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News 05 Aug 16

Mysterious Roman Find Thrills Serbian Experts

Archaeologists have found golden and silver tiles at Viminacium, site of a Roman city and legionary fort in eastern Serbia, reportedly dating back to the 4th century.

Ivana Nikolic
BIRN
Belgrade
Golden tile. Photo: Beta.

Miomir Korac, from the Belgrade-based Archaeological Institute and leader of the excavations, told the media that Ancient Roman golden tiles found at Viminacium in eastern Serbia are a rare find, which makes this discovery even more important.

The tiles are engraved with magical symbols, which Romans used to appeal to supernatural powers, he explained.

“This is a medium people used to communicate with gods or demons with different requests. Most usually, those were curses or various spells about connecting people, such as love spells,” Korac said.

One tile is engraved with various symbols while the other one is engraved with Ancient Greek letters, though the language used is unknown to the archaeologists, which makes it more exciting.

So far, the archaeologists have found around 1,500 various tiles at the area of the former Roman Empire, but the vast majority of them were made from saturn. The golden ones are among the rarest.

Previously, in the end of July, a tomb of the upper class family was discovered, which now adds to the already discovered 14,000 tombs at Viminacium - the biggest number of tombs excavated in the territory of the deceased Roman Empire.

A tomb with the skeletons found in the end of July. Photo: Beta.

Viminacium was a military camp and capital of the Roman province Moesia Superior. It is located some 12 km from the town of Kostolac in Eastern Serbia. Viminacium is believed to have had some 40,000 inhabitants, making it one of the biggest cities of that time.
Devastated by the Huns in the 5th century, it was later rebuilt by the Emperor Justinian.

It was completely destroyed by the Slavs in the 6th century. Today, the Viminacium archaeological site contains remains of streets, temples, squares, amphitheatres, palaces, hippodromes and Roman baths.

 

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