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Archaeological Rescue Excavations of the Stancija Blek Site near Tar in 2008

By Bartul Šiljeg

Abstract

Arheološko-konzervatorska istraživanja lokaliteta St Blek1 donijela su nova saznanja o građevinskom sklopu koji je već prije definiran s tri glavne faze življenja. Na antičku vilu rusticu, koja je bila u privrednoj funkciji unutar porečkog agera, sjela je kasnoantička kula i dijelom iskoristila zidove ranije faze, a najočitiji ostaci kasnoantičkog doba su gljivasti otvor i crkva do kule. Srednjovjekovni dio se očituje u pronalascima pleterne ornamentike, stupića prozorskih otvora i ziđa. Radovima u 2008. godini definirani su prije otkriveni dijelovi zidova kule, a unutar jedne srednjovjekovne nadogradnje otkriven je sloj prve polovine 14. stoljeća, datiran mletačkom novcem i staklenim inventarom.Archaeological rescue excavations at the St Blek site engendered a new understanding of the previously defined construction complex, with three main stages of living. A tower was constructed in Late Antiquity atop a villa rustica from an earlier period of Antiquity in the Poreč ager. The tower partially used the walls from the earlier stage. The most obvious remains of Late Antiquity are a mushroom-shaped door and the church near the tower. The medieval portion is evident in finds of braidwork ornaments, pillars in window openings and the walls. In excavations conducted in 2008, the previously uncovered parts of the tower walls were defined. On the northern side of the northern wall, in the immediate vicinity of the eastern doors with a mushroom-shaped door, the remains of two stairs were discovered that led to the tower’s upper floors (Fig. 1). Along the northern part of the stairs, a part of the wall was preserved. It was made of the same yellowish mortar as the stairs, as well as dressed stone. This kind of mortar has not been identified on the walls of this structure, and the steps were built in a separate construction phase. It is precisely into these stairs that the pillar from the church was built. As the stairs commence precisely from the mushroom-shaped door, it is assumed that the door functioned at that time. Apart from defining the single wall sections that were not clear from before, in the room in the western side of the northern tower wall (Cuscito, Riavez 2008, 731, Plate 1. No. 5) a layer (Fig. 2) was found in which four silver Venetian coins from the second half of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries were found. These are the denari (piccolo o denaro scodellato) of three doges: Lorenzo Tiepolo (1268-1275), Giovanni Dandolo (1280-1289), two pieces, and Pietro Gradenigo (1289-1311). In the same layer, the remains of several glass bottles were unearthed, mostly bottles and glasses that – based on their shapes – belong to the fourteenth century, and are probably of Venetian origin. The bottle’s necks were preserved with a discoid extension in the middle of the necks and with rims outward (Fig. 3). The bottoms are inverted in the shape of a cone, with ring-shaped rims (Fig. 4). The middles of the glass bottoms are conically imprinted. The walls of beakers are straight or spirally ribbed. Some are decorated by a blue thread on the edge. Such glasses are a standard product of the late thirteenth century and the entire fifteenth century (Lazar 2003, 81). Also interesting are the broad necks of vessels with a broadly and flatly inverted rim made of colourless glass, which may be defined as urological vessels (urinals). These vessels were used from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries for medical purposes. The finds from this layer are the first genuine experience of fourteenth century life and economy at the site. The coins and glass suggest that a richer class lived in the tower, since in the fourteenth century glass was a luxury good. Thus, Stari Tar (Old Tar), functioned simultaneously with the Novi Tar (New Tar), and probably at this time the administrator of this part of the Poreč region lived in the Stari Tar tower

Topics: Stancija Blek; Tar; Poreč; antika; bizant; srednji vijek; staklo, Stancija Blek; Tar; Poreč; Antiquity; Byzantine; Middle-age; glass
Publisher: Institute of arhaeology
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:hrcak.srce.hr:50452

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