Turkish archaeologists discover ancient Roman church in Kosovo
PRISTINA - Anadolu Agency
The church in Kosovo is estimated to be completely unearthed next year.A Turkish archaeologist team headed by Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Professor Haluk Çetinkaya has found traces of a Roman church from the fourth century A.D. close to the Kosovar capital Pristina.
Çetinkaya said they first found the baptistery and then reached other parts of the church at the ancient site of Ulpiana, adding that the house of worship collapsed in an earthquake at the end of the fourth century before being restored one century later. The church is estimated to be nearly 19 meters long and will be completely unearthed next year.
“The church’s material, coins and the skeletons that were found in there are important in dating the church,” he said. “People were buried right next to the baptistery. We have examined the skeletons in the laboratory and found out that they date back to the beginning of the fifth century. We found 101 coins in the church area. Almost all of them are from the fourth century. This is a significant criterion for dating. Considering all these, we say that the church belongs to the fourth century. On the other hand, the use of cross was forbidden in the floor of churches in the first quarter of the fifth century. Here, a cross was used in the floor, and this is why the church dates back to before the fifth century.”
The excavation works started in Ulpiana, one of the most important settlements in the region in the Roman Empire, in 2012 with a cooperation treaty with the Kosovar Culture Ministry.