Excavations in Belgrade: The Discovery of the Lost Roman Necropolis and its Threat of Destruction

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, has always attracted the attention of archaeologists from all over the world. This ancient city, known for its rich history and cultural heritage, has recently been the site of a surprising archaeological discovery. Excavations in the center of Belgrade have uncovered a Roman necropolis with stone tombs and a section of the Roman aqueduct system. This discovery is recognized as phenomenal, but it is in danger of being destroyed due to the construction of a new garage.

Research conducted in the 1940s described different types of tombs in Belgrade. Archaeological reports at the time referred to cremated and uncremated dead, simple and elaborate tombs, as well as numerous funerary stelae and stone plastics. These reports served as a starting point for new research, which led to the discovery of the lost Roman necropolis.

Excavations are taking place near the National Assembly House on Vlajkovićeva Street. Over the past three months, archaeologists have discovered 14 phenomenal Roman tombs dating from the 3rd to 4th centuries AD. Some have rectangular bases with arched vaults surrounded by brick walls, while others were built of stacked bricks. Researchers have also found four stone sarcophagi, which are the most luxurious method of burial in the Roman era.

One of the tombs was built from large stone slabs taken from older Roman tombstones. Votive Latin inscriptions have been found on these slabs and are of particular value to archaeologists. One of the inscriptions tells of a Roman soldier who served in the army for 30 years and died at the age of 46. This shows his devotion and religiosity.

Unfortunately, each of the tombs excavated was looted by looters, so archaeologists have found only a few coins and jewelry. However, some of these artifacts, such as a gold necklace with a semi-precious stone and a glass hairpin, have been preserved and are on display in the antiquities collection of the Museum of the City of Belgrade.

In addition, the researchers discovered more than 70 meters of the secondary Roman water supply system of Singidunum. The system supplied water to the city from a spring near the stone mine at the foot of Tašmajdan Park. This shows that the Romans paid great attention to the comfort and improvement of their city.

Despite the importance of this archaeological discovery, it is in danger of being destroyed. Plans to build a new garage on the site of the excavation raise serious concerns among archaeologists. They hope that the government will take steps to preserve this historical heritage and allow the research to continue.

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