(University of Primorska, Piran, Slovenia)
Main objective of the lecture is the presentation of the archaeological research in the abandoned town of Stari Bar in Montenegro. The abandoned town and its still standing architectural remains have served as »research playground« offering the researchers to plan and perform focused and scientific research. By its inclusion in several international projects research performed in Stari Bar can be described as the archaeology of the town performed without usual obstacles met by urban archaeology considering time or financial limits. Its special value lies in the possibility of study of the genesis and development of urban structures and their material remains along the Adriatic. Since the town is abandoned it also raises questions of the conservation and presentation of heritage.
The archaeological research in Stari Bar was a result of the international project »Heritage of Serenissima«. The main goal of the research was the recognition and evaluation of Venetian heritage along the Adriatic coast. By being abandoned but still quite well preserved the town of Stari Bar represented ideal site for the study of the genesis and development of towns along the Adriatic coast. The state of preservation of the underground deposits and the standing architecture offered the possibility for broadening the research to the periods previous and following the time of the Venetian rule. Thus it offered the possibility for the study of the complete history of the town. The basis for the research was the publication of the first research and preservation activities performed in the 1950ies and published in 1962 by an architect ?. Boškovi?. The research focused on the following questions: What is the chronology of the town? What are the main phases of life identifiable from the urban fabric? What social groups can be identified by the material culture? Development of the social, economic and cultural use of the urban spaces? Relationship of the town with its surroundings and other towns in the region through different phases and different dominion. To answer these questions it was necessary to adopt a flexible strategy and sampling system based on the archaeology of masonry, archaeological excavation focused on the several locations in the open spaces and buildings within the town, and the research of the material and natural remains from the researched locations, as well as the revision of the previously collected material remains.