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InternationalRoman villa in Croatia rebuilt to protect against Ostrogoths

Roman villa in Croatia rebuilt to protect against Ostrogoths

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Petar Gramatikov
Petar Gramatikovhttps://europeantimes.news
Dr. Petar Gramatikov is the Editor in Chief and Director of The European Times. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Reporters. Dr. Gramatikov has more than 20 years of Academic experience in different institutions for higher education in Bulgaria. He also examined lectures, related to theoretical problems involved in the application of international law in religious law where a special focus has been given to the legal framework of New Religious Movements, freedom of religion and self-determination, and State-Church relations for plural-ethnic states. In addition to his professional and academic experience, Dr. Gramatikov has more than 10 years Media experience where he hold a positions as Editor of a tourism quarterly periodical “Club Orpheus” magazine – “ORPHEUS CLUB Wellness” PLC, Plovdiv; Consultant and author of religious lectures for the specialized rubric for deaf people at the Bulgarian National Television and has been Accredited as a journalist from “Help the Needy” Public Newspaper at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Archaeologists have discovered on the Croatian island of Rab a building of Roman settlers from Dalmatia, erected to protect against the Ostrogoths. A temporary wooden structure was erected on the site of a complex of Roman villas of the 1st – 3rd centuries AD. Scientists also managed to unearth artifacts from the era of the great migration of peoples – Byzantine and Ostrogothic coins, African vessels for oil and wine, glass and bronze objects. The results of the work are reported by the edition Nauka w Polsce.

The historical region of Dalmatia is located on the territory of modern Croatia, the name of which comes from the Illyrian Dalmatian tribe. In the 4th century BC, Greek colonies were founded on these lands, in the neighborhood of which the Illyrians, Celts and Thracians lived. In 229 BC, a long series of Roman-Illyrian wars began, thanks to which, in the middle of the II century BC, these lands fell under the rule of the Roman Empire.

After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Dalmatia fell first under the rule of Odoacer, the first king of Italy, and then the leader of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric the Great. In addition, starting from the 5th century AD, Byzantium began to fight for these lands, which were rich in ore, wood and pastures. So, in 536, Emperor Justinian managed to establish control over part of this former Roman province. In the VI-VII centuries, the Avars came to Dalmatia, as well as the Slavic tribes, who later formed the first Croatian state.

Scientists from the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Archeology in Zagreb, led by Fabian Welc and Ana Konestra, carried out excavations on the island of Rab, where a complex of Roman villas was found several years ago. Archaeologists believed that these structures date back to the 1st – 3rd centuries AD.

It turned out that this territory was inhabited in later times, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. This became clear after archaeologists discovered traces of a temporary wooden structure built on the site of an already destroyed villa. According to researchers, the buildings were erected by Roman settlers from Dalmatia to protect them from the Ostrogoths, who occupied the territory of modern Northern Croatia. In the 6th century AD, the Byzantine emperor Justinian partially conquered these lands from the Germans.

Archaeologists emphasized that such a scenario is confirmed by artifacts of that time – Byzantine and Ostrogothic coins. The settlers rebuilt the villa for their own needs, erecting wooden walls and a roof. Only numerous pits for pillars have survived to this day. It is noteworthy that the standard of living of these people was quite high. Thus, archaeologists have found imported African vessels for oil and wine, glass and bronze items. This testifies to the contacts of the then inhabitants of the island of Rab with the Roman African provinces.

Scientists noted that a new wave of settlers came to the island in the 7th century. They rebuilt the Roman villas again. Archaeologists suggested that these could be migrants who sought refuge on the island, fleeing the Slavs or Avars who came to the Balkans.

The researchers also discovered the remains of another monumental building in the western part of the bay. On the floor of this structure, apparently, a mosaic was laid out – this is indicated by numerous stones. Excavations of this monument will be carried out in 2022.

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