(University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia)
Koper is one of the typical Mediterranean towns along the northern Adraiatic coast. It is located in the densely settled area. Its history is known only from the rich archival sources. Building activities in the 1980ies and during the last decade have intensified the research in the town’s historical core. More than 30 archaeological excavations have been performed and have revealed great amount of archaeological material which has not been adequately studied and published. The lack of the scientific research of the material remains presents a great obstacle to the thorough interpretation and understanding of the establishment and development of the town and conservation and presentation of its heritage.
The town of Koper, established on the island, is known for its navy, fishery, salt plants but also as the cultural, religious and administrative regional centre. Its establishment is dated to the antiquity but still with no sure archaeological evidence. It has reached its economical and cultural peak in the periods of middle ages and Renaissance when it was ruled and strongly influenced by the Venetian Republic. Most of the information about the town’s history is based on the rich archival sources and the ongoing analysis of the still standing architecture within the historical core.
Urban archaeology has its beginnings in the 1980ies when buildings activities have intensified in the town. The second wave of building activities in the town started in the 1990ies and vas intensified in the last decade due to the new development strategy oriented towards the economical growth. More than 30 archaeological excavations have been performed and have revealed great amount of archaeological material which has not been adequately studied and published and lacking the thorough interpretation and understanding of the establishment and development of the town. Lately the University of Primorska has started the project with the main goal of the evaluation and publication of the material culture. The main questions to be answered are concerning town’s establishment, development phases and chronology. The research is based on the evaluation of the already researched locations within the town with the goal of reconstruction of the cross sections of the town’s stratiga
phy that will make basis for the support of the archival sources and thus the basis for the reconstruction of different aspects of town’s history. At the same time it will enable the establishment of the strategy for the conservation, reconstruction, preservation, but at the same time for the development and promotion of the town.
Koper, urban archaeology, interpretation, presentation