Municipium Ulpiana-Justiniana Secunda (Pristina)


Type of Protection: Permanent protection Date of Protection: 1955

Type of Protection: Under termporarly protection Date of Protection: 2011

Type of Protection: Under termporarly protection Date of Protection: 2012


The roman and Byzantine site of Ulpiana is without a doubt one of the most interesting archaeological centres of Kosovo and the entire Illyrian peninsula. The setting of the site close to a rich mining area known for extraction of the precious metals, stretched in a fertile low land and imposing picturesque surroundings while on the other hand, the exceptionally key geostrategic position sited close to the ancient crossroads that linked east with west, where dominant factors for the foundation, development and existence through centuries. During the roman era, Ulpiana was one of the most active and frequented centers connecting Constantinople with Rome, and close to the town the crossroad connecting the Adriatic with the Aegean coasts, even indirectly with the Black Sea. Furthermore, the existence of the ancient communication route Via Lissus-Naissus is known, land communication networks that met close to Ulpiana. The earliest forms of the occupation and human activity and civilization, witness the existence since the prehistoric period, but worth mentioning is the period known by the jargon of the archaeologists as the Bronze and Iron Ages, also known as the Dardanian Ancientness. Nevertheless, the first forms of an urban centro recorded in Ulpiana, date to the beginning of the Roman rule, which occurred at the first century AD. With the Romans settlers, Ulpiana developed from a small ancient Dardan concentrated Opidum; to a wide spread territorium with all attributes of a typical roman town organisation. In regard to this matter, it is believed that Ulpiana was established as a roman municipium in 169 AD (Municipium Ulpianum). Nonetheless, Ulpiana achieved its heights peak of development during the 3rd and 4th century; a period when it became a very important political, economical, cultural centre of a wider area of waste territory of the Dardania, but also become the crucial centro for the expansion of the ancient civilization in this region. The roman town of Ulpiana during this period was ascribed as the Municipum Ulpiana Splendissima – the Splendid Municipium of Ulpiana, characterized with road nets, orthogonal construction system, water supply, drainage, houses, buildings and various other public, sacral, profane and utilitarian buildings. In addition, the Municipium of Ulpiana was a very important trading centro of either metallurgical, artisans or agricultural goods and merchandise for at least first five centuries of the first millennium and especially during the rule of the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great in the 6th century AD; time when Ulpiana was rebuilt and renamed to Justiniana Secunda. Since the second part of the past century and onward, the ancient town of Ulpiana has been in continuity a study area through the loupe and pickate of either local or foreign archaeologists that contributed until present day with the discovery of few cult and sacral monuments, basilica, necropolis, as well as parts of the ramparts with watchtowers, castrum-roman military garrison and hundreds of movable fragments/artefacts, different in form, material and usege, but as well as human remains, architectural structures and elements, all testimony of the cultural material very important for the scientific field of archaeology. The gathered data was partially studied and is under the process of systematic evaluation from various specialists of different scientific disciplines that all together contribute for the further update of the archaeological data. Since our century is the one of technological and scientific innovations, the archaeological site of Ulpiana went through elaborate research studies with highly sophisticated investigative devices, which totally are non intrusive methods of survey examination. Thanking the cooperation, between the German Archaeological Institute, and the Archaeological Institute of Kosovo, have jointly participated in geophysical prospection with the advance survey/recording methods, for example; Fluxgate Magnetometer, Gradiometer, georadar connected with GIS, surveying around 50 hectares of land with archaeological potential within the Ulpiana area. Besides the scientific character, the underneath earth recording will aid in the future pacifications and development plans for this archaeological site. But even more, the site will benefit also for the management plan for compilation of the development plans for the promotion of the cultural heritage known in the developed countries as archaeoturism (archaeological tourism), which as a precondition requires the setting of the tourist infrastructure at the archaeological parks. On the other hand, these advanced methods and techniques will help on the determination of the extent, character and nature of Ulpiana, when having in mind that this is a multilayer site.


Unique number: 002120

Name: Municipium Ulpiana-Justiniana Secunda

Class: Archaeological Site

Institution: AIK


Country: Kosovo

Municipality: Pristina

City/Village: Graçanicë-Gračanica

Locality: Ulpiana

Postal Code:

Name of Street:

Functional type and dating

Type:Arkeologjike - ENG

Period: Roman

Century: 2nd

Supported by:

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The project for the development of this database has been implemented by the Swedish Foundation of Cultural Heritage without Borders CHwB.
© 2014 / The content expressed herein are responsibility of the Government of Kosovo ose the Ministry for Culture, Youth and Sports and do not necessarily reflect the views of the donors or CHwB.