Ανασκαφή Διοκλητιανουπόλεως : οι πρώτες εκτιμήσειςPart of : Αρχαιολογικόν δελτίον ; Vol.43, 1988, pages 195-218
Excavation of Diocletainopolis : first appraisal
A passage in Procopius (Περί χτισμάτων, Lipsiae 1964, p. 112) mentioning the existence of an old city, Diocletianopolis, near Lake Kastoria, destroyed by barbarians, and the foundation of a new fortified city by the emperor Justinian on an island in the lake (modern Kastoria), was variously interpreted by earlier scholars as relating to the ancient Greek city of Argos in Orestis. Recent archaeological excavations (1988-1991) at Armenochori, near modern Argos Orestiko, suggest the identification of this village with Diocletianopolis, which was founded by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). This town is not to be confused with the old one of the same name in Bulgaria.Diocletianopolis, according to Procopius, must have been destroyed by the Ostrogoths of Theo- doric Strabo and Theodoric Amalus in the years 473-483, when many neighbouring Macedonian towns, in particular Heracleia Lyngestis, suffered the violence of war.Diocletianopolis belonged administratively to Thessaly, and according to Hierocles’ Synekdemos it held the eleventh place among the Thessalian towns. From the ecclesiastical point of view, we have only a single reference to the diocese of Diocletianopolis in the Notitia 3, for which a probable date may be suggested in the period between the Council of Nicaea in 787 and the end of the 9th century. The same Notitia mentions two other dioceses of the same name, one in the province of Thrace under the metropolis of Philippopolis, and the other in the province of Macedonia under the metropolis of Thessaloniki. The latter must not be confused with the Diocletianopolis near Kastoria, which belonged to the metropolis of Larissa.A methodical excavation of Diocletianopolis ought to give answers to a series of questions, such as the change in urban culture in the 6th and 7th century, the kind of differences brought about by the barbarian invasions and the demographic realignments in the country. It should also give a serious answer to the question of what existed previously on the same spot, because it is rather improbable that the town of Diocletianopolis was all of a sudden created in a deserted place. Ancient monuments in the region. In the locality of Paravela, west of the ruins of Armenochori, excavation has uncovered a cult building from the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd century, which could be interpreted as a heroon or the site of a mystic, perhaps even a rustic, cult (Figs. 1, 3). Its date shows that life in the area goes back a century before the walls of Diocletianopolis were built.The walls of Diocletianopolis. Exploratory trenches were put down where conditions allowed with the main aim of finding crucial parts of the walls that would give a better understanding of their plan. It was thus possible to estimate roughly the length of the walls, which exceeded 2,700 m .to locate the positions of two gates and a side gate, to identify their defensive structure and to uncover a stretch some 750 m long (Fig. 4). Early Christian basilica A. In about the middle of the settlement an Early Christian basilica with two principal building phases was excavated in the years 1976-1977 (Fig. 5). The hasty conditions of the excavation did not produce any important results. The monument, however, was destroyed by a fire and later the place was turned into a cemetery. Early Christian basilica B. Some 500 m beyond the northwest side of the walls a small basilica was located which had two building phases and was named basilica B (Figs. 6-7). The religious nucleus of the basilica was a large barrel-vaulted tomb with an antechamber and descending steps. The overall size of the tomb is 7.50 m long and 1.90 m wide. Over the tomb was erected an unusual basilica, measuring (without the conch of the sanctuary) 12 x 8.60 m (Fig. 6). In the second phase the pre-existing cultic place was abolished and in its place a three-aisle basilica was built, larger in size (30 x 11 m) (Fig. 7). This basilica preserves elements of the sanctuary area. Traces of burning show how the second phase of the basilica was destroyed. After the site was abandoned the locality was used as a cemetery.Early Christian basilica Γ. In the locality of Paravela and on top of the heroon or place of a mystic, perhaps even rustic, cult, at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century, an Early Christian basilica was built (Fig. 2). Between the time of destruction of the Roman cult building and the construction of the basilica, a large (16.40 x 6.80 m) and peculiar tomb was built on the same spot, valuable for the history of worship in early Christian times (Figs. 8-9). The House of the Keramopoullos excavation. For the first time within the walled area of Diocletianopolis A. Keramopoullos excavated a house (Fig. 10), which no longer exists today. It was limestone built and had five rooms with an internal court. In the middle of the largest room were found traces of a hearth and coins of the 4th to 8th century. House B. In 1990 and 1991 an Early Christian house with two building phases was excavated within the walls and towards the western part of the settlement (Fig. 11). The largest number of coins found here and relating to the first phase belong to the period of Constantine, and we therefore presume that the house was built in the first half of the 4th century. The second phase, of careless construction, must have been destroyed at the time of the Ostrogoth invasion at the end of the 5th century.The cemeteries. Regular cemeteries have not yet been found in the area of Diocletianopolis. The sporadic burials outside the walls in different spots show no organization.
Περιέχει 11 σχέδια, Το άρθρο περιέχεται στο τεύχος: Μέρος Α'-Μελέτες