(University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia)

Outline: The main objective of the lecture is an overview of the recent excavations in Koper Capodistria that have taken place in the town’s squares. Main goal is to point out the importance of archaeological research in urban environment and the extent of new information about the function and structures of what we know today as an open space – a square.

Abstract: The main aim of the lecture is to show the significance of the archaeological excavation of the open spaces or squares within the urban environment. Lecture will deal with the recent excavations of several squares in the town of Koper/Capodistria. All excavations were carried out before the new building activities in the spaces that are today known as squares. The results have revealed different phases of the settlement and have once more attested the existing information about the town”s main development phases. However, these have revelaed new information about the microlocations within the town – with the accent on the discontinuity in the caracter of certain urban spaces. Focus of the lecture will be on the excavation on the Museum square that, on contrary to the other streets and squares in the vicinity, in its name bears no memory of the previous phases/structures of the space. Archaeological excavation, carried out as a part of preparation for the new building activit

ies on the square has brought to light remains of structures belonging to the gardens and storage houses from the late antiquity, remains of the architecture of two phases of the domonican monastery and its gardens, remains of the church teared down after the WW II, the architecture of Austro-Hungarian penitentiary and the great cistern built for the use of penitentiary and the remains of the later elementary school. All these show the vivacious building activity that has taken place in the space that we today recognize as the square. On one hand it shows the discontinuity of the developmet of the certain urban space, on the other hand it shows the continuity of its use for the public functions for the larger period of its history.

Keywords: Koper, archaeology, history of open spaces