Saturday, April 07, 2007

Archaeologists Start Exploring Skopje Kale

Long announced archaeological excavations on the Skopje Fortress, Kale started yesterday and the area oozing with the spirit of spring was covered by teams of archaeologists in the country and archaeology students. The project was initiated and has been funded with 2 million euros by the current government which is interested in effectuating the main area in town, says Prof. Dragi Mitrevski. “Skopje Kale is now in function of the existing restaurant there and the goal of effectuating the values it posses will be accomplished when the parking lot is full of tourist buses, not only wedding ones.” Mitevski is expecting the two-year exploration work to present at least 10 percent of the archaeological values hidden in the ancient area.

As previous archaeological excavations, this one is also based not only on the archaeological evidence discovered but rich historical evidence and sources. “There is detailed evidence from the Middle Ages, the Ottoman period, there are many written sources and photographs of the Kale. We should define the beginning of life in this area, because archaeological evidence so far is much comprehensive. The oldest records should date from the Bronze Age. Also, this site offered settling opportunities in all the metal periods. We have certain evidence dated from the Iron Ages and early antiquity, from the Early Byzantine period. There is no evidence on the Roman Age because Skupi was the centre at the time, and marble blocks were brought from there and embedded in the Kale walls. So far, the walls are the main element where different constructing techniques and different material originating from different periods are recorded. Our task is to verify the periods with cultural layers,” Mitrevski, the head of the excavations said.

“We need remains of the tangible culture to connect the walls. I expect the fortress to be an area where a lot can be seen and learnt because the cultural values of the Skopje area are here.”
Archaeologists from different institutions in the country who head certain sectors are involved in the project including Kire Ristov, Ljubinka Dzidrova,Branislav Ristevski, Marijan Jovanov, Antonio Jakimovski, Sanja Jovanova, Silvana Blazevska, Zlatko Videvski, Strahil Temov etc.


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