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Vardar Hill (Вардарски Рид)

Vardar Hill



Location: Gevgelija  Map







Vardar Hill or Vardarski Rid is an Archaeological Park situated near a town of Gevgelija near Republic of Macedonia. This is a settlement from an Early Antiquity that held a strategic high ground over Lower Vardar Valley. Numerous artefacts including bronze jewellery were found here that date as late as 7th century BC. Several coins from the time of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great and Antipater were also discovered here. However Roman layer yielded no results. It might due to the fact that the city didn't survive Roman conquest and died out or it might be that archaeologists dimply didn't find anything yet. Archaeological digs still continue on the site.




The first archaeological findings from Gevgelija are individual bronze forms of jewelry from VII and VI century BC. AD from the Raul and Reed sites (probably Vardarski Rid). These findings, most likely contributions from torn tombs, date back to 1917. Rafael Popov collected them and transferred them to Sofia where they are still kept in the Archaeological Museum.

In 1979, the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Monuments and Museum in Skopje was excavated. excavations by the National Museum of Gevgelija. Systematic research of Vardarski Rid started in 1995. and continued to this day, under the leadership of Dr Dragi Mitrevski. The research in the first years was carried out as part of a joint project of the Museum of Macedonia, Skopje and the Texas Foundation for Archaeological Research in Houston. The research was concentrated on two sectors, the Sector "Southern Terrace" and the Sector "Acropolis". During these initial research campaigns, individual control probes were undertaken at several different sites on the site. From 1998 to 2000 the research was continued in the same sectors, but within the framework of a new scientific research project, at the Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje and the Museum of Macedonia, Skopje. Since 2001, research has focused on a new point - in the Eastern Terrace Sector. Research in this sector was ordered by the results of protective archaeological excavations carried out in 1999, which enabled the excavation of the entire northeast periphery of the site in the service of the construction of a new highway for the Republic of Macedonia. Greece. Research in the Eastern Terrace Sector is still ongoing. For the last three years they have been carried out as a scientific-teaching project at the Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje, with all the facilities for practicing field teaching - archeological practicum, for students of Archeology.


Until the late 5th century eg. AD, the area of ​​Amphaxitida was a separate principality in which the ancient Macedonians were distinguished as a separate ethnicity. This lower Macedonian area was comprised of several cities, with Idomanee, Gortinia and Atalanta being the most distinguished. According to architecture, urbanism, culture and art, they were economically highly developed cities.

One of these cities, which most archaeologists claim is the city of Gortynia, is located on the Vardarski Rid site. It is a multifaceted settlement and necropolis that can be traced to the genesis of its overall development in one continuum.

On its southern part are the remains of a fortress, walls of numerous buildings, among which the remains of a public monumental building from the 5th century BC are dominant. AD, made of massive stone blocks. This part of the city was a small shopping center from the III - II century BC. AD Archaeological findings indicate the existence of well-equipped workshops for metal, ceramics and textiles, as well as other objects of various purpose (warehouses, shops). Part of the palace was discovered, as well as a small house-to-house sanctuary with moving findings. The excavated buildings and their layout point to a city with an incorrect urban plan.

Of the many moving findings discovered at this site, the numismatic fund is particularly interesting and significant. It consists of the coins found by all Macedonian rulers, the most numerous of which are the silver tetradrachms, and of particular importance are the coins of Alexander I and the coin of the Paeonian tribe of Ores (late 6th-5th century BC), which represent an exceptional rare findings.

The most common ceramic finds are the terracotta depictions of individual deities, various anthropomorphic and zomorphic figures, as well as other pottery items, all of which are domestically produced. Discovered small samples of imported pottery date from the 5th to the 6th century BC. AD Of the moving metal findings, the most characteristic are weapons, then jewelry and tools, a large number of keys, kitchen utensils and more.

Vardarski Rid is the central area of ​​Gevgelija, which has been inhabited continuously for more than 1000 years, from the end of the Bronze Age (XIII century BC) until the arrival of the Romans (II century BC). Through six successive settlements, starting with a small prehistoric settlement on the Hill 1, during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The ancient Macedonian city of Gortinia grew up, a city witnessed in historical sources as one of the centers of Ancient Macedonia. After the settlement ceased, more than 1000 years in the full Middle Ages (XI century - XIII century BC), the necropolis sector was again used to bury the population of Vardarski Rid. The findings from the six explored sectors are remnants of an ancient Macedonian city that existed from the 5th century BC, and in the "Necropolis" sector are burials from the oldest-initial settlement of the medieval horizon.




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