Barovo (Macédonia):Archeological Research Explore First Antique Temple
The excavation of the antique heroon-temple at Dabje Gramage - Monastery near the Barovo village in Demir Kapija is still under way. This mausoleum was built in the Roman Empire period, and was first discovered in 1985 by Prof. Dr. Viktor Lilcik-Adams, acting director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Office.
During the antiquity period heroons were sanctuaries and this heroon-temple is the first one of its kind to be discovered in Macedonia.
The archaeological research is conducted by a team of researchers from the "Ss. Cyril and Methodius" University, the Department of Art History and Archaeology from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje; and the entire project is supported by the Cultural Heritage Protection Office, falling under the capital projects of the Macedonian Government category for 2016.
The first archaeological excavations were conducted in 2012 when a team from the Faculty of Philosophy led by professors Viktor Lilcik-Adams and Antonio Jakimovski discovered the heroon remains above ground i.e. the crepidoma and several other architectural stone elements from the upper parts of the building.
The element we speak of is a part of an abacus frame on a Corinthian order, massive part of an overhead arch, parts of the front acroterion on top of the roof that was decorated with a palm and other ornaments. An upper part of a white marble statue was also discovered, which depicted the likeness of the deceased buried in the mausoleum - clarifies Lilcik-Adams.
The Faculty of Philosophy expert team, under the leadership of professor dr. Marjan Jovanov, conducted the research preparations during October and November, and the mausoleum's hypogeum excavation will be done this month.
Being mindful of the development of the Demir Kapija municipality through culture and archaeology, we deduced that a concentration of archaeological research is needed for several localities which in the near future may be used as a tourist attraction. The localities are the fortresses of Demir Kapija the most attractive being Markova Kula, Koreshnica village and Ramnishte with Gorni Krastavec over Demir Kapija, built by the Macedonian kings. The ancient city Stena located in Klisursko settlement in Demir Kapija is of immense importance. The ancient antique mausoleum in Barovo village along the valley of the river Boshava going to the Kozhuf Mountain is a worthy attraction. It is precisely because of this that I am glad the Faculty of Philosophy's team will completely excavate the remains of this incredible mausoleum by the end of 2016, after which it may proceed with its conservation and reconstruction - said Lilcik-Adams.
The heroon was built in 2 or 3 century B.C. by a distinct member of society from the Tikvesh region. Over by the southern edge of the crepidoma, a part of a male marble statue with a broken head was discovered. The researchers assume that this statue depicted the one that placed the order for the heroon.
Several questions arise, one of which is whether the person erecting this temple - the Konjarec heroon over by Barovo- originated from this place. Or maybe he was a wealthy concessionaire of mines from the Kozhuv Mountain. Whether the villa at Konjarec was his vacation home or he and his family lived here permanently.
This is a first object of its kind that contains almost every architectural element as well as the architectural plans which will provide the means for a complete reconstruction. This means that the Barovo heroon could be the first antique temple in Macedonia and abroad that is completely restored.
The heroon is located in the center of the Tikvesh region, surrounded by the vineyards of Barovo. This heroon's discovery and its reconstruction will play a meaningful role in the cultural and economic development of the local communities of Tikvesh, more specifically the municipalities of Demir Kapija, Negotino, Kavadarci as well as the Republic of Macedonia.