Shestovytsia – barrow early medieval cemetery

Person conducting excavation: Dariusz Błaszczyk PhD, dr Viacheslav PhD Skorokhod
Country: Ukraine
Site name: Shestovytsia
Type of the site: barrow early medieval cemetery
Involved institutions:
Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw; Centre of Archaeology and Ancient History, Taras Shevchenko Teachers’ Training University, Chernihiv
Description of the research:
Description of the research: Research is carried out at the barrow cemetery, which is part of the settlement complex from the early Middle Ages consisting of a stronghold and an adjacent settlement. The aim of the research is to investigate using modern methods (drone photos, 3D documentation, physicochemical analyses) of a selected part of the cemetery, determine its exact chronology, reconstruct the funeral rite and identify the socio-cultural affiliation of the people buried there
‘Shestovytsia – the barrow cemetery from the Viking Age period’. Research financed by the Institute of Archaeology University of Warsaw and Centre of Archaeology and Ancient History, Taras Shevchenko Teachers’ Training University, Chernihiv

Novae – legionary fortress and late Roman town

Principal investigator: dr hab. Agnieszka Tomas
Name of the site:
Partner institutions:
Faculty of Archaeology University of Warsaw and the National Institute of Archaeology Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with the Museum
Type of the site:
Roman legionary camp (castra legionis), civil settlement (canabae legionis) and late Roman town.

Chronology: 1st-6th century AD

The legionary fortress in Novae today is an archaeological site in northern Bulgaria, on the Danube, near the town of Svishtov. It was probably founded around the middle of the 1st century AD. The 1st Italian legion was based here for most of its existence and its presence is confirmed until the 30s of the 5th century AD. In the area of ​​the camp, which covers 17.99 ha, monumental buildings have been discovered, the most important of which is the headquarters building (principia), although the legionary hospital (valetudinarium) and baths (thermae legionis) are equally impressive. There was a civil settlement (canabae) on the west side of the camp, and a necropolis on the south and east side. In the late antiquity, the fortifications of Novae were reinforced, and an additional area (the so-called annex) was attached to the camp from the east, covering an area of ​​almost 9 ha. At that time, both soldiers and civilians lived within the walls. Traces of the latest Roman activity date back to the end of the 6th century.

Novae - phot. M. Pisz
Novae – phot. M. Pisz

Description of the research:

In 2017, we started a research project aimed at determining the fate of the eastern part of the site (annex), which in the late antiquity was surrounded by defensive walls as part of a civilian city. The aim of the project was to try to establish the history of the use of this area, its function and role as a part of the camp estate, as well as the reasons why this place was surrounded by walls in the late antiquity.

Thanks to the discoveries in 2018-2019, we found that part of the area to the east of the legionary camp was occupied by the camp cemetery, where, among others, soldiers. Around 260, as a result of the destruction caused by barbarian invasions, the area was desacralized and incorporated into the city, and at the end of the 3rd century, brick buildings were built here. It is the only such case known in the Roman Empire.

Project title/financial support:
Extramural settlement near the Roman legionary fortress at Novae (Lower Moesia) and its fate in Late Antiquity, National Science Centre, OPUS 10, NCN, OPUS 10, no. 2015/19B/HS3/017/90


  • A. Tomas, E. Jaskulska, J. Dworniak-Jarych, E Jęczmienowski, T. Dziurdzik, A. Mech, The eastern necropolis at Novae, Archaeologia Bulgarica 24/3, 2020, 37–63
  • The transformation of Novae. Eastern necropolis and the late Roman extension [in:] Transformations in Antiquity, A. Tomas (ed.), BREPOLS, RomA Series (in preparation)

Other projects realized in Novae by the Expedition of the Faculty of Archaeology UW:

Novae 2017-2021. In medio castrorum. Sculptural and epigraphic landscape of the central part of the legionary fortress at Novae

Novae 2012-2015. Research on settlement structures near the Roman legionary camp at Novae (Lower Moesia) using non-destructive prospection methods (A. Tomas, completed)

Novae 2009-2011. The headquarters building and the fortifications (T. Sarnowski, completed)

Akrai, Sicily

Archaeological site Akrai (Latin Acrae) is localised to the west of the modern town of Palazzolo Acreide, in south-eastern region of Sicily. The site was an excellent lookout point over the entire surrounding region. Such a strategic location suggests that the town played an important role, both political and commercial, and guarded the access to Syracuse to which it was subordinated.
According to Thucydides the town was founded by Syracuse around 663/664 BC. After the Roman conquest, it became a civitas stipendiaria, and was still prospering till the end of the Antiquity.

The results of all of fieldworks was the discovery of a theatre and bouleuterion, open towards the remains of an agora and thesmophorion. At the highest situated area of the city a discovery was made of a Doric peripteral temple, dedicated, most probably, to Aphrodite, built during the 6th century BC and in use for an unknown period.
Worthy of special interest are quarries, known as Intagliata and Intagliatella, source of stone for construction, which during the late antique period were used for a necropolis.

Since 2009 the University of Warsaw, in cooperation with Polo Regionale di Siracusa per i siti e i musei archeologici in Syracuse, began first step of research in Palazzolo Acreide. Non invasive investigations: geodetic measurements, geophysics, aerial photography were the first stage of studies. During the survey in the vicinity of town, using the GPS, on the satellite map have been marked a discovered new archaeological sites.

Since  2011 till now the regular archaeological excavations are carried out. Archaeologists discovered the remains of Greco-Roman houses and Late Antique area with domestic craft activities.

Currently, international team of archaeologists is elaborating the findings that include: coins, different types of pottery, glass, metal and stone objects. Multidisciplinary researches engage archaeometric, lipid, petrographic, and isotopic analyses. All the results are published regularly in international journals and in the form of monographs.

More information: