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The Church of St Stephen in Dubrovnik: Multi-Layered Cemetery and the Inventory of Finds

Nikolina Topić ; Museum of London Archaeology, London, England
Ivana Radić
Petra Rajić Šikanjić orcid id ; Institutu za antropologiju, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Mato Ilkić orcid id ; Odjel za arheologiju Sveučilišta u Zadru, Zadar, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 53.647 Kb

str. 55-143

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Archaeological excavations conducted on the site of St Stephen church at Pustijerna in Dubrovnik in 2011-2012 included all cultural layers within the church building and a portion of the church cemetery below the yard attached to the church on its northern side, having resulted in the new significant findings and interpretations (Fig. 1-21).
The investigation has revealed several phases in the history of this locality from late antiquity to the destruction of the church in the Great Earthquake of 1667 (Fig. 7-17; ground plans Fig. 1-5, cross sections Fig. 1-3), yet the most important historic layers of the church documented by this reasearch date from the pre-Romanesque (not later than the end of the 8th to the 10th century) and the Romanesque period (11th-13th century), for which it has been established that each had its own cemetery. Extensions continued in the late medieval and early modern period, the cemetery being still used in the modern era for burials inside and outside the church. An extension was built on the north side―a chapel with a communication through the north wall of the church. The church was abandoned after its destruction by the 1667 Great Earthquake yet the church ruins continued to be used for various purposes.
total of 34 grave sites of different type has been defined (T. I-X), while the burials in them were performed from the start of the ninth to the seventeenth century. An overall inventory of the finds includes coins, jewellery, fibula
plates, various belt buckles, Ω earrings, buttons, needles, nails and other objects, fragments of marble, stone, pottery, glass, bone, graphite, flint (T. XI-XXIII), which may be dated to the period from late antiquity to modern age. Samples of burnt wood suggest a chronological span between the year 963 and 1219, and from 1296 to 1407 cal AD, and may also be linked to one of the fires or earthquakes, as well as to the enlargement or extension of the church.
Radiocarbon analysis of five bone samples has confirmed continuous use of the cemetery through centuries, from 806 to 1286 cal AD. Anthropological analysis of the relatively well preserved grave sites has established the remains of 83 persons, 41 adults and 42 children. The analysis of bone remains has also confirmed certain pathological changes which originated during the persons’ lifetime (Tables 1-2).
The research of the cemetery has resulted in the new finds relating to the continuity of the church use and its architectural transformation. The project of restoration and conservation of the church of St Stephen has been completed (Fig. 22), and has encompassed the presentation of different styles of the church over the centuries, as evidenced by the interior and exterior architecture.

Ključne riječi

anthropological analysis; church of St Stephen; Dubrovnik; inventory of fi nds; pre-Romanesque period; Romanesque period; radiocarbon dating; medieval and early modern cemetery

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