This volume is the fifth in the series dedicated to the research carried out by the joint Italian-Montenegrin mission on the Stari Bar site since 2004. Like the previous ones, it is a miscellaneous volume that includes a series of contributions matured in the framework of this project. Much of the book, however, is dedicated to the excavation edition of a well-known building in Stari Bar, the so-called 'Doge's Palace'. A building that combines the good degree of conservation of its remains with the fact that it bears indisputable signs of Venetianism, represented by those typological-architectural features of late Gothic matrix that developed in Venice during the Middle Ages; and that from here they migrated to many centers of the Dalmatian, Montenegrin and Albanian coasts. However, the approach to the Venetian world is limited only to this (since the reference to the doge is completely out of place). The edition and study of this monument, therefore, complement those researches on the characters of the Venetian Bar that have represented one of the most qualifying themes of our approach to the site (and which find here a further development with a graffiti, always associated with the time of Venetian domination).
However, the volume does not contain only this. Mladen Zagarčanin returns to the problem of the initial phases of the site, integrating the framework of our knowledge with fundamental new archaeological documents. And Riccardo Belcari returns to the early medieval sculptural apparatus of Antivari to contextualize it in the cultural, political and social framework of these territories. This volume is not the last of the series nor does it represent the synthesis of a ten-year work. However, I think it worthily, it integrates the puzzle that our researches have been trying to put together for more than a decade and, in a certain way, completes it.
The next step must therefore include a reformulation of the archaeological project in the strict sense, both a planning that involves the site as a whole. At this point, an archeology detached from a clear and organic recovery project does not make much more sense.
Many are the people who have accompanied us in this work during all these years, who have believed in it and, even if among many difficulties, have never failed to make us feel their support and approval: from the institutions that funded the research (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Veneto Region, European Community), to the friends who walked part of the journey with us (Mitja Guštin and the University of Koper, to whom I owe the 'revelation' of the place, the University of Innsbruck, the University of Cambridge) and more recent travel companions (the Polytechnic of Milan, the Kore University of Enna and the University of Bergamo). Of course the project would never have taken place without the constant commitment of the Municipality of Bar (through the Cultural Center) and of my University, which in 2009 signed a memorandum of understanding with the local community.
Finally, a sincere thanks goes to all the young Italian and Montenegrin researchers who have succeeded each other in this place over time, each leaving a part of their enthusiasm and competence. And then thanks to Sanja Stanisic, because she made even the most difficult things easy; and to Mladen Zagarčanin, because without her presence everything that was done would not have been achievable.