Two archeological sites

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Macedonia has a long and complicated history. In addition our guide was an archeologist so she liked to show us excavation sites. The two most important ones were Stobi and Heraclea.

Stobi is situated where two rivers meet in a fertile valley. In addition there is marble in a mountain close by. So there has been a settlement there for a long time. The Romans conquered the city in 168BCE and it was steadily growing and the citizens became citizens of Rome. It was robbed by the Ostrogothans, and before it recovered it was hit by a major earthquake in 518CE. Then after the invasion by the Avaro-Slavic people in the 6th century it was abandoned.

Only a small part of the area is excavated and a part of it looks like this:

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One of the most interesting building is a bassilica that probably is the oldest church in Macedonia, it was built in the 4th century (300th). Here is a detail from the place for baptism. In the mosaic is a peacock which is the most famous detail from Stobi.

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Here is another detail:

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One of the bassilicas was built on top of an older synagogue:

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Most of the mosaics were covered with sand, something they did every winter, but one was uncovered:

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The other site we visited was Heraclea Lynkestis, which is situated where old trade routes met. It was founded by Philip 2. (father to Alexander the Great) in the 4th century BCE. It was conquered by the Romans in the 2th century BCE. It became an important city in the Roman province and became an Episcopal centre. Like Stobi it was sacked  twice by the Ostrogothians. It was partly restored but was destroyed, again like Stobi, by the major earthquake in 518. Then came the Slavic invasion and Heraclea was abandoned for good.

I found the details from statues were the most impressive, so I will show some:

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As I am interested in history, I enjoyed these sites. Again I was impressed by the quality of the work,being that masonry:

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or the details on the sculptures:

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Look at the details on the sandals.

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