With texts by Fulvio Baudo, Diego Calaon, Erica D'Amico, Sauro Gelichi, Mladen Zagarčanin.
The Stari Bar project was born in the framework of a cooperation between the University of Venice (Italy), University of Koper / Capodistria (Slovenia) and the Montenegrin authorities (Museum of Bar, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Site of Bar) and is part of the within the Culture 2000 program funded by the European Community. The site of Stari Bar (Antivari) undoubtedly represents a place of extraordinary archaeological interest, first of all for the degree of conservation of the material remains. A city destroyed and abandoned during the war for Montenegrin independence gives us, even if at the level of ruins, the image of a small medieval 'Pompeii'. The aim of the project is the study of the chronological phases of the built-up area, in relation to the different social and cultural groups that worked there. In 2004, a first study of the architecture made it possible to obtain an archaeological evaluation of the building resource through an analysis of the conservation of the legibility of the city structures. The preliminary assessment of the quality of the archaeological deposits not yet excavated highlights the exceptional state of conservation of the stratigraphies and buried basins, in relation to the different phases of the city: Byzantine, Serbian, Venetian and Turkish. An excavation test inside the Citadel has allowed the fortified structures of this area to be dated to the end of the XNUMXth century, building the first stratigraphic sequence with absolute chronologies, with interesting ceramic associations, available for the entire site.
The project on Stari Bar is part of a cooperation between the University of Venice (Italy), the University of Koper / Capodistria (Slovenia) and the Montenegrin authorities (Museum of Bar, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological site of Bar) and is inserted in a wider framework, of which also the University of Innsbruck is part, funded by the European Union, that aims to study the ways and modalities that qualify the Venetian presence on the eastern coast of the Adriatic sea (Program Culture 2000, The heritage of Serenissima ). In this perspective some case studies have been analyzed (the shipwreck of Gnalic, in Croatia, the late medieval ceramics of some sites of Slovenia (Piran / Pirano, Izola / Isola, Koper / Capodstria) and Croatia (Sv. Ivan pri Umagu / S . Giovanni di Umago, Split / Spalato), and the site of Bar in Montenegro), in order to build autonomous guidelines for research, some of which have already been completed.
The site of Stari Bar (Bar - Old Bar) represents undoubtedly an extraordinarily interesting archaeological site, first of all for the degree of preservation of the material remains. A village destroyed and abandoned during the Montenegrin Independence War gives us a picture, even if in ruins, of a small fossil town: with its streets, its palaces, its houses, its churches and monasteries, its mosques and its baths. A site whose archaeological potential stopped in 1870 AD.
Stari Bar has been for a long time among the objects of restoration of the Montenegrin Community. The site has already in fact been restored, consolidated, cleaned, re-fitted in the past, making it partially suitable for visits. On the occasion of these restorations, which respected the monuments and were realized after an attentive work of architectural mapping by a team led by prof. Durde Boskovic after the second world war, many artifacts have been uncovered that allowed to reconstruct the history of the site. Some of these objects (late medieval pottery from three contexts) have been recently studied and published by Mladen Zagarcanin, as part of the present project. The book of the Montenegrin colleague is then the first product of this co-operation born under the sign of the heritage of Serenissima. But the archaeological resource contained in this micro-cosmos is in its greater part unexplored and will then be a success if our presence will be able to increase its knowledge and development.
After this first campaign of research we would like to acknowledge many Institutes and people who helped us, encouraged us and supported us in our activity.
On the Montenegrin side the Minister of Culture, Mrs. Vesna Kilibarda, the Superintendent of Montenegro Slobodan Mitrovic, the Mayor of Bar, Mrs. Anka Vojvodic, the director of the Center of Culture of Bar Milun Lutovac, the director of the Museum of Bar Vladislav Kasalica and, of course, our friends Omer Perocevic and Mladen Zagarcanin.
On the Italian side the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Italian consulate of Podgorica and the Veneto Region for the fundings.
Sauro Gelichi - Mitja Gustin
Venice - Koper, august 200