Epigraphy and stone sculptures

The collection “Epigraphy and stone sculpture” consists of museum objects that date from the Late Bronze Age to Late Antiquity (XII century BC to IV century); the most numerous are those from the Roman period (I-III centuries). The items originate from all parts of the Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo.

The epigraphic monuments present at the museum have inscriptions in Greek and Latin languages. The collection includes extremely important and rare documents in stone: decrees, lists of ephebes, dedications to Roman emperors, milestones, testaments. The monuments of a private character are mainly tombstones and votives. Grave monuments are most numerous in the collection and differ typologically, e.g., tombstones with inscription and relief, altars, medallions, sarcophagi, grave inscriptions on a pillar. Particularly important among them are those of veterans of Roman military legions (IV and V Macedonian, VII Claudius and IV Scythian). The collection possesses ca. 10 examples of grave steles from the Tikvesh group, which show unique iconography and are characteristic only of the Tikvesh region.

Votive monuments are present with inscriptions, reliefs, altars, statues, statuettes, plinths or fragments, and heads of deities. Through them are reflected the beliefs in deities and the respect for cults among the Macedonians in this period. Dedications to the following deities are found: Zeus, Hera, Artemis, Heracles, Dionysus, Dioscuri, Parces, Nymphs, Apollo, Aphrodite, and Mithras.
The stone sculpture includes statues, among which particularly important are women of the Large Herculaneum type and men of the Paliatus type, plinths of statues, statuettes, busts, heads of men or women, and fragments of equestrian statues.

In the lapidarium of the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia is represented a cross-section of the epigraphic monuments and stone sculpture from the Republic of Macedonia; the votives and the grave monuments are shown typologically and chronologically, as well as the monumental statues, which are the greatest achievements of ancient sculpture in Macedonia.

The stone monuments from ancient Stybera found in situ during archaeological excavations in 1953 occupy a special space; they include busts of Titus Flavius Orestes and his son Philoxenos, statues of Asclepius and Dionysus, statues and lists of ephebes from the Gymnasium.
A significant place in the exhibition is dedicated to the sculpture of Venus Pudica found in situ in the Bath at Scupi, Skopje.

The only replica ever made of the sarcophagus of Alexander, located in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul, was a gift to the museum from the government of the Republic of Turkey.

Dr. Slavica Babamova, epigraphist, custodian advisor.