Caričin Grad and the Changes in the Nature of Urbanism in the Central Balkans in the Sixth Century


in The Transition to Late Antiquity, on the Danube and Beyond

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264027
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734908 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Caričin Grad and the Changes in the Nature of Urbanism in the Central Balkans in the Sixth Century

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Caričin Grad (Justiniana Prima) is an ideal site for studying urbanism in the early Byzantine period. Amongst the numerous early Byzantine sites in the central Balkans, Caričin Grad is one of the very few that was a city and was founded in the sixth century. Its fortifications include three separate walled areas (the Acropolis, the Upper City, and the Lower City). Contrary to the traditional view, this chapter argues that the walls of the Acropolis were not part of the original plan and that the Upper and Lower Cities were established at the same time. The Church and the army occupied more than two-thirds of the Upper City and the Lower Town contained mainly public buildings. The only known intramural residential area lies in the south-west corner of the Lower City. Houses here were built of stone bonded with clay at ground-floor level, and the upper floor was constructed with a timber frame and cob walls and had tile roofs. It is also very likely that there was an extramural population, protected by a ditch and palisades.

Keywords: Caričin Grad; Justiniana Prima; urbanism; Byzantine period; Balkans; fortifications; Acropolis; Upper City; Lower City; houses

Chapter.  12710 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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