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The Archaeology of Stari Bar

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Systemic archaeological fieldwork and research have been underway at the site of Stari Bar since 2004 as a result of a major joint project, with European funding, between the University Ca' Foscari (Venice), the Comune (City Authority) of Bar and the University of Koper (Slovenia). This volume provides a digest and analysis of the decade of work that has ensued, exploring the trajectory of a town in modern-day Montenegro that was virtually abandoned towards the end of the 19th century. The history and archaeology of this town offers exciting scope not only for ongoing archaeological research but also for the local communities to understand and trace their own past. The site of Stari Bar (ancient Antivari) truly formed a crossroads or point of intersection for many peoples and cultures and the book traces its historical and settlement evolution from the period prior to Rome, through the late antique period, Middle and Late Byzantine phases, its establishment as an episcopal seat and development as a city the late Middle Ages and its significant transformation into a Venetian colony and its equally significant transformation into an outpost of the Ottoman empire following conquest by the Turks. Moving to modern times, the book provides a detailed analysis of the war of liberation which coincided with the demonstrable demise of the city within the walls and the shift of settlement focus to the coast. The end result of this history is what can be termed a 'ghost town' -- a site with a rich and varied architectural heritage and a site with an equally rich, but far less visible, buried archaeological resource. The book concludes by examining the questions of how this heritage should be used, how the local population interact with it, and how it should continue to be studied.

Published: Nov 1, 2026