'The city at my feet': Luxury Roman urban villa dating from 2nd century AD discovered under storm drain canal

‘The city at my feet’: Luxury Roman urban villa dating from 2nd century AD discovered under storm drain canal

Archaeological excavations are currently underway in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, because of the construction works on the town’s water supply and sewage network. Part of the excavation was carried in the Middle Street (about 20m in length) where, in addition to the previously known mosaic (discovered in 1923), we found the remains of several other rooms with the remains of mosaic floors.

The mosaics are decorated with multicolour geometric and floral motifs and are of superior workmanship. By analogy with similar mosaics and known workshop styles, thy can be dated to the 2nd century AD. We will have a better insight into the purpose of this luxurious building of the Roman Faria after the analysis and interpretation of archaeological finds and after merging all the plans of rooms with mosaic floors under surrounding houses, which were excavated in previous decades.

In the past one hundred years, this area has been excavated by numerous archaeologists (Frane Bulić, dr. sc. Jasna Jeličić-Radonić, Ana Kordić Galić), while the last conservation and restoration work on the mosaics was carried out by dr. sc. Branko Matulić and dr. sc. Tonči Borovac. The current excavations are led by dr. sc. Marina Ugarković from the Institute of Archaeology, while the deputies are Andrea Devlahović from Stari Grad Museum and Martina Korić from the Institute of Archaeology. Dr. sc. Sara Popović from ArheoProjekt and a multi-member team of young archaeologists from all over Croatia are also participating in the excavations, which are conducted under the supervision of Saša Denegri from the Conservation Department of the Ministry of Culture in Split.

Finally, we should mention that the decision on the presentation of the preserved mosaics will be made by the Conservation Department from Split in cooperation with the Stari Grad Municipality.

[We remind you that the use of photos is allowed as long as the photographer’s name is mentioned.]

To learn more about this amazing town, check out the Total Croatia Stari Grad in a Page guide.

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