations
on Mosaics at Stobi," Studies II, 66-75, figs. 1-2.

to 136.25 m., and presumablyjoined the E-W street

already identiEledoutside the north wall of Room 1.
The presence of the N-S street and the insubstantial
natureof the new wall leads the excavator,Dean Moe,
to suggestthat the wall servedas a screento set-off the
SynagogueII complexfromthe streetto the east.
Room 3, west of Room 2, projectedslightlyinto the
south side of Room 1 and communicateddirectlywith
it througha wide doorway.Anotherdoorwayopenedto
the south into a predecessorof the House of Psalms;the
westernlimit of the room is unknown.(It was on the
east wall [Wall 16] of Room 3 that the grafEltiof three
menorahswere found in 1975.")Excavationin 1978by
W. Poehlmannin the space between Wall 16 and the
foundation of the nave/narthex wall of the basilica
resultedin the discoveryof a plastet iloor at elevation
137.61m. This floor was deElnitelya use level associated
with the plaster bearing the menorahs;and since the
thresholds both to north and south are ca. 50 cm.
higher, we may reasonablysuppose that there was at
least one step for each thresholdin Room 3.
At least part of the north wall of SynagogueII was
originallyused as a wall of SynagogueI, the Synagogue
of Polycharmus,which seems to have been destroyed
late in the 3rd centuryA.C.'2A spaceto the southof this
wall was delimitedby the re-useof an E-W wall in line
with the later northernedge of Room 3 of Synagogue
II. A threshold and some paving slabs of the earlier
enclosedspace were found still in place in 1971outside
tle NE cornerof Room 3, and fragmentsof paintedwall
plaster bearing the repeated legend. HoAvxapyos/ o
the Father, as a votive
eVXt11J ("Polycharmus
offering"),were found in the late 3rd centurydestruction deposit immediatelyoverlyingthe floor.'3The two
N-S walls shown in hatching in Figure 2 also belong
originallyto an earlierphase, but the one furthereast
may have been re-usedas the easternterminusof this
room of SynagogueI; the westernend is unknown.
Poehlmannhas recentlysuggesteda 2nd centuryconstructiondate for SynagogueI,'4 and his excavationsin
1978 below Room 3 of SynagogueII resultedin some
evidencefor datingthe originalconstructionof Wall 16
to the sametime.
A still earlier period of use is representedby the
11. W-MZ(1976)295-96,figs. 30-31;Moe, op. cit. (in note 6) 154.
12. On the Synagogueof Polycharmussee W-MZ(1971)406-10;WMZ (1972)410;W-MZ(1974)fig. 32 andthe referencescitedin those
13. W-MZ(1972)410 and fig. 6.
14. In a paperpresentedat the Stobi Symposium,PartII, in August,
1977. The proceedingsof the Symposiumwill appear shortly as
Studies III.

394 Stobi in Yugoslavian






, ,







Figure 2. Simplified plan showing the Central Basilica (in outline), Synagogue II (in heavy lines), and earlier Roman walls
(hatched lines). Drawing by Frederick P. Hemans.

Figure 3. Synagogue I or earlier structure. Molded stucco on wall. View from west.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 395

hatched walls (FIG. 2) discussed above, a flagstone
courtyardframedby those walls below the easternend
of Room 1 of SynagogueII,ls and a room with handsomely decoratedwalls found in 1977 and 1978 below
the easternend of the south aisle of the basilica.All the
walls are shown in hatchingin Figure2. The newlydiscoveredroom has a hard-packedclay floor;it is 5.8 m.
long (E-W) and 2.2 m. of its width (N-S) are preserved:
theremay be a doorwayin the NW corner.The walls of
this room were covered with molded stucco (FIG. 3),
some of whichwas painted,since a few fallenfragments
were found bearing a red stripe. The room was
destroyed in an intense fire sometime during the 1st
century A.C.t6Pottery of the 1st century A.C. was also
recoveredbelow the floor.l7 Moe suggests in his 1978
staff report that this room is to be associatedwith the
courtyardand the complexof walls adjacenton the NW
that have alreadybeen mentioned.It is worth noting in
this regardthat the clay floor of the room is at elevation
135.47m. and the flagstonecourtyardlies at elevation
136.7 m., that is, more than a meter higher than the
floor of the room.
Excavationswere carriedto bedrockbelow both the
west and centralparts of the basilicasouth aisle and no
trace of intensive occupationin the Hellenisticperiod
was found. The potter's shop located beneath the
basilicanarthexand westernend of the nave may have
been an isolatedstructureon the edge of the town in the
3. TheEpiscopalBasilica
A. ExcavationsandGeneralComments
The EpiscopalBasilicais the largestelementin an extensive, Early Christianecclesiasticalcomplex bordering a major street (the Via Sacra) in the sw area of
Stobi. Excavationin the 1920sand 1930sresultedin the
uncoveringof much of the basilica as it existed in its
final phase in the late 6th century A.C., along with the
structureto the NE identified as the Episcopal Residence, and the semicircularcourt on the Via Sacrathat
enhancesthe entranceto the atriumof the basilica(FIG.
4).Whenthe currentStobi Projectwas beingplannedin
1969,a numberof problemsthat had been raisedby the
previouslyexcavatedremainsof these structuresgreatly
interestedus. The orientationof the basilica itself, so

much at varianceboth with the Via Sacra and the grid

patterndiscerniblein other parts of the city, had long
been a subjectof debate.'9The preservedarchitectural
sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes prompted specific
questions of chronology and more general discussions
of the place of the basilicain the historyof EarlyChristian art and architecture.The presence of a sunken
crypt in the apse played a role in speculationregarding
a possible predecessorto the presbyterium,priorto the
openingof the new excavations.20
One of the results of these and other considerations
(includingthe overall aims of the Project2')is that the
areaof the EpiscopalBasilicahas been a majorconcern
in our excavationsand study at Stobi since 1970.It has
been our hope to trace the occupationalhistory of the
site occupied by the basilica and its associated structures from earliesttimes to the demiseof the city, and
to correlateour understandingof the changesthat took
place there with the changes that could be noted
throughexcavationselsewherein the city. Study of the
phases of the basilica and its predecessors,if any, we
felt, would also contribute to our knowledge of the
evolution of early Christianart, architecture,and even
liturgyin ancientMacedonia.The fact that Stobi was in
a region that received strong culturalinfluencesboth
from the East and the West added still greater
to suchinvestigations.
Excavationsin the basilicaarea,therefore,have been
conductedanrluallyby the Project,beginningin 1970,
except for the 1976 study season. By 1976much of the
area south of the basilica, where the well-preserved
Baptisteryis located,had been cleared;an earliermajor
phase of the basilica had been identified and various
repairs and alterations representing less extensive
buildingactivitieshad been recognized;a great deal of
new evidencefor the history of the area, the buildings,
and their decorationhad been recovered;and part of a
buildingwith a frescoedwall had been found some 4 m.
below the mosaic floor of the basilicasouth aisle.22The
earlier building (BuildingA) was conjecturedto have
been a church.23

19. Dj. Botskovic',"Quelques remarques sur la Grande Basilique de

Stobi et son rapport envers la structure urbaine de cette ville,"
Charisterioneis Anastasion K. Orlandon4 (Athens 1967/68) 184-89.

15. W-MZ (1971) 408and fig. 20. More of the courtyardwas uncoveredin 1977and an oven, utilizingfragmentsof a largepithos in
its construction,was foundnearits NW corner.

20. Ernst Kitzinger, "A Survey of the Early Christian Town of

Stobi," DOPapers 3 (1946) 93-98.

16. ContextStorageLot 2121.

17. ContextStorageLots 2130-2135.

22. W-MZ (1971) 398-401; W-MZ (1972) 420-24; W-MZ (1973) 39799; W-MZ (1974) 142-46; W-MZ (1976) 283-93.

18.On the potter'sshop,see the referencecitedabovein note 9.

23. W-MZ (1974) 143.

21. W-MZ (1974) 120.

396 Stobiin Yugoslavian

Figure4. Restoredplanof the EpiscopalBasilicaand adjacent
structuresca. 525A.C. Drawingby FrederickP. Hemans.

- -














Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 397

B. The Episcopal Basilica A rea before the Mid-Sth Century A . C.
1. Building A


l t---



Extensive excavations were conducted in 1977 and

1978 in almost all areas of the episcopalcomplex.The
chief aims of excavationwere: 1) to complete the excavation of the final phase of the basilica;2) to test for
the earlierphase of the basilicain all majorparts of the
church;3) to investigatethe chronologicaland spatial
relationshipof the basilicato the Via Sacra;4) to reE1ne
the chronology (absolute and relative) of the various
phases of the basilica, Baptistery, and their related
structures;S) to determinethe basic form and function,
and the date, of Building A; 6) to make furthertests
throughpre-basilicadeposits to investigateearlieruses
of the area. At the same time the cleaning, mending,
and study of frescoesand mosaicswereto be continued,
walls drawn and conserved, and all architectural
elementswere to be drawn.A beginningwas also made
on some of the restored plans, one of which, in its
preliminaryform, is published here as Figure 4. The
drawing representsour current interpretationof the
remainsof the entirecomplex as it existed ca. 525 A.C.,
i.e., after the second major buildingphase, but before
the several final alterationsand repairs.The drawing
will be useful for referenceduring the discussionthat

The artiElcialterrace upon which the Episcopal

Basilicawas raised towardsthe middle of the 5th century A.C. precludedour diggingany smallprobesaimed
at locatingother partsof BuildingA: the buildinglies 4
m. below the basilicafloor and smalltests would be unsafe. What is more, since only a portion of the south
wall of BuildingA was known, small probes could be
both time-consumingand, in the end, unrewarding.Our
earlier excavations,however, had at least providedus
with some knowledgeof wherewalls of BuildingA were
not located:they were not within 3 m. of the east end of
the south aisle nor within 10 m. and S m. of the east and
west ends, respectively, of the north aisle (and,
therefore,probably not below the north aisle at all).24
Our strategyin 1977was to extendto the east the southaisle trench in which the south wall of BuildingA had
been revealedin 1973-74in orderto locatethe east wall,
then dig a wide trench across the south aisle near its
west end in hope of finding the west wall. That would
leave for 1978 the enormoustask of excavatinga large
trenchacross the nave, which was requiredin orderto
understandthe basic interior form of the building as
well as to locate its northwall. Therewould also be the
opportunityin 1978, we reasoned,for a second trench
provedto be
at the west end of the south aisleif the E1rst
The schedule was disrupted almost at once by
weatherand othercircumstancesthat delayedthe lifting
of the last remainingportion of south-aisle Mosaic I
(Basilica Phase I), a task undertakento preservethe
mosaic and to make it possibleto excavatethe deposits
below the mosaic. The immediately subsequent discovery of an intact burial crypt belonging to Basilica
PhaseII in the preciseareaof the plannedtrenchforced
a cancellation of our efforts to locate other parts of
BuildingA in 1977.The cryptis discussedbelow in Section 3C.6.
In 1978 two trencheswere dug with the purpose of
determiningwhat we could of the form and functionof
BuildingA: SA XS (4.5 m. x 1.S m.), located between
the crypt just mentioned and the foundation of the
basilicasouth stylobate;and Nave X32 (12.6 m. x 3.50
m.), extendingthe full distancebetweenthe north and
south stylobatesof the basilica,immediatelyeast of the
ambo.25The walls and floors discoveredand a partially
24. See the drawing published in W-MZ (1976) 284-85, fig. 15.
25. The excavation of SA X5 was supervised by Djordji Petacki.
Nave X32 was dug in three parts: A, the northern sector, 5.10 m.
long, supervised by Ricardo Elia; B, the southern sector, 5.90 m. long,

398 Stobi in Yugoslavian

restoredplan of BuildingA are shownin Figure5 along
with otherpre-basilicalstructures.26
Only a portion of the foundationfor the east wall of
BuildingA survivedthe laterconstruction.The foundation, 0.75 m. wide, had been laid in a trench that cut
through a lime-mortar pavement associated with
BuildingB (FIG. 6). No part of the interiorof Building
A was found in situ in SA X5, but numerousfragments
of wall and ceiling frescoesof the types that had earlier
been associatedwith the building were found. Several
fragments of a colorful mosaic were also found: the
patternis one of heartsand crossesformedby overlapping circles. Other fragmentsof the same mosaic had
been found in 1975 further west in debris above the
floor of BuildingA. Diggingwas haltedin the trenchat
elevation 142.487 m. (the elevation of the red plaster
floor of BuildingA found in previousyears to the west
is 143.3 m.) because the area availablefor furtherexcavationwas exceedinglysmall.
The relationshipof BuildingsA and B is important
for the chronology of the area. Building B, part of
which was excavated in 1974-75, was constructed
sometimeduringthe 4th centuryA.C.27
Room 1 of that
building was an earthen floor at elevation 143.38 m.,
whereasthe plasterfloor found in 1978lies at elevation
143.786m. The latter floor seems to lie at the foot of a
stairway ascending to the east: one step and what is
perhapsthe riser of a second step are visiblein the east
scarpof the trenchand are contiguousto the N-swall of
The north wall of BuildingA was found in Trench
Nave X32A (FIG. 7). The socle here is 0.65 m. wide and
2.19 m. high, fully preserved,above which the curtain
of the wall would have been continuedwith terre pise
construction.The preservedwall is almost completely
coveredwith a singlelayerof fresco secco like the Phase
II fresco found earlier on the south wall of the
building.28Thereis an Ionic pilasterpaintedon the west
side of the uncoveredsection,and two otherpanelswith
supervisedby KleantiLjakovska;and C, the baulkthat separatedthe
two parts of the trench that were excavated first, supervisedat
differenttimesby Elia,Petacki,andCarolynSnively.
26. The dumpfills excavatedin Nave X32 arealso of considerableinterest, but will require further study before even a preliminary
publicationcan be prepared.The fills were evidentlycollectedfrom
various locations in Stobi since the artifacts recoveredreflect a
numberof industrialand commercialactivities,e.g., manufactureof
ceramicpottery,iron and bronzeworking,makingof glass tesserae
for mosaics,leatherand/or cloth working,and animalbutchering.


5 50



//// SX


/ / / / t/ / z/ / /t:


/ /


imitationsof marblerevetmentextendto the east; part

of a third panel can be seen on the east wherethe wall
enters the trench scarp (FIG. 8). The Greek letters chi
and rho for Christoscan be seen at about eye level
within the flutes of the pilaster:they are part of the
original painted design. Other letters were impressed
into the lower part of the fresco,perhapswith a finger,
while the plaster was still wet and a numberof later
graffiti are preserved, including at least one chi-rho

27. W-MZ (1976) 285-87.Final study of the contextualmaterialhas

not yet beencompleted.

Numerous fragmentsof the colorful ceiling fresco,

were foundin Nave X32, especially in the vicinityof the northwall. The carefulrecording
of the find spot of each fragment,both in plan and

28. W-MZ (1974) 142-43;JamesWisemanand DjordjeGeorgievski,

"WallDecorationat Stobi,"Studies II, 176-77,fig. 8. The frescoeson
bothwallscontinuedupwardsto the ceiling.

29. Studyof the impressionsandgraffitiis not yet complete.

30. The patternsand techniqueare identicalto those of the ceiling
fragmentsfoundin the southaisle:see W-MZ(1976)287,figs. 19-20.






- X

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 399

Figure 5. Partially restored plan of Building A and other structures
below and south of the Episcopal Basilica. Drawing by Frederick P.



- -





t '\ ))







s -


- -S



l l
L t


elevation, made it possible for Caroline Downing

Hemans to prepare a partially restored water color
paintingof a segmentof the ceilingover the north aisle
(FIG. 9). The top of the painting is north at approximately the line where the ceiling fresco curves
downwardto join the wall fresco;a red band marksthe
transition.A broad band of vegetationin black, white,
gray, red, and greenis separatedfrom the red terminus
by a gray band while a paintedbead and reel closes the
south side; a maroon and white ribbon is entwined
about the vegetation. A variety of equally brilliant
patterns imitating a coffered ceiling extends to the
south. The only uncertain element in the painting
presentedin Figure9 is the precisewidth of the partial
coffers adjacent to the bead and reel; all other
measurementsand repeatedmotifs are based on joining

A low bench, 0.63 m. high and 0.46 m. wide, was set

against the wall sometime after the applicationof the
fresco; the fresco was cut away to make room for the
construction. The bench, constructed of bricks and
stone and coated with orangeclay, rests on the original
red plasterfloor, which extendssouth from the wall: a
second thin floor-coating of red plaster curves up
againstthe front of the bench and is preservedover an
area 1.3 m. to the south. The bench extends into the
west scarp of the trench:only a stretch 1.46 m. long is
The red plaster floor, identical to the one found
below the basilica south aisle, extends south 4.1 m. to,
and even up onto, a stylobate and a base course for a
screen,both orientedE-W(FIG. 7). Only one block of the
stylobateis in place.The preservedplastershowsclearly
that the first floor coveringof red plasterwas applied

400 Stobi in Yugoslavian




Figure 6. Building A. The foundation of the east wall (foreground) was set in a trench cut through a mortar floor (under
the meter stick) of Building B. View from the west.

Journal of Field Archaeology/ Vol. 5, 1978 401

Figure7. BuildingA. North wall, northaislesandpartof centralareain Nave X32 fromthe south.

402 Stobi in Yugoslavian

Figure 8. Building A, north wall.
Photograph of a water color painting of
the fresco. Water color by Djordje

Figure 9. Building A. Photograph of a

partially restored water color painting of
a section of the ceiling over the north
aisle. Water color by Caroline Downing





. ts

-. s

t s




of Field A rchaeology/ Vol. 5, 1978 403


a colonnadewas alreadyin place, since it slopes
the stylobate,then
must have been the lower torus of an
base (FIG. 10).
was set into the base and extendedto the
we shall see below,
stylobate separatedthe red plaster floor
aisle from the centralspace.
the fill
An Ionic column base was found in 1975 in
the Building A floor below the basilica
(FIG. 11). The size of the lower
of screencuttingsin the base strongly
bases of this type stood on the two stylobates
A (FIG. 10). The single example
be presumed, because of its place of dismay
to have stood on the south stylobate.

adjoining floors; north

10. Building A. Detail of stylobate and
isatthe top

columnbase. Inv. No. A-75-1. FIG. 11.

Lowertorus D. 0.575 m. H. 0.19 m. White
on two
base, complete.
of base,
a column with a lower diameter
was found in SA X3 on
p.56, Basket 30;

A narrowerfoundationfor a screen-and-post
continuesthe line of the colonnade
again,tu-o phases are indicated.
by a lead-filleddowel
base(FIG. 10). At a later period the barrier
alteredso that a screen terminated
preciselyabove the earlier
mortarcovering the dowel
face,at the time of excavation,the clear impression
theend of a screenextending
screen and
thing, Ellledthe narrow space between the
thecolumnto the west
A barrieralso extended south from the column 7).
separatedtwo quite
Although the barrieritself and most of its
m.) of
had been removed
have stood is
the base course on which the screenmust
a slab of
preservedat the north end of the line between
border of a
marble revetment on the west and the
field is 2.1
mosaic field on the east (FIG. 10). The mosaic
and white,
m. (N-S) x 1.6 m. with a design,chieflyin red
of hearts and crosses formed by overlapping and
Part of an identicalfield is preservedto the
of the later
was broken throughby the south stylobate
basilica(FIG. 12).31This latter Eleldalso
in Trenches SA X3 and X5;
31. Fragments of this mosaic were found
see above in this section of the report.


-i isk4


h ---

.- ;



. :e=

., W.



. i


', .

, ',




by M. Milojevicand
Figure11. IoniccolumnbaseA-75-1.Drawing
C. Morgan.

404 Stobiin Yugoslavian

Figure12. Centralareaof BuildingA in Nave X32 fromthe north.Partof amboof the laterbasilicais visible,upper

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 405

the line of the barrierwall 1.6 m. to the east wherethe
simple border of rows of white tesserae is preserved.
The two fields then were presumablythe same size and
the southernfield must have been separatedfrom the
red plasterfloor of the south aisle of the buildingby a
screen barrierwhose line to the west would have been
continuedas a colonnade.This southerncolonnadeand
barrierscreen lay on the line occupied by the south
stylobatefoundationof the laterbasilica.
The N-S space betweenthe two mosaic fields, 2.9 m.,
as well as the floor east of the mosaics,was paved with
the impressions of which are clearly
opus sectile,
preserved(FIGS. 7, 12). The principaldesignwas of large
hexagonal slabs of slate bordered by marble pieces
forming four-pointedstars with approximatelysquare
centers.The numerousremnantsof slate found in the
hexagonalspaces and the few pieces of marblesectile,
some in situ, makethe identificationof the materialsall
but certain.
The N-S barrierscreen was interruptedat its center
for a distanceof ca. 1.4 m. and the opus sectile floor extended to the west for an undetermineddistance.The
barrierscreenitself, both on the north and south, must
also haveturnedwest and would have framedthe extension of the slate-and-marblefloor.
A quite differenttype of mosaic pavementlies to the
west of the N-S barrier-screenfoundation:parts of two
fields, separatedat least in part by the west extensionof
the floor just described,are preserved.The northern
field containstrianglesand rectanglesframedby a wave
design and a larger outer border of rinceaux. The
northernedge of this field is preserved(FIG. 10, lower
left), as well as the returnof the wave pattern on the
south, so that we may be sure not only of the N-S width
of the entirefield (2.8 m.), but also that the mosaic,the
west extensionof the opus sectile floor, and the barrier
screenwere all elementsof a single design,even though
they may not have been createdat the same time. Only
a portion of the ivy-leaf border of the south field is
preserved.This field, like the mosaic of overlapping
circles east of the screen foundation, was broken
through at the time of the constructionof the foundation for the south stylobateof the laterbasilica.
We may now restore Building A as a three-aisled
basilicawith an interiorwidth of 16.4m. The northand
south aisles,pavedwith red plaster,wereeach ca. 4.1 m.
wide and the central aisle, paved with mosaic, was ca.
7.2 m. wide. Ionic colonnades,with screensset within
the intercolumniations,separatedthe side aisles from
what we may now call the nave, for the architectural
arrangementsdescribedabove are best interpretedas
belongingto a church.The N-S barrierwith its extension
to the west would have servedas the chancelscreenand
its entranceway.The space to the east, wherethe floor

was paved with opus sectile and mosaic Elelds,was the

presbyterium;it was separatedfrom the side aisles by
screens through which there would have been one or
moreopeningson each side.
The identiElcationof BuildingA as a church,then, is
based on a numberof differentkinds of evidence,summarizedhere. 1-2) The location of the buildingbelow
the 5th centuryEpiscopalBasilicaand the similarorientations of the two structuressuggestedthat the function
of Building A might be the same as that of the later
basilica. 3) The architecturalarrangementsnow identiEledare both appropriateto and characteristicof an
EarlyChristianchurch.4) The chi-rhodipinto and graffito are indisputablesigns of Christianuse of the structure. 5) A minor point is that the principalopus sectile
pattern in the presbyteriumis repeatedin the earliest
presbyteriumfloor of the later basilica.32The slate and
marble,in fact, seem to have been deliberatelyremoved
from Building A and could conceivably have been
relaidin the new church.The almost complete absence
even of fragments of screens, posts, columns, bases,
capitals, and entablaturein the debris and E1llover
Building A suggests that whatevercould be removed
was re-usedin the new church,or, if inappropriatefor
some reason,in some other structure.It is worth noting
that some of the impressionsin the mortarbeddingfor
the earlier floor of the Episcopal Basilica's presbyteriumand the space betweenthe presbyteriumand the
south colonnadeare for screens,re-usedface down.33
Evidencefor the constructiondate of BuildingA is
unfortunatelymeager. We have already discussed in
this reportthe fact that BuildingA is later than Building B, which was itself a 4th century construction.
Other evidencecomes from two small trenchesdug by
VirginiaAnderson-Stojanovicbelow the plasterfloor of
the south aisle in 1978. Both trenches,SA X6A and B,
were 1.0 m. wide (E-W) and aligned N-S in grid areas
W70-69/S61-62;34the former, 0.40 m. long, was dug
against the south wall of the building to elevation

32. See the photographpublishedin W-MZ( 1976)fig. 27.

33. Ibid. fig. 21. Fragmentsof some of these screens,includingone
with a scale design re-used south of the south synthronos,were
recoveredin earlierseasonsof excavation.
34. The Stobi grid was generatedfrom a datumpoint in the Central
Fountain(W-MZ [1976]fig. 2, no. 8) and is based on True North.
Referencesare to 2 m. squareareas, not grid lines, with lettersreferring to the directionfrom the datumpoint and numbersreferringto
the distancein 2 m. squares.The grid-areadesignationsthus provide
a reasonablyprecisearealocationthat can be visualizedboth in distance and directionfrom the Central Fountain. See W-MZ (1972)

406 Stobi in Yugoslavian
142.875 m. where it ended on a layer of large stones
projectingfrom below the wall and evidently forming
part of its substructure.SA X6B, 1.5 m. long, was more
productive.The red plaster floor, which slopes west to
east, was at elevation 143.315/143.215m. and is ca. 1
cm. thick, bedded only on a thin layer of fine sand.
Below the sand in both trenches was a thick deposit
(ending at elevation 142.19m. in SA X6B) of pieces of
lime mortar,stones, brick fragments,charcoal,and bits
of clay in a matrix of sandy, medium-hardearth. A
total of 433 potsherds was found in this deposit, but
only a few sherdswereconsidereddiagnosticin the preliminary examination by Anderson-Stojanovic, including a fragmentof a MacedonianGray Ware dish
and a piece of North African Red Slip Ware. Other
contextual materialincluded part of a coin, two small
lamp fragments,pieces of marble revetmentand opus
sectile, glass, and pieces of iron, bronze,and lead.35The
materialprovides a terminus post quem of the mid-4th
centuryA.C. for the constructionof BuildingA.
The lower levels of Trench SA X6B were also informative.Below the largestones of a collapsedwall and a
thin layer of sterile sand, a hard-packedearth-and-clay
floor was encounteredat elevation 141.655/141.745m.,
sloping down south to north. Contextual materialbelow this floor and extendingto bedrock at 140.90 m.
has been dated, after preliminaryanalysis,only ;;Early

Although no earlier floor in the south aisle may be

definitelyassociatedwith the south wall, the wall itself
showed evidenceof two phases, since it was coveredby
two successivelayersof fresco.37We have alreadynoted
above that the bench and a new layer of floor plasterin
the north aisle were added after the originalfresco had
been applied to the north wall. That fresco is identical
in style and techniqueto the later fresco on the south
wall. What is more, the first mortarfloor in the north
aisle was laid partlyover the lowerelementsof the north
colonnade and must therebyrepresenta later period of
use than the original construction period of the
An earlier period is also representedin the nave
wherepart of a mosaic floor can be seen to have served
as the bedding for the mosaic with rinceaux and wave
borders already described (FIGS. 7, 13). The earlier
mosaic has tesseraeof irregularlyshapedpieces of marble, much larger than the more carefully designed
35. Lot 2393. Lamp fragmentsare Inv. Nos. L-78-117and 121;the
fragmentarycoin has not yet beencleaned.
36. Lots 2397-2399.
37. W-MZ (1974) 142-43and fig. 29; Wisemanand Georgievski,op.
cit. (in note 28) 176and fig. 8.

Figure13. BuildingA. Earliermosaicbelowthe nave floor.View

fromthe south.

mosaic that overlies it, and includes at least one stone

slab; the design is difficult to identify since the visible
portion is so small, but a star or diamondis likely. The
latter pattern appears in a mosaic of similar rough
appearancein the main hall of SynagogueII at Stobi.38
The lattermosaicdatesto the early4th centuryA.C.
The earliermosaic pavementin BuildingA seems to
conform,like its successor,to the line of the centralentrance to the presbyteriumand its level is appropriate
for contemporaryexistencewith the marble revetment
noted above, which must once have been a visible, vertical face below and on the nave side of the chancel
screen(FIGS. 7, 10). The later nave mosaic was fitted up
against the revetmentslab, flush with its bevelled top
edge. All this evidence points to at least one major
earlierphaseof BuildingA as a church.
A yet earlier period is also representedby a stoneand-cementwall that underliesat least part of the foundation for the north side of the chancel screen;debris
from its destruction extends under the floor of the
presbyterium.The fact that the wall is approximately
perpendicularto the line of the north stylobatesuggests
a possiblerelationship,but furtherinvestigationwill be
required to confirm such an arrangement.It is conceivable that the north stylobate and the N-S wall
(foundation for an eastern stylobate?) represent an
earlierprivate structurewith a peristylecourt that was
adapted in the early 4th century to serve as the
EpiscopalBasilicaof Stobi. A Bishop of Stobi, Budius,
is known as earlyas the Councilof Nicaea in 325 A.C.39
38. Kolarikand Petrovski,op. cit. (in note 10)68-73,figs. 1, 2, 6.
39. The bishopsof Stobi arebrieflydiscussedand the ancientsources
listedin JamesWiseman,"Gods, Warsand Plaguein the Time of the
Antonines,"StudiesI, 143-44.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 407

Two other unusualfeaturesof this early churchmay
be taken as evidencefor the adaptationof a still earlier,
existing structureto the basilica form ratherthan the
free creationof a three-aisledbasilica.First,the proportion of the width of the nave to the side aisles, though
paralleled in Early Christian basilicas, is unusual. A
proportionof 1:2 may be taken as a norm,40while the
Stobi church displays a ratio of 1:1.78. Second, the
floor levels of the aisles and nave are {lushwith the top
of the stylobate in the later phase (the north aisle floor
is even higher),and in the earlierperiod the nave floor
seems to have been only about 10 cm. lower than the
top of the stylobate. It has often been noted that preJustinianicbasilicas in Greece customarilyhave high,
raised stylobates;4'even the later EpiscopalBasilica,in
a11phases, had the nave floor well below the top of the

Figure 14. Building C. Walls C3 (right) and C4 below the atrium of

the later basilica. View from sw.


2. BuildingC

Part of a wall that is roughlyparallelto the Via Sacra

was discoveredin 1974below the west end of the north
aisle of the EpiscopalBasilica,along with a wall bonded
to it that extendedSE, almost in the same orientationas
the basilica.43The buildingto which these walls belong
has been designatedBuildingC and for conveniencewe
shall refer to the walls, respectively,as C1 and C2. In
1978 a segmentof wall preciselyin line with the NE-SW
wall of the north aisle was found in a trench (Atrium
X5) dug in the SE area of the atrium; since it is not
certain that the newly discoveredwall is a direct continuationof C1 we may designatethe wall C3. Another
wall, C4, is bonded and perpendicularto C3, extending
both to the NW and the SE. The Building C walls are
shown on the plan of the pre-basilicastructures(FIG. 5)
and the stone-and-cementconstructionof C3 and C4
may be seen in Figure 14, a view fromthe sw.

40. See Anastasios K. Orlandos, H Xylostegos Palaiochristianiki

Vasilikitis MesogeiakisLekanis(Athens 1952)203-204for a discussion of proportionsin the earlybasilicas.
41. Orlandos,op. cit. (in note 40) 264-65,435-37;Orlandossuggests
that the raisedstylobatesmighthaveservedas benchesfor the faithful
duringsome parts of the liturgy.See also ThomasF. Mathews,The
ArchitectureandLiturgy(UniversiEarlyChurchesof Constantinople.
ty Park, Pa. 1971) 118-21,who lists 21 examplesof churcheswith
raisedstylobatesin his footnote 13(to pagescited).
42. See the section publishedas fig. 28 in W-MZ (1974) 141:the top
of the south stylobateis 147.867m.; the originalelevationof MosaicI
of the south aisle was 147.245m.; the south aisle base course had its
top surface at 147.523 m. and Mosaic II, above the now slumped
Mosaic I, was at 147.185m. The nave floors (see below in Section
3C.4)along the northstylobatelay at elevations147.11m. and 147.33
m. in PhasesI and II respectively.
43. W-MZ(1974) 143;W-MZ(1976)284-85 fig. 15.

The upperpreservedsurfaceof Wall C4 lies at elevation 148.10 m., immediately below Atrium Floor 1
(discussedin Section 3C.1), a layer of hardbrownearth
and small stones. The upper preservedpart of Wall C3
is a flat mortaredsurface,probably a levellingcourse,
at elevation 147.65 m. Both walls had been broken
throughby the constructionof the atrium/narthexwall
(EB Wall 16), and C3 was presumablydismantledat
that time to the levellingcourse. Wall C3 had been cut
through on the sw by the atrium/south corridorwall
(EB Wall 38) and part of its upper surfacewas gouged
out to allow a drain,associatedwith BasilicaPhaseI, to
pass throughthe atriumwall foundation.
All deposits excavated SE of Wall C3 belong to the
later basilica constructionand are discussedin a later
section. Deposits west of C3, however,in the spacepartially defined by C3 and C4, include a dumped fill
above a series of destruction debris (possibly representing the deliberate dismantlingof roof and upper
mud-brickwalls), ending on an earth and clay floor at
elevation ca. 146.72 m. The contextual material from
the depositsbetweenthe dump fill and the floor date to
the early 5th century A.C.44 Below the floor a series of
deposits representingoccupationaldebris between the
2nd and 4th centurieswas excavatedto a level of 144.35
m. wherediggingwas stoppedat the end of the season.
Although additional excavation and study in 1979
will be necessaryto determinethe constructiondate of
BuildingC, the work in 1978 shows that the building
was in existenceat least as early as the 4th centuryA.C.
We can now see that the earlier city grid plan, represented in the area underdiscussionby BuildingD and
the Episcopal Residence, was interrupted both by
BuildingA and BuildingC, the latterbeing alignedwith
44. Lots 2356-2364.

408 Stobi in Yugoslavian
a predecessorof the Via Sacrawhichevidentlyfollowed
much the same course betweenthe Porta Heracleaand
the site of the EpiscopalResidence(FIGS. 4-5). We may
no longer speak of the later EpiscopalBasilica as having been imposed upon the earliergrid of the city, for it
simply approximatesthe orientationof its predecessor,
The relationshipbetweenBuildingsC and A remains
to be determined.The contextual material from the
room west of C3 suggestsa privateratherthan a public
building. If that interpretationstands, following more
detailedstudy of the material,there is not likelyto have
been a direct architecturallink betweenthe two structures. In that event C3 might have bordereda street
running NW-SE (parallel to the predecessorof the Via
Sacra) west of Building A; the difference in level
betweenthe two buildingswas over 3 m. but could have
been compensated for by stairways.45If the early
church, BuildingA, had an atrium,its form must have
been as anomalousas its successor.
3. BuildingD andtheAreaSouthof the Basilica

The north corridor of Building D was remodelled

some time after the middle of the 5th century A.C. to
create a long, apsidal room at about the level of the
narthexof the EpiscopalBasilica.The floor of the room
was paved with a handsome mosaic and its function
A stairwaydescendedfrom a
was clearlyecclesiastical.46
landing outside the narthex, entered an opening cut
through the north wall of Building D, and a passage
then wound its way throughthe apsidal basementand
out through another opening in the east wall of
BuildingD into the courtareathat lay to the west of the
Baptistery(FIG. 4).
Priorto the constructionof the EpiscopalBasilicaon
the artificial terrace, the part of Building D that has
been excavated had constituted the northern colonnaded corridorof a large building that had been constructedin the 4th centuryA.C.47The buildinghas been
restoredas a squareperistylecourtyardin Figure5, but
there must have been rooms opening off the corridors
on the south and east. Little evidenceof earlieroccupation in this area was found in the one trenchcarriedto
45. As in the case of communicationbetween the later basilica's
narthexand the Baptistery.Theremust have been a similarsolution
to resolvethe differencebetweenthe level of the laterVia Sacraand
the EpiscopalResidence.
46. W-MZ(1976)290-91;Kolarikand Petrovski,op. cit. (in note 10)
47. Evidence for the construction date comes partly from small
trenchesdug below the apsidalbasementin 1971, 1972,and 1978by
C. Snively,and Z. Beldedovskirespectively.
V. Anderson-Stojanovic,
Importantadditionalchronologicalevidenceis presentedbelow.

Figure15. Leadpipe leadingto earlierpiscina.

bedrockbelow the apsidal area;48bedrock(obliquelayers of sandstone) was reached at elevation 143.629/

143.389m., ca. 1 m. below the level of a floor appropriatefor the corridorof BuildingD.
Building D is oriented to the earliergrid pattern of
the city, as is the Episcopal Residence.49One of the
reasons for digging Atrium X5 was to investigatethe
possibility of the existenceof an early street following
that orientationto the NE from along the west side of
BuildingD. As we have seen, if there is a streetin that
area, it must follow the ratherdifferentorientationof
BuildingC. Two slate paving slabs at elevation 143.639
m. in the triangularspace formedby the basilicaterrace

48. Lot 2188with contextualmaterialof the late4th centuryA.C.

49. See fig. S;cf. the site planin W-MZ(1976)272-73,fig. 2.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 409

wall and the north wall of BuildingD (east end) may
representyet anotherstreet.50
Investigationin 1978in the area betweenBuildingD
and the later Baptisterywas especiallyrewardingin information about the pre-basilicaperiod. A numberof
trenches were dug to the green sandstone bedrock,
which in this area lies at ca. 142.3 m.; a layer of green
sterileclay overliesbedrockto a depth of 0.5-0.6m.
The earliestfeaturefound is a portion of a drainthat
was constructedsometime after the middle of the 4th
century A.C.5'The drain, which sloped down from NW
to SE, had side walls of stone and ceramicroof-tileand
brick fragmentsset in watertight,pink mortar(horosan,
containingcrushedbrick);its floor was made of re-used
Laconianroof tiles at (lowest)elevation 143.211m. The
segmentof the drain excavatedwas found near the east
wall of BuildingD and its line was cut throughby the
trench dug to lay the lead water pipe whose course is
shownin dashesand dots in Figure5.
Two rubble walls (EB 45-46) with earth mortar,
bonded and perpendicularto each other, were next to
occupy this area; a use level at elevation 143.418/
143.464m. of earth and crushedbrickover most of the
southernpart of this area is to be associatedwith the
walls. These walls, too, must date to the middle or late
4th century.52
Sometimeevidentlynot long afterthe constructionof
the rubblewalls, a narrowtrenchwas cut on a line approximatelyE-W throughthe entire area;the drain was
cut through, but Wall 46 was tunnelled under. The
trench was dug to a depth of ca. 141.36m., i.e., a full
meter into the bedrock,and a lead pipe was laid in its
bottom (FIG. 15). The eastern end of the pipe was
removedwhen the Baptisterywas first constructed,but
the line of the trench, if extended, would fall approximatelyon the center of a piscina, first noted in
1977, that lies directly below the piscina of the Baptistery(FIG. 5). The lead pipe exposedwas a singlepiece
over 3 m. long.53The fill covering the lead pipe, undisturbeduntil our excavation,was rich in contextual

50. Potteryand other materialcoveringthe possiblestreetlevel date

to the late 4th-early5th centuries:Lot 2194. The latestpotteryfound
below the level of the pavingslabs also datesto the late 4th/early5th
centuries:Lot 2195.
51. Excavationin this area and below the Baptisterywas supervised
by Ruth Kolarik.Contextualmaterialfromthe depositon whichthe
drainwas builtis in Lot 2275.
52. Lots 2268-2270.
53. A portion of the pipe 2.0 m. long was removedfrom the trench
and enteredinto the Stobi inventory:Inv. No. MF-78-137;est. D.
0.06-0.085m. Th. 0.006 m.

Figure16. Glassbottle. Inv. No. G-78-48.Drawingby DraganStojanovic.The illustrationsareat an identicalscale.

material,includingnine coins.54Only two of the coins,

78-397 and 401, had been cleaned and read by the end
of the 1978season;both are issues of TheodosiusI and
date to 383-392A.C. Othermaterialsupportsa date near
the end of the 4th century including the two glass
vesselsand the ceramicdish illustratedhere.
Cylindricalglass bottle, Inv. No. G-78-48. Lot 2263. FIG.
P.H. 0.266 m. D. mouth 0.078 m. D. body 0.087 m. Incomplete,ca. 75%preserved:base, rim fragment,and part
of body missing. Pale green, transparentglass with air
bubbles.Thick rim, neck, and shoulder;body thin. Funnelshaped mouth with thickened rim and long neck. Single
threadappliedat upperneck. Roundedshoulderwith slight
indentation below. Cylindricalbody with traces of light
brown weathering.The bottle is probably a product of
Isings (C. Isings, Roman Glass from Dated Finds
54. Lot 2263 betweenrubbleWall 46 and Wall 13 (the latteris the
originalwest wall of the Baptistery;see below, Section 3C.7):Coin
Nos. 78-385,388, 389, 397-99,565;Lot 2272(west of rubbleWall46):
Coin Nos. 78-400,401.

410 Stobi in Yugoslavian

[Groningen1957])Form 132, pp. 160-61,dated to the 2nd
half of the 4th centuryand early 5th centuryA.C. Cf. also
D . B. Harden, Roman Glass from Karanis (Univ. of
MichiganStudies,HumanisticSeries,vol. XLI, Ann Arbor,
1936),P1. 19, No. 688, dated to the 4th century.This form
appearsmore often with two handles:cf. A. CermanovicKuzmanovic,"Late Roman Glass from Doclea," ArchJug
9 (1968) 37, pl. 1, No. 41, 4th century;G. A. Eisen, Glass
(New York 1927) 59, Fig. 65 j, k, 1,; and Morin-Jean,La
Verrerieen Gaulesous l'empireromain(Paris 1913)38, Fig.

(Descriptionby DraganStojanovic)
Figure17. Glassjar. Inv. No. G-78-49.Drawingby DraganStojanovic.The illustrationsareat an identicalscale.

Glassjar. Inv. No. G-78-49.Lot 2272. FIG. 17.

H. 0.052 m. D. mouth 0.042 m. D. base 0.036 m.
Complete. Deep blue, transparent glass of medium
thickness;a few small bubblesvisible. Wide, asymmetrical
mouth with tubularlip spreadingdownwardto short neck.
Body is short and round with eight verticalindentationsof
irregularsize and depth on wall; concave base. Probablya
This form appearsin the 3rd century A.C. (cf. John W.
Hayes, Romanand Pre-RomanGlass in the Royal Ontario
Museum[Toronto 1975] Nos. 153, p. 60, and 292, p. 80,
dated to the 3rd century A.C.) but continues into the 4th
century;cf. G. M. Crowfoot, Glass," in Samaria-Sebaste
III. The ObjectsJfflrom
Samaria, J. W. Crowfoot, G. M.
Crowfoot, and Kathleen M. Kenyon (London 1957)412,
Fig. 95, 15, dated to the 4th century A.C., and Frederick
Neuburg, AncientGlass(London 1962) fig. 59, 3rd to 4th
(Descriptionby DraganStojanovic)
MacedonianGray Waredish. Inv. No. C-78-155.Lot 2263.
FIG. 18.

: :: :XX;0

i: :::::-:


H. 0.049 m. D. 0.218 m. Th. wall 0.005 m. Vessel almost

complete, mended from several fragments.Fine-grained,
micaceous,lightgray clay (SYR 6/ 1-5/ 1). Both interiorand
exteriorsurfacessmoothed and covered with a micaceous
slip varyingin color fromgray to darkgray(SYR 4/ -1OYR
5/1); interiorslip has a slightly metallic sheen. Flat-based
dish with rounded,outwardthickenedrim on curvedwall.
Two shallow grooves on exterior where side wall meets
base. On inside small circularband of roulettingwithin 2
grooves. A well-madeexampleof a ratheruncommonrim
form within the series of dishes and bowls common to
MacedonianGray Ware;see John W. Hayes, Late Roman
Pottery(London 1972)405-406.Thisgraywareoutnumbers
significantlythe importedred slip waresat Stobi duringthe
Late Romanperiod.Suggesteddate:350-400A.C.
(Descriptionby VirginiaAnderson-Stojanovic)

:; S

Figure 18. Ceramic dish. Inv. No. C-78-155. Drawing by Dragan

Stojanovic. The illustrations are at an identical scale.

After the pipe was laid, the level of the entire southern area was raised 0.5 to 1 m. to an elevation of ca.
143.43m.,55the rubblewall over the pipe channelwas
55. The material from this very mixed fill was uniformly Early
Roman in date. The fill may have been broughtin from some other
area or, at least in part, may have been left over from the trenchdug
for the pipe, sinceit includedmanyfragmentsof sandstoneand lumps
of clay.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 411

Figure19. Earlierpiscina.Viewfromabove;northis to the left.

repairedand two new rubble walls were constructed.

The functionthat these poorly constructedwalls served
is unclear and they do not appear on the pre-basilica
plan (FIG. S); they may have constituteda passagewayto
the courtyardor buildingin whichthe earlypiscina,discussed below, is located. The arrangement,in any case,
seems to have been a brief one since all the walls were
soon covered by a dumped fill to elevation 143.53/
143.63 m. This deposit constitutes the level from
which the east wall of BuildingD was constructed;the
wall face is unfinishedbelow the level of the top of the
deposit.S6It should be noted that this surfaceis at approximately the same level as the flagstone paving
found just north of Building D and tentatively identified as a street.
The early piscina was discovered in 1977 when the
marble slabs of the later Baptisterypiscina floor were
removed on the east side and the watertighthorosan
mortarbedding excavated.The curvedeasternperimeter of the earlierpool was clearedand the verticalsurface still has the impressionsof revetmentslabs (FIG.
19).The pink (horosan)mortar of the bottom of the

pool is at elevation 141.775m., some 45 cm. below the

horizontalsurfaceof the parapeton the east. The early
piscina had been completelyrobbed of its decoration,
then filled with large stones and a few mosaic
fragments,and coveredwith a sandymortarat the time
of the constructionof the later piscina; there was no
The outer face of the earlypool on the south was uncoveredin 1978when a small trench(1.70 m. x 0.70 m.)
was dug betweenthe laterpiscinaparapetand the south
entrance,below the robber'strenchfor a lead pipe and
below a small portion of the border of the sw mosaic
panel.S7The pool foundationis made of stones set in a
white lime mortar. A superstructureof five rows of
bricks,also set in white mortar,rises above the foundation as a parapet through which an opening (part of
which is visible in X3) providedaccess to the pool. On
this parapetthe laterpiscinawall foundationwas laid.
The remainsin the two trenchesallow the restoration
of an innerpool with a diameterof 1.65 m. surrounded
by a circular,perhapssteppedwall and parapetwith an
outer diameterof 4.20 m. The early pool had its center

56. Lot 2250. The context materialis mixed,dating2nd centuryA.C.

to late 4th centuryA.C.

57. The trenchis BaptisteryX3. The robber'strenchis visiblein fig.

15,upperright,in W-MZ(1973).

412 Stobi in Yugoslavian
The earliestdatableartifactin the entireareasouthof
the basilicaterracewall also was found in BaptisteryX4
in a layer of stones and fine black earth immediately
above the sterilegreen clay; the latter was at elevation
142.252m. Here, along with 12 other sherdsof the 1st the 1st centuryA.C.,were foundsix joining fragmentsof a red-figuredskyphos.

Figure20. Gold ornament.Inv. No. MF-78-105.

On approximatelythe same point as the later piscina

and its overall size was almost exactly the same as its
A hard-packed yellow clay deposit at elevation
142.98 m. extends up to the foundation of the earlier
piscina and may have been the underpinningfor a floor
surroundingthe pool. The same clay layer, ca. 6 cm.
thick, was found at elevation 142.865m. in Baptistery
X4, which was dug in 1978below a small section of the
mosaic in the eastern portion of the Baptistery.58The
clay layer in both areasyielded only a small amountof
material,all of it consistentwith a date in the late 4th
century A.C.59 A deposit of yellow soil immediately
below the clay in TrenchX4 was also "Late Roman"in
date and containeda cross-shapedgold ornament.
Gold ornament.Inv. No. MF-78-105.Lot 2998. FIG.20.
H. 0.014 m. W. 0.014 m. Th. 0.001 m. Four-pointedstar
or cross, intact.Golden threadsappliedin loops on the surface of each bar, three of them tangent in the center to a
drop of gold; threadsform circles,one in each angle of the
cross-bars.Flat piece of gold in a loop appliedto centerof
backfor attachment.
(Descriptionby LucyWiseman)

58. A similarclay layer,examinedso far only in an areadisturbedby

a later stone feature,was found in 1978just south of the Baptistery
(South Sector II Xll). Here the clay serves as underpinningfor a
layerof cobblestonesthat formthe bed for a mortarfloor at elevation
59. BaptisteryX3: Lot 2287;X4: Lot 2297.

Red-Elguredskyphos fragment. Inv. No. C-78-158. Lot

2302. FIG. 21.
P.H. 0.124 m. Th. 0.004 m. Est. D. 0.194 m. Mendedportion of rim and side wall. Lightred (2.5YR 6/8) fabricwith
black gloss on interior and exterior. Slightly inward
thickened rim on curving side wall. Traces of circular
applicationof gloss at one pointjust below rimprobablyindicate the position of one handle. Partlypreservedin redElgureis the torso of a nude youth with head in profileand
arm raisedbehind his head. The hair is indicatedby solid
black while the facial features and body contours are
representedby black relief lines. To the right of the figure
area seriesof foliagemotifsand a largepalmette.Suggested
(Descriptionby VirginiaAnderson-StojanovicD

The skyphos fragmentis by far the earliest artifact

found in the area of the basilica;it is even some three
centuriesearlier than the other pottery with which it
was found. Consideringthe negative evidencefor such
early occupation of this area, and the presence of
Hellenisticburialsboth under the House of the Fuller
to the NWand in the West Cemeteryto the south,60we
mightsupposethat the skyphoswas an heirloomburied
with a Hellenisticinhabitantof Stobi whose grave was
disturbed by the much later building activity in this
It is of considerableinterestthat there is no evidence
of intensiveoccupationof this area of the city until the
late 3rd or early 4th century A.C. Building activity,
however,from about the middleof the 4th centuryuntil
the demiseof the city in the late 6th centuryappearsto
have been frequent. The activity may have been occasionedby the constructionof an importantChristian
church(BuildingA), or the conversionof an earlier4th
centurystructureinto a church.The earlierpool, given
its location, size, and elevation,would be appropriateas
a baptismalpool for the early church. How the pool
was enclosed, as we have seen, is still unclear.In addition to the rubble walls already discussed, part of a
much more substantialstructurewas investigatedSEof
the laterBaptistery(FIG.5;and see below, Section 3C.7).
This early ecclesiasticalcomplex would have stood
literallyin the shadowof the theater/arenafor, whether

60. W-MZ ( 1976) 278-82 .

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 413

21. Red-figured skyphos fragment. Inv. No. C-78-158. Drawing by Dragan Stojanovic. The illustrations are at an
dentlcal scale.

the outer wall of the theaterwas dismantledin the late

4th or mid 5th century,the inner wall of the outer annular corridorcontinuedto stand at least 4 m. high till
the end of the life of the city.
C. The Episcopal Basilica Area, Mid-Sth to Late 6th
1. Atrium and the Via Sacra

A series of small trencheswas dug in 1977in the Via

Sacra and the colonnaded walkway that separatesthe
streetfrom the EpiscopalBasilica.Two earlierroad surfaces, or rather the hard-packedearthen beds for the
road metal, were revealedin tests immediatelyeast of
the basilica entrance and near the north end of the
colonnade. Both the earlierstreets appearto have had
the same orientationas the laterstreetand areprobably
to be associated with a wall foundation of an earlier
phase (i.e., beforeca. 525 A.C.) of the basilica,clearedin
1976 and 1977, contiguous to the west side of the wall
that separates the colonnaded walkway towards its
north end from some of the basilica appendages.The
wall is bonded, and formedan acute angle,with the E-W
wall of the north corridorof the atrium,which was reused in the laterphasesof the basilica(FIG. 4).6i
Within the atrium and its three corridors four
61. Excavationsin the Via Sacraand colonnadewere supervisedby

trencheswere dug in 1977and one in 1978.62TrenchX2

in the west corridorrevealeda basin set into the stonepaved floor against the west wall of the atrium,exactly
on the axis of the entrancefrom the street (FIG. 22; cf.
FIG. 4). The basin is shallow;its stone-pavedfloor lies at
elevation 148.337 m., and the top of the terracotta
bricks that had been set on their edge to form three
walls of the basin is at 148.45m. The basin is centered
below a hole at the base of a partiallypreservedniche
throughthe west atriumwall; the hole originallyheld a
lead pipe that providedthe water caught by the basin.
The basinwas drainedthrougha sandstoneslab, partof
which was found in situ, that had been perforatedto
create a six-pointedstar or rosette set within a circle.63
A carefully constructed drain of sandstone blocks
carriedthe excess wateroff to the north and eventually
joins the drain alongside the colonnade in the Via
Sacra. A hard-packedearthen surface with traces of
burning at elevation 148.50 m. overlay the basin, but
may well be post-basilicain date.64
62. AtriumtrenchesX1-X4 (1977)weresupervisedby Ruth Kolarik;
Atrium X5 in which part of BuildingC is located (above, Section
3B.2),was supervisedby CarolynSnively.
63. Inv. No. A-77-132. A similar slab was found in the House of
Peristerias:Viktorija Sokolovska, "Investigationsin the House of
Peristerias,"StudiesII, 130-31,fig. 6.
64. A numberof coins and a few sherdswerefoundin depositsin and
below the basin and within the drain;their study has not been completed.

414 Stobi in Yugoslavian


Figure22. Atrium.Basinin the westcorridor.Viewfromthe south.

Atrium X1, 2 m. x 6 m., was dug parallelto the west

atrium wall on its east side, that is, within the courtyard. The floor of the final phase of the atrium was
representedby a few sandstonepaving slabs still in situ
at elevation 148.37/148.16m. (the floor now slopes sw
to NE). A line of stones set in pink mortar outlines a
rectangularfoundation 0.70 m. wide and 1.20 m. long
alongsidethe atriumwall opposite the basin. A second
line of stones, but without mortar,picks up the line of
the first featureafter an intervalof ca. 0.8 m. and continues for 0.9 m. The function of these poorly preserved
stone featuresis uncertain,but the first of them is suitably located to serve as support for whatever tank
suppliedthe water to the pipe above the basin. The second featuremay be relatedin functionto the first.
AtriumX3, a trench 1.5 m. wide along the northside
of the south atrium wall, revealed only a single additional sandstoneslab of the final courtyardfloor still
in situ; the other slabs in this area had been removed
prior to the destruction of the upper part of the
atrium/narthexwall and the roof of the south corridor
of the atrium. Destruction debris covered the entire
area and included many Laconian roof tiles, mortar

fragments, stones, and nearly 700 pieces of window

glass.65A correspondingtrench,AtriumX4, 1 m. wide,
was dug along the south side of the same wall withinthe
south corridoritself. Destructiondebris here consisted
chieflyof fresco fragments,all of whichcarriedreedimpressions on the back and probably belonged to the
ceiling of the hallway.66The fresco was colorful and included motifs of black circles and rectilineardesigns
with red details.The floor pavementof the corridorwas
made of terracotta bricks, only two of which were
found in place at elevations 147.798m. and 148.105m.;
elsewherethe surfacewas of hard-packedearth.
Atrium X1-X4 had been dug chiefly to permit full
documentationof the final period(s)of the atriumarea
before conservationof the atriumwalls;fi7the trenches
were consequently shallow. Atrium X3, as already
noted, was much enlargedin 1978 and dug as Atrium
X5. An earliersurfaceof the courtyardwas encountered
at elevation 148.11/148.17 m.; the surfacewas extremely hard, brown earth with small stones throughoutthe
area, but an original pavement of stone slabs is not
precluded.The earlier floor lay immediatelyabove a
covereddrainthat descendedfrom north to south (FIG.
23). The walls of the drain were built of rectangular
stones, 0.25-0.40 m. long by ca. 0.20 m. high and the
floor was made of overlappingLaconianroof tiles;thin
sandstoneslabs had servedto cover the drain.
The course of the drainis interruptedto the south by
a crudelyconstructedverticalshaft (0.25 m. squareon
the interior) made of brick fragmentsand flat stones.
Beyond the shaft the drain continues to descend and
passes through-indeed, it appears to have been
punched through the south wall of the atrium.
Rainwaterfrom some parts of the adjacentroofs may
have been gatheredby gutteringalong the eaves into a
single drainpipe in the SE corner which could have
descendedto the verticalshaft and the drain.The shaft
was probably covered by a drain slab and served to
drainthe courtyard;part of such a slab (Inv. No. A-7849) was found on the earliersurfacein 1977.Although
no soft spot was detected in the floor of the atrium
above the vertical shaft, the shaft (and thereforethe
drain)must have been designedfor use with the earlier
floor. The drainmay have continuedin use even during
the time of the final courtyardfloor, since no paving
65. Lot 2037.This area was enlarged in
dug as Atrium X5.

1978and the lower deposits

66. Lot 2039.

67. In the final period the two southern columns

of the atrium were

removed (but not the column bases) and the spaces closed by rubble
walls. These are not shown in Figure 4, although they may have been
in existence by ca. 525A.C. The rubble walls were removed in 1977
therefore are-not visible in figure 23.

Journal of Field Archaeology/ Vol. 5, 1978 415

Figure 23. Atrium. Drain and south wall of the atrium from the north. The paving slab on the earth pedestal to the right
belongs to the final floor of the courtyard.

slab was found above the area of the verticalshaft. The

draincuts across Wall C3 and east of the wall was constructedon a surfaceof greenish-grayclay at elevation
We have already noted that all the deposits east of
Wall C3 are relatedto the constructionof the basilica.
The south atriumwall abuts and is nowherebonded to
the atrium/narthexwall. The formerwall is beddedon
a packing of stones and earth at elevation 144.26 m.,
i.e., ca. 0.5 m. above bedrock;the atrium/narthexwall
was cut into bedrockto elevation 143.1m.
2. The Narthex

Earlierexcavatorshad reportedthe existenceof a mosaic floor in the north wing of the narthex,but no description,drawing,or photographwas ever published.68
The area was consequentlycleanedto floor level (elevation ca. 148.1 m.) in 1977 and two patches of mosaic
were revealed.The larger,in the NW corner,preservesa
broad border displayinga vine scroll and part of one
68. Dj. Mano-Zissi, "Mosaiken in Stobi," BIABulg 10 (1936) 278.

largeregisterframedby a band of peltae and a guilloche

in an outer border(FIG. 24).69The registeris filled with
squarepanelscontaininga varietyof somewhatabstract
figuresof waterbirds, a chalice, sea creatures,and land
animals.A part of the vine-scrollborderwas also found
preservedjust south of the doorway leading into the
north aisle. The mosaic is identicalin style, technique,
and materialto otherPhaseII mosaicsin the basilica.
Narthex X1, a test trench 1 m. (E-W) x 2 m., was dug
in 1977 againstthe north stylobatejust west of the second preservedpatch of mosaic mentioned above. The
trench was dug to investigate both the nature of the
earlierfloor, if any, and the relationshipof the floor(s)
to the stylobate.The pink mortarinto whichthe mosaic
tesseraehad been set was badly damaged,but the rudus,
or bed, of the mosaic was betterpreserved;it was composed of roof-tile fragments,stones,part of a slate paving slab, and fragmentsof marbleopus sectile and revet-

69. The mosaicwas in exceedinglypoor conditionwhen found.The

photographin fig. 24 was taken in August, 1978,afterconservation

416 Stobi in Yugoslavian

Figure24. Narthex.Partiallyrestoredmosaicin theNW cornerof the northwing.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 417

ment. The sandy soil and underlying cobblestone
drainagelayer below the ruduscontained,among other
material, several mosaic tesserae including some of
serpentine,which are not used in Phase II mosaics.70
Below still other deposits evidently associated with
Phase II constructionactivity, a white mortar surface
was reachedat elevation 147.710/147.775m. The mortar is unlike the pink mortarsassociatedwith mosaics
of both phases and presumablydid not carrya mosaic
pavement, although there evidently was an earlier
mosaicbelow the centralbay of the narthex.7'
The earlierfloor is interruptedon the south by a soft
sandydepositthat descendsin a narrowspacealongside
the foundationfor the marblestylobate.What is more,
if the stylobateis to be associatedwith the earlierfloor,
part of the foundationitself would have been exposed
to view. It seems clear,therefore,that the stylobatewas
built for PhaseII of the basilica.
3. The North Aisle

Two trenches,NA X1-X2, were dug in the northaisle

in 1974;72neither contained any trace of a floor that
could be associated with the phases of the Episcopal
Basilica. Although the earlierexcavatorsdo not mention having found a mosaic during their work in the
north aisle, we consideredit possible that patches of
one or the other floor had been uncoveredand had disintegratedover the years as a resultof theirpoor condition and exposure to the weather.NA X3, therefore,
was excavatedin 1977betweenthe north stylobateand
blocks 4 and 5, counting from the west, of the base
course for the screen. Block 5 was later lifted and the
trenchextendedto includethe area on which the block
Grasswas growingon top of the depositsbetweenthe
stylobateand the screenbasejust below the level of the
surfaceof the latter. A few centimetersbelow the grass
was a hardpackedbrown soil that had not been disturbed in modern times.74The deposit may be associatedwith basilicaPhaseII and we may supposethat it
originally supported a now-vanished pavement of
bricksor stone slabs in the space betweenthe stylobate
and screen base. Below the soil lay a deposit of sterile
70. Lots 2042-43.
71. A pink mortar mosaic bedding was found by Zivojin Radotsevic'
in a test trench dug below the later central mosaic in 1974.

sand nearly0.5 m. thick.The sand covereda whitemortar surface that sloped down from the stylobate. The
degreeof slope increasessharplybelow the screenbase;
the maximum elevation of the surface against the
stylobateis 147.21m. and at the northend of the trench
(a distanceof 1.5 m.) the floor is at 146.99m.
Once again, no trace of the Phase II floor pavement
was found in the north aisle. The Phase I floor
representedby the white mortar surface lies at approximatelythe originallevel of the Phase I mosaic of
the south aisle,75but the mortarhere, like the Phase I
mortarin the north wing of the narthex,is not the pink
(horosan)mortarof whichthe otherbasilicamosaicsare
made. What is more, not a single mosaic tesserawas
found in the depositsabovethe mortarsurface.
4. TheNave

In 1977 and 1978 all sections of the nave floor not

already documented by the Stobi Project were uncovered, described,photographed,and drawn. Access
to the floor in some cases requiredonly the (temporary)
removal of modern protective fill, but in other areas
part of the final destructiondebris(0.10-0.30m. thick)
was still intact.76Controlwas kept by excavatingwithin
units 2 m. wide (E-W) and 5 m. long along the
stylobates;central units of the same width completed
the distancebetween stylobates,ca. 2.5 m. Units were
numberedconsecutively,east to west:Xl-X15 along the
northstylobate,X16-X30along the south stylobate;the
centralunits begin with X31 in front of the solea of the
presbyterium.All depositswerepassedthrougha 5 mm.
Most of the north side of the nave had not been
previouslyexcavatedand the floor exposed is of considerable interest. All along the north stylobate two
rows of square, terracottabricks had been laid (maximum elevation, 147.33m.); they were borderedon the
south by a single row of large,rectangularslate slabs of
varyinglengths. Extendinginto the center of the nave
was a series of four-sided decorative registers, each
separatedfrom its neighborby a row of slate slabs.One
partially preservedregister near the west end of the
nave employs a techniquethat is highlyunusualin Early Christian floor pavements (FIG. 25). Triangular
mosaic fields and diamond-shapedslate slabs frame a
slate and marblecenter;unfortunately,the exact center
and the southernside of the registerare not preserved.

72. W-MZ (1974) 143.

73. The trench was refilled and the block set back in position after excavation. Ricardo Elia supervised excavations in this area.
74. The soil extended under the screen base: Lots 2014-15. The
deposit contained a considerable amount of pottery and other
material, including coins 77-88 and 89.

75. 147.245 m.; see the section in W-MZ (1974) fig. 28.
76. Despite the statement by Balduin Saria that the entire nave had
been excavated to floor level in 1927 "Novi Nalasci u Episkopskoj
Crkvi u Stobima," GlasnikSkopSe(1933) 11-12. He also reported that
there was no mosaic in the nave floor.

418 Stobi in Yugoslavian

Motifs in the mosaic fields include abstractvegetation,
fish, and waterbirds.The next registerto the east is of a
more familiardesign; four-pointedstars, usually made
of five vari-colored pieces of marble, surround octagonal slabs of slate (FIG. 26). The design is similarto
part of the floor pavementalreadyencounteredin the
presbyteriumof BuildingA.
The floor pavementwas not well preservedtowards
the east, although the pink mortarbeddingwas found
almost everywhere.77
It was in this area,east of the ambo, that Nave X32 was excavatedin 1978to the level of
BuildingA.78The pink mortarbeddingsloped down to
the center from both stylobates,was 2-6 cm. thick, and
77. The chiefexceptionsaretwo holes createdby pits of recentorigin.
The largerpit (2.1 m. x morethan 2.25 m.) is in the centerof the nave
and extendedinto X32C and was ca. 1.5 m. deep. A second pit was
found in X32B againstthe south stylobate:1.7 m. x 1.25m. dug to a
depth of ca. 1.25 m. Both may well have been dug by previousexcavators.
78. See above,Section3B.1.

lay on a thin deposit of hard earth that covered the

floor's underpinning,composedchiefly of thousandsof
field stones79 interspersed with a few architectural
pieces and brick or roof-tile fragments. Deposits
representinglevelling and construction activities, including a probablemortar spill, lay betweenthe stone
layerand a secondpink mortarfloor that was preserved
over the entirearea except whereinterruptedby the two
pits alreadydescribedand another intrusionalong the
north stylobate.The mortar surface,which also slopes
down in the center, has a maximum elevation on the
north of 147.11m. A few isolated sandstoneslabs suitable as floor paving were found lying directly on the
mortar, but only in Nave X32C, just in front of the
chancel entrancoway,was a patch of floor pavement
preservedthat includedadjoiningpieces (FIG. 27). Here
two brickswere set into the mortaralong with pieces of
brick and stone. The mortar surface, which varied in
79. In X32A alone some 2,500 stones lay in the rudus.

Figure25. Nave floor, PhaseII. Partof the northstylobateis visibleat the top of the photograph.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 419

thickness 20-30 cm., had no stone underpinning;it lay
directlyon the uppermostof the deep Elllsused to cover
BuildingA and createthe terraceon which the basilica
was raised.
Therecan be no doubt that the mortarsurfacerepresents the bed on which the floor pavementof Basilica
Phase I was laid. There are no impressionsin the mortar to indicatewhat form the actualpavementtook, but
the presenceof sandstoneslabs is suggestive;the floor
pavement found in front of the chancel entranceway
may well have been only a repair. A considerable
amount of pottery and other material, including a
numberof coins, were found betweenthe two floors of
the nave. The continuingstudy of this materialmay be
expectedto providea closer datingof Phase II than the
ratherbroad designationof late Sth/early6th centuries
that is appliedat present.
One artifactfound sealed between the underpinning
of the Phase II floor and the mortarsurfaceof Phase I
is probably to be associatedwith a remodellingor repair of some part of the Episcopal Basilica during its

Figure26. Nave floor, PhaseII. Partof registerwithslateslabsand

marblestars.North is at the top of the photograph.

Bronzeplaque.Inv. No. MF-78-1.Lot 2230. FIG. 28.

Max. H. 0.069 m. W. 0.081 m. Th. 0.003 m. H. of letters
0.013 m. (omega 0.009 m.). Cast bronze plaque, complete
except for part of "O" in Elrstligatureof line 2. Drill holes
form parts of some letters; incised oblique lines on top,
middle, and circularbands. Crude bead-and-reelmolding
on bottom and two sides. The plaque was originallyattachedto a flat surfaceby two rivets(D. 0.0035m.) in middle band, 0.018 m. from left edge, 0.017 m. from right. A
large chi-rhois centered between alpha and omega above
two lines of Latinletters.
Rom(anus)t(abularius)(?) an(nualis)(?)S(tobens)ium
of the peopleof Stobi, restored(this) at his own expense."

Figure 27. Nave floor, Phase I. View from the east.

Line 1. Restituit or renovavit;Numisius, or Numicius,
or Nummius. The formulais unusualsince the name normally precedesthe statementof constructionor reconstruclatine, ed. 4
tion; see Rene Cagnat, Cours d'eopigraphie
(Paris 1914)263-67.Also, i(mpensis)s(uis) is usual,though
the parallelexpressionis often s(ua) p(ecunia);but cf. an
inscriptionfrom Delphi recordinga repairto the templeof
Apollo by Domitian in the year 84 A.C. The inscriptionis
publishedin Robert Flaceliere,Fouillesde DelphesIII, iv, 2
(Paris1954),inscriptionNo. 120:
Imp. [C]aesarDi[vi Ves]pasianif. [D]omitianus
Aug. [Germ]anic[u]sp[ont. max]im.,tr[ib. po] test.
III, p.p.,imp.VII,cos.X, des. [XI],
tem[plu]mApo[llinis]sua im[p]ensarefecit.

Figure28. Bronzeplaque.Inv.No. MF-78-1.

420 Stobi in Yugoslavian

Cf. Codex Theodosaanusviii.ii.5. The passagesarecited,and
there is a brief discussion, in A. H M. Jones, The Later
Roman Empire 284-602 I (Oxford1964)257 and notes47-48
in Vol. III, p. 50.

5. ThePresbyterium

Figure 29. North synthronos. View from a bipod after the removal of
Elnal-phaseconstruction. North is at the top of the photograph.

Figure30. North synthronos.Westfaceof earliestphaseconstruction.

Line 2. The "T" is not certain. The specifWlc

tabulariusannualisis not knownto me, but thereis evidence
that a tabulariuscivitatis in this late period might serve
only for one year; such was the case in provincesof the
Visigothic Kingdom: Lex Vis. xii.i.2. comperimusquod
numerariivel defensoresannuavice mutentur,qua de causa
detrimentumnostris non ambigimuspopulis evenire, ideoque iubemus ut numerariusvel defensor qui electus ab
episcopis vel populis fuerit commissumperagat offWlcium.

As a result of investigationsin 1978we are now able

to recognize three periods instead of two within the
presbyterium.In 1975 it had been observed that the
south synthronosin the last phase of the basilicahad a
lower step added in front of the earliersynthronosactually resting on the mortar impressionsof the earlier
presbyteriumfloor;80correspondingsteps were added
so that the height of each step and the top was increased. A similar modification of the less well-preserved north synthronos was also noted. In 1978 the
final-phaseconstructionof the north synthronoswas
removed as part of a plan to dismantle the entire
crumbling structure, phase by phase, and then to
rebuildit in its originalform.
Figure 29 shows the north synthronosafter the final
phase constructionhad been removed;the photograph
was taken from above and north is at the top. On the
left it is possibleto see that the originalsynthronoshad
alreadybeen lengthenedto the west and that the base
for the screenthat closed the presbyteriumon the north
was partiallybuiltover by that construction.The earlier
floor of the presbyterium,referred to in previous
reportsas belongingto PhaseI, may be seen to continue
in front of the addition. When the west extensionwas
removed, the mortaredface of the earliest synthronos
was revealedand the relationshipof the so-calledPhase
I floor and the west extension was made even more
clear(FIG.30):that floor, with its impressionsof an opus
sectile pavement,was built up against the synthronos
only afterthe additionon the west.
The westernend of the south synthronoswas then examined and the easternmostblock of the base for the
south screenwas lifted.8lIt could then be seen that the
same three phases, as might be expected, exist in the
south synthronos.Moreover,a re-usedtheaterseat at a
level appropriatefor the earlierfloor was foundin place
againstthe face of the earliestsynthronos.A dowel hole
and a circularimpressionin the upper surface of the
newly revealed base show that a column once stood
againstthe outer cornerof the synthronosand thereby
terminatedthe chancelscreen.When the extensionwas
added on the west the curve of the column was
respected. Even in the final phase, when the chancel
screen base was raised to a higher level, the concave
80. W-MZ ( 1976) 293, fig. 28.
81. The block lifted is visible on the right, center, of fig 26 in W-MZ

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 421

83. SA X4, supervisedby DjordjiPetacki.

of the vault so that the west face of the vault servesin

part as the east interiorface of the entranceshaft (see
the longitudinalsection in FIG. 33). The interiorof the
shaft is nearlysquare,0.96 x 0.99 m., endingon a floor
of stone slabs at the same level as the crowningslabs in
the walls of the cist.
The east end of the vault is closed by brickand concrete (FIG. 32) but at the west end, as can be seen in
Figure 33, the lower part of the vault is set back 0.55
cm. from the interior face of the vertical shaft. The
burial must have been an exceedingly awkward
proceduresincethe corpsewould have had to be passed
aroundthree right angles in crampedquartersbeforeit
could be laid horizontallyon the floor of the cist.
The tomb containedthe skeletonof a male who died
at the age of ca. 40 years (FIG. 34).86The head lay flush
against the west end of the tomb, facing north. The
body had been laid out on its back with armsextended
and hands restingon the thighs.The skeletonwas wellpreserved.Pieces of the woven cloth tunic or shroudin
which the body was buriedwerealso preserved;the feet
were still partlyencased in pointed-toeleatherslippers
(FIG. 35). Therewere no funeralgifts withinthe tomb or
entrance shaft and there were no metal ornamentsof
any kind on the body or on the burialgarment.
After the body had been placed on the cist, a large
slate slab and severalsmallerpieces of stone were laid
horizontallyto complete the roofing of the cist. The
opening in the face of the vault was closed by a limestone slab that was cementedinto place. The vertical
shaft was then filled with layerafterlayerof rubbleand
concrete. The care taken by the buildersof the crypt
and the liberal use of concretein closing the entrance
provideda hermeticseal for the tomb.
The entrance shaft rose at least to the level of the
floor of the Phase II mosaic and it has already been
observedthat it fit within "the frame of the third field
from the east on the side along the nave."87We may
suppose that some kind of memorial, perhaps an inscriptionon a low marbleplatform,indicatedwho was
buried in the tomb below. Unfortunatelyno trace of
such an inscriptionhas been found and thereis no other
directevidencefor the identificationof the occupantof
the tomb. We may be certain, however,that he was a
figureof considerableimportancein the Christiancommunityof Stobi in the late 5th century.The remarkably
solid constructionof the crypt and its prominentlocation within the EpiscopalBasilica are both exceptional
features. As we have seen, the decorativefloor pavement of the south aisle includedthe entranceshaftin its

84. Kolarikand Petrovski,op. cit. (in note 10) figs. 9-10. The top of
the entranceshaftis visiblein fig. 1 in W-MZ( 1971).

86. Observationson the skeletonweremadeby Al B. Wesolowsky.

85. Includingboth line drawingsand watercolorpaintings,tesseraby


87. Kolarikand Petrovski,op. cit. (in note 10) 82, note 22, and fig.

outercornerwas maintainedin each synthronos,so that

we may suppose that a column continuedto terminate
the north and south chancel screens.82It has not yet
been possible to identify an earlier floor that can be
associatedwith the earliestphase of the synthronoi.In
the one place where the western extension has been
removed (see FIG. 30), only an earthen bedding was
6. TheSouthAisle

The discovery and excavation of an intact burial

cryptnearthe east end of the south aisle highlightedthe
1977excavationseason.83The upperpart of the vertical
entranceshaft had actuallybeenvisible since the end of
the 1970 season, although its function had not been
recognized,and the trench within which the crypt had
been constructedis representedby the rectangularhole
throughthe Phase I mosaicseen in drawingscompleted
in 1975.84The crypt had remainedundetectedduring
the past severalyearsbecauseall excavationin that area
was halted to allow the complete documentation85
two layers of mosaic and their eventuallifting in order
to apply new mortarto their undersidesfor conservation. The final segmentof the Phase I mosaic was not
lifted untilJuly, 1977.
The cryptwas built as a part of the PhaseII basilica.
The buildersfirst cut through the Phase I mosaic and
dug a roughlyrectangulartrench,ca. 4.6 m. (E-W) and
2.7-3.0m. wide, exceptat the west end wherethe trench
was evidently not much wider than the entranceshaft
(FIG. 31). The depth of the trench is uncertain, but
probablyreachedan elevation of ca. 144.5 m., that is
over 2.5 m. below the level of the PhaseI mosaic.
A vaulted crypt was then constructed within the
trench(FIG. 32). The main part of the tomb, orientedEw, was a built stone cist with interiordimensionsof 2.03
m. (E-W) x 0.71 m. (N-S) and a heightof 1.2 m. (FIG. 33).
The floor and the four sides are monoliths,althoughthe
floor slab is slightlysmallerthan the interiorof the cist.
Separateslabs with simple convex moldingscrown the
north and south walls and carry four ceiling slabs of
varyingdimensions.The brick-and-concrete
vault rests
on the threeeasternmostcover slabs.
A verticalentranceshaft,with walls of brickand concrete, is attachedto the west end of the crypt;the east
wall of the shaft is, in fact, built on top of the west end
82. The concavities of the synthronoi, but not the columns, are
shownin the restoredplanof the basilica,fig. 4.

: :;SC:f;fuist:::'t:::00:
ff: ::0::0::f:;::::::00:f:::::::;:ff::;:: :: :S;




422 Stobi in Yugoslavian









Figure 31. Plan of the crypt in the south aisle showing adjacent portions of the Phase I mosaic. Drawing by Frederick P.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 423

Figure 32. Vaulted crypt in the south aisle after the removal of the Phase I mosaic. View from the NE.









45 C

, 1,

' 1 '^'

46 (



Figure 33. Sections through the crypt in the south aisle. Drawing by Frederick P. Hemans.

design. What is more, the entranceshaft alignswith the

piers on the stylobates and the openings into the new
presbyterium(see FIG. 4). It would appear that the
placementof the tomb, the decorativearrangementof
the mosaic, the alterationof the stylobates,and the plan
of the new presbyteriumwere all elements in a single
design. It is tempting to suppose that the person

honored by such a tomb is the Bishop Philip who is

commemoratedon the lintel of the entranceto the nave
as the builderof the church.88
88. The lintel must belong to Phase II of the basilica. The inscription
was published by Balduin Saria, op. cit. (in note 76) 25-26. The left
half of the lintel now rests in the south aisle of the Episcopal Basilica

424 Stobi in Yugoslavian
membersof the same familyas high rankingofficialsof
the Roman Empirein Macedonia.9
7. The Baptistery

Figure 34. Upper part of skeleton as found within the crypt. Head is
to the west.

Excavation of the tomb has also enlarged our

knowledgeof a considerablyearliertime at Stobi. The
limestone slab mentioned above that was used to seal
the opening into the tomb bears on one face part of a
lengthy inscriptionof the late 2nd or early 3rd century
A.C. (Inv. No. I-77-4). The slab from the crypt is the
missingthird of an inscriptionfound by Sariathat had
been re-used as a floor paving slab in the nave of the
Episcopal Basilica in front of the central stairs.89The
inscriptionconcernshonors for variousmembersof the
family of Publius Sentius SeptimiusNikolaos and the
new fragmentnow makes it possible to identify other
at Stobi (Inv. No. I-70-41); the right half of the lintel is on display in
the National Museum of Beograd.
89. Ibid. 26.

Trenchesdug in and about the Baptisteryin 1977and

1978 have been highly informative,as we have seen,
about the architecturaldevelopmentof the area; they
have also provided important evidence, both of a
negative and positive kind, for the history of the Baptistery.BaptisteryX3 and X4, in particular,have shown
that therewas no earliermosaic floor here, and that the
preservedmosaic floor was the original floor designed
and laid in a single constructionplan with the walls of
the Baptisterythat now enclose the mosaic. Continuing
study of the contextual material from these trenches
should help refine the chronology of the structure,including the severalalterationsboth to the interiorand
exteriorof the building.
Evidencefor a majormodificationof the exteriorand
for the chronologyof the buildingwas obtainedfrom a
trenchdug in 1978betweenthe west Baptisterywall and
the foundation of Wall 13.9' The latter wall is approximatelyparallelto the west Baptisterywall; it had
been dismantled in antiquity, leaving a long vertical
scar in the wall face immediatelywest of the entranceto
a crypt that had been built into the basilica terrace
wall.92The trench filled the space between the two
walls, 1.50 m., and was 2.75 m. long, centeredover the
line of the trench for the lead pipe, which we have
alreadydiscussed.The trench of the pipe had been reexcavated in antiquity, the lead pipe in this area removed (pulled from its join with the pipe found in situ
west of Wall 13), and the trenchrefilled.A largemarble
paving slab cut from a column had evidently tumbled
into the trenchat the time of refilling;the foundationof
the Baptisterywall overlapsthe upper edge of the slab
by 0.10 m.
The foundationsof the Baptisterywest wall and Wall
13 are identical in construction;laid from the same
level, as shown by those parts of their faces that were
not meantto be exposed;and both end at approximately the same level, both even extending ca. 0.30 m.
deeper into the fill of the trench of the pipe. All this
evidence,includingthe stratigraphy,indicatesthat Wall
13 and the Baptisterywalls were built at the same time.
90. The full text of the inscription and a commentary will be published elsewhere.
91. Trench: So. Room 6 X1, supervised by Ruth Kolarik.
92. Wall 13 is shown in the state plan of the basilica area published in
W-MZ (1976) 288-89, fig. 21. The crypt in the terrace wall, which had
been plundered in antiquity, was excavated in 1972: W-MZ (1973) ill.
8 and p. 399, where the space between Wall 13 and the Baptistery wall
is already referred to as a hallway.

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 425

Figure 35. Feet of skeleton as found in the crypt. The lower part oI the pointed-toe slipper for the left foot lies on the floor
of the tomb, lower rlght.

Their contemporaneityis further attested by the fact

that the north wall of the Baptisteryis bondedwith the
upper courses of the wall extendingto the west that is
built flush against the terrace wall, and in which the
scarleft by the dismantlingof Wall 13 is still visible.
A similarwall foundationis located ca. 1.50 m. east
of the Baptisteryand a verticalscar is preservedon its
line in the face of the basilica terracewall itself. The
Baptisteryin its originalform, then, had two corridors,
presumably roofed, on the west and the east; the
arrangementon the south is less clear, but walls of an
any direct communicationaround the SE corner.93The
entrance to the vaulted burial crypt within the terrace
wall would, therefore,originallyhave been within the
west hallwayof the building.This arrangementsuggests
that the relics in the crypt played a more directrole in
baptismalrites here during the mid to late 5th century
than they did afterwards.
After Wall 13 was dismantledin the late 5th or 6th
century, benches were constructed along the north,
93. See fig. 4.

west, and south walls of the courtyardwest of the Baptistery and a plaster floor laid over the whole area,
covering the lower part of Wall 13. One could then
enter directlyfrom the court into the central,now only,
room of the Baptistery.
The earlier walls at the SE corner of the Baptistery
referredto above have been only partiallyinvestigated.
The SE corner of the Baptisteryactually cuts into the
corner of this early structure, as can be seen in the
restored plans (FIGS. 4-5). The fine stone-and-concrete
constructionof the early N-S wall was laterbuilt over by
a cruder constructionof stone and rubble with earth
bonding,and a parallelwall of similarconstructionwas
built abutting the south wall of the Baptisteryat the
east edge of the Baptisteryentrance.The latterwall also
overlies walls of the earlier building. These constructions effectivelyisolateda space on the south side of the
Baptisterybetween the entranceand the corner of the
building,while a small courtyardwas also enclosedon
the sw side of the Baptistery(FIG. 4).
Within the space thus created east of the south entranceto the Baptistery,an oven of moderatesize was
constructed;it is backed up almost against the wall of

426 Stobi in Yugoslavian


Figure 36. Oven and walls at SE corner of Baptistery. View from the south.

the Baptistery(FIG. 36). The oven is roughlysquare,ca.

2 m. to a side, with interiordimensionsof ca. 0.70 m. x
0.80 m.; it is constructedof bricks and pink mortarin
the lower courses, but stone is used in the superstructure. The interiorfloor, at elevation 143.209m., is composed of brickslaid on earthwithoutmortar.The south
wall is preservedto a height of ca. 1.75 m. above the
floor. Both the south and east walls are piercedobliquely by terracottapipes. The low entrance,with a sandstone slab servingas a lintel, is on the south facingonto
an earthensurfaceat the same level as the interiorfloor.
The function of the oven is uncertain; an oven
associatedwith an ecclesiasticalcomplex might be used
for bakingholy bread,94or could conceivablybe used to
heat water for use in baptism during winter. But the
oven seems to have been deliberatelyseparatedfrom
access to the Baptisteryor even to the basilica(FIG. 4).
The debris found in the area of the oven offered few
clues for its use, unless the quantity of animal bones
94. Cf. Mathews, op. cit. (in note 41) 161, who also cites other uses.

found indicatethat food was preparedin the oven and

The oven is built without a foundation directly on
debris that fills a room of the earlier structurementioned above, and partlyrests on the north wall of that
room (FIG. 36). A test trench east of the oven showed
that the debriscontainsquantitiesof colorfulfrescoand
molded stucco and that the walls of the room are of
brick and concrete: the floor was not reached. The
room was closed by a similar wall on the south along
which a step extending the full length of the wall
descendsto the south. All these earlierwalls are visible
in Figure36.
8. The Episcopal Residence

A large portion of the complex adjacentto the Episcopal Basilicaon the north was excavatedby Professor
DjordjeMano-Zissijust before the Germaninvasionof
Yugoslavia in World War II. The succeedingyears of
turmoil prevented a full report on those excavations
and only a brief discussion of the remains has

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 427

Figure 37. Latin inscription. Inv. No. I-77-5.

A few objectsfound in the excavationswere
of an ecclesiasticalnature, including a bronze censer
and a golden finger ring decorated with an elaborate
cross. ProfessorMano-Zissisuggested,in the studyjust
cited, that the buildingservedas a Christianoratoryin
the 4th centuryand was convertedinto a residencefor
the bishop in the 5th century.The datingof the original
structurewas based on the style of several decorative
architecturalelementsthat weremade of stucco.
In 1977 two trencheswere dug outside the NEcorner
of the EpiscopalBasilicato investigatethe possibilityof
direct communication,possibly by a stairway,between
the basilicaand the residence.In Septemberof that year
the staff architect, Frederick P. Hemans, assisted by
Caroline Downing Hemans, supervisedthe cleaning of
95. Djordje Mano-Zissi, "Stukatura u Stobima," Zbornik Narodnog
Muzeja 3 (Beograd 1962) 101-107.

the entire area, resurveyedthe walls, and made a state

plan of the building.Most of the movablearchitectural
elementswere also drawn and inventoriedat that time
and a numberof observationswere made that permit
the restorationon paper of two principalphases. The
later of the two is representedin Figure4, but does not
includea numberof rubblewalls with earthmortarthat
werelateraddedbetweenthe residenceand the basilica.
Discussion of the architecturalobservationswill be
reservedfor a later publication. It will suffice here to
note that a stairwayor rampmust have providedaccess
from the level of the Via Sacra down to a walkway
leading to a small rectangularspace before an apsidal
room. The latter also had been the focal point of access
from the Via Sacra in the earlierperiod and could well
have served, as Mano-Zissi suggested, as an oratory.
Behindthe apse a streetpavedwith two rows of marble
slabs ascendsto the south andjoins what appearsto be
a street of similarconstructionrunningapproximately
E-W that would have led to the level of the east entrance
of the northaisle of the basilica(FIG. 4).
Excavationat the NE cornerof the basilicaresultedin
the discoveryof a largewell-builtdrain,whose covered
top lay at elevation ca. 146 m., and a part of a stone
wall parallel to it and abutting the east wall of the
basilicaat its northernedge. The highestpreservedportion of the wall is at elevation 146.33 m.96A large
thresholdblock, 4.0 m. x 1.7 m., with cuttingsin its upper surfacepossibly for a grill in additionto a circular
door socket, was found somewhatfurtherto the NE in
the line of the southernmostE-W wall of the residence
shown in Figure4; the block is at elevation 146.4m. No
traceof a stairwaywas found.
The cleaning activitiesalso resultedin the discovery
that an important inscription had been re-used face
down in the sw corner of the apsidal room at the sw
corner of the complex. The block with the inscription
was removedfrom the wall so that it could be fully examined.
Latininscription.Inv. No. I-77-5.FIG. 37.
H. 1.465 m. W. 0.88 m. Th. 0.455 m. Medium-grained
grayishwhite marble,completeexcept for small chips and
some flaking of inscribedsurface.There is a cutting for a
clampon the top nearthe left rearcorner;the oppositerear
corner was cut back to receive another architecturalelement.The cuttinghas the followingdimensions:W. 0.23 m.
L. 0.24 m. Depth 0.36 m. Thereis a lifting boss on the left
face near the bottom. H. of letters 0.12 m. (line 1),
0.045/0.08 m. (lines 2-6). There is a small ivy leaf at the
ends of lines 3-6 and threeothersin line 4.

96. The trenches, NE X 1-2, were supervised by Ricardo Elia.

428 Stobi in Yugoslavian
Deo Caes(ari)
et Municipio
Sacrum Isidis T(itus) Fl(avius)
Longitu>s Augustalis
"To the God Caesar
and the Municipium
of the people of Stobi
Titus Flavius Longinus,
an Augustalis
(dedicated this) Sanctuary of Isis."

4. OtherActivities
A. Excavations

ProfessorElizabethR. Gebhardwas at Stobi briefly

(12-20 July) in 1978 for study in connection with her
publicationof the excavationsof the Theater, 1970-75.
Some cleaning and minor excavationwere carriedout,
the latter of which resulted in the discovery of one
featurethat should be mentionedhere. A small trench
opened in the center of the orchestra revealed a rectangularblock of white limestone measuring0.86 m. x
1.13 m. x 0.20 m. (FIG. 38). There is a carefully cut
rectangularhole, 0.20 m. x 0.21 m., in the centerof the
block. According to Professor Gebhard, ;;it was
probablymade to receivea post, perhapsfor one of the
circus-typeevents popular in the late Roman arenas
and illustratedin reliefsof the 4th centuryand later."

Other minor excavationswere conductedjust north

of the Small Bath, in the House of Peristerias,east of
the Museum(wherea new parkinglot was constructed),
and alongsidethe highwayeast of the CrnaRiver.
B. Conservationof Walls

A large number of walls in the Episcopal Basilica

complex have now been conserved. The procedure
followedin all cases involvedfirst a completedocumentation by drawings,photographs,and written description; the wall would then be dismantled(by phases, if
more than one period was representedwithin the wall)
to whateverlevel was requiredto remove mortarthat
was no longer strong enough to bond the materialwith
which the wall was built, and then, with the aid of the
drawings and photographs, masons and conservators
would rebuildthe walls as closely as possible to their
original appearance,normally with all phases representedas before.
The following walls were conserved in 1977-78:all
basilicawalls along the Via Sacra,the atriumcourtyard
walls, the atrium/narthex wall, the sw wall of the
narthex,the two narthex/navewalls, the narthex/north
aisle wall, the east wall of the north aisle, and the apsidal wall in the north corridorof BuildingD. The lastnamed wall was originallybuilt with earth mortar;in
our reconstructionconcretewas used, but mixedwith a
dark color to imitate the original appearance.A dry
robblewall also was constructedin the apse immediately east of the sythronoito preventfurtherdeterioration
of the scarp and undercuttingof the synthronoi.The
Baptisteryand south aisle trenches were roofed by a
new metalconstructionwhichreplacedthe wooden roof
of the Baptistery.
C. Mosaics and Frescoes

Figure 38. Theater. Block in center of orchestra/arena. View from

the SE.

The large quantity of frescoes recoveredin almost

every area of excavation requires, during excavation
seasons, the presencein the field of most of the fresco
specialiststo document,clean, and conservefragments
as they are found. Consequently, little progress has
been made in the time-consumingtask of mendingthe
thousandsof fragmentsinto the largecompositionsthat
once existed in a variety of buildings at Stobi. A
program involving year-roundstudy and mending of
frescoesis now being planned.
Work on the documentationand preservationof all
mosaics at Stobi continuedduringboth summers.The
last of the mosaicsin the excavatedportionof the south
aisle of the EpiscopalBasilicahas been lifted and conserved;the mosaic in the narthexnorth wing has been
documentedand partlyrestored,but must still be lifted
and a new mortarbackingapplied;the mosaic and opus

Journalof FieldArchaeology/Vol.5, 1978 429

sectile pavements in the nave have been documented
and preventive conservation carried out; damage by
tourists to the mosaic in the North Basilica has been
repaired; and the mosaic from the great hall of
Synagogue II, lifted by the ConservationInstitute of
Macedonia before the beginningof the Stobi Project,
has been reassembledand is now on display on a concretepad adjacentto the museum.
D. ArtiSacts:Conservation
The facilities of the field laboratoryat Stobi were
greatly enhancedby the purchaseof additionalequipment in 1977 and 1978, but the unexpectedabsenceof
the chief conservatorduringa part of each season has
delayed some needed conservation and analysis of
materials. Nevertheless, considerable progress was
made in the tasks of cleaning,classifying,documenting,
and storing the hundredsof thousandsof artifactsand
specimensrecoveredduringexcavations.In 1978 alone
more than 135 architecturalelementswere drawn and
inventoriedfrom the EpiscopalBasilica;ceramicvessels
and diagnostic sherds entered in the inventory(stored
separatelyfrom Lots) totalled722;827 otherartifactsof
inherentimportanceor of specialdiagnosticvalue in the
study of culturaldepositswereinventoried.
E. LaboratoryAnalyses
The radiocarbondating programinvolvingcharcoal
from burialsin the West Cemeteryhas now been completed and a preliminaryaccount of the results were
presented by Salvatore Valastro, Jr., and A1 B.
Wesolowsky at sessions of the Stobi Symposium in
1977.The radiocarbondatingprogramfor mortarcontinues;97a number of important new samples were
gathered in 1977 and 1978 and have been sent to
Valastro and Professor Robert L. Folk at the University of Texas at Austin. ProfessorT. Ivanov of the
University of Skopje has completed compositional
analysesof a numberof samplesof ceramicpotteryand
stone artifacts and has undertakenthe analyses of a
more comprehensiveselection.The analysesare aimed
at identifyingsourcesof clays and rock utilizedat Stobi
and in identifyingsome of the technologicalprocesses.
In connection with the former study, the ancient
quarriesat MarkovStap and DebresteSWof Stobiwere
visited and rock samples collected. Other quarriesat
Kurilohad been exploredin earlieryears.
Other laboratory work is planned for Boston and
97. Robert L. Folk and Salvatore Valastro, Jr., "Radiocarbon
Dating of Mortar at Stobi," Studies1I, pp. 29-44; "Successful
Techniquefor Dating of Lime Mortarby Carbon-14,s'JFA 3 (1976)

Skopje involving chiefly palaeoecologicalstudies and

F. TheStobiSymposium
The Stobi Symposiumwas organizedin orderto present the latest resultsof the many researchactivitiesin
progressby staff membersof the Stobi Projectand to
make it possible for other scholarsto join discussions
on the research.PartI of the Symposiumwas hostedby
Boston Universityon 26 February,1977, and the two
sessions of paperswere chairedby ProfessorErnstKitzinger of Harvard University and Professor Ruth
Tringham, now at the University of California at
Berkeley. Part II was sponsored by the Academy of
Sciences and Arts of SR Macedoniaand was held on
August 19-20, 1977,at Stobi and in the new quartersof
the Academy in Skopje.98Yugoslavs and Americans
participated in all sessions of the symposium. The
proceedingswill be publishedas Volume III of Studies
in theAntiquitiesof Stobi,whichis now in press.
98. We aregratefulto both institutions.It is a pleasureto expressour
specialthanksto Dr. .MihailApostolski,Presidentof the Academyof
Sciencesand Arts of SR Macedonia and to Dean B. Doner, at that
for AcademicAffairsat BostonUniversity.

James Wisemanis Professorf ClassicsandFineArtsat

BostonUniversitywherehe alsoparticipatesin the
ArchaeologicalStudiesProgram.He wasa memberf
theFoundingCommitteebothof theAssociationfor Field
Archaeologyandof the Centerfor MaterialsResearchin
ArchaeologyandEthnology.He has conducted
andexcavationsin Greece
and Yugoslavia.