Municipium Ulpiana – Justiniana Secunda, located about twelve kilometres to the southeast of Priština, the capital of Kosovo, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Kosovo. During the Roman period, Ulpiana was one of the main communication crossroads between Constantinople and Rome, linking the routes from the Adriatic to the Aegean Coast of which the most prominent were the Via Lissus – Naissus and Scupi. In the year 169 A.D. Ulpiana acquired the status of a Municipium, which was the Latin term for a town or city. The acquisition of this status effectively meant the incorporation of the site as a recognised urban centre within the administrative apparatus of the Roman Empire. Ulpiana reached its greatest development in the period between the 3rd and 4th century A.D., becoming a strong political, economic and cultural center.
In the period of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, Ulpiana was renamed to Justiniana Secunda.
The first archaeological discoveries in the site of Ulpiana began in the second half of the 20th century and have been continued guided by local and foreign archaeologists up to the present day. The explorations have resulted in the discovery of several cult objects and sacral monuments, parts of the surrounding walls and defensive towers, the Castrum – the Roman military camp –, and hundreds of fragments of various artefacts. The archaeological excavations have also revealed other parts of the former city such as the North Gate, the Portico Temple, Fortezza Basilica including its rich mosaic floor, the Baptistery, and the Northern Necropolis.
Based on its historical, archaeological, artistic and scientific values, Municipium Ulpiana – Justiniana Secunda was proclaimed an archaeological site under permanent protection by the Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage in 2016.
The Training Course
The Training Course is the continuation of a similar Training Course on mosaic conservation which took place in 2020 in the Archaeological Site of Dresnik in Kosovo and will be dedicated to the preventive conservation and the restoration of mosaics from the Imperial and the late-Imperial Roman period.
On one hand, the conservation and restoration measures will refer to the mosaics conserved in situ in Municipium Ulpiana – Justiniana Secunda. These mosaics, with geometrical and polychromatic ornaments, have been discovered in the Roman bath complex, in a part of the portico of the ancient temple, and on the floor of the crypt of the Basilica.
On the other hand, conservation and restoration measures will be undertaken at mosaics from the same period which had been discovered not in Municipium Ulpiana – Justiniana Secunda, but at other Roman sites in Kosovo. These mosaics could not be conserved in situ which is why they are stored in the deposit of the National Museum of Kosovo, but they need also urgent conservation interventions.
Under the guidance of conservators-restorers specialised on mosaics the participants will get insight in the challenges of mosaic conservation, will be taught all necessary steps of the needed interventions and will have the extraordinary opportunity to compare the conservation concept of mosaics conserved in situ with those treasured in a museum.
Additionally, the Training Course will be complemented by a comprehensive educational programme will allow the participants to familiarise themselves with the tangible as well as the intangible heritage of Kosovo.
The Training Course will take place from September, 12th, to September, 25th, 2021 and is organised by Kosovo Council for Cultural European Heritage, Ministry of Culture and Institute of Archaeology of Kosovo, National Museum of Kosovo and Municipality of Gračanica, in cooperation with European Heritage Volunteers.