The project “Frontier Studies. Investigation into Identity and Cultural Contacts in the Border Area of Ancient Macedonia” is a complex scientific research that will be conducted this year in phases, at several different locations using different approaches and modern research methods.
The project aims at a micro-regional study and covers a long chronological period, with special emphasis on the 1st millennium BC. In this regard, the project will try to answer questions about the construction of identities, the emergence of proto-state structures and phenomena of centralization in the northern contact zone of the Aegean and central Balkan cultural coiné. In addition, several interdisciplinary studies will be conducted in the project time frame (2017-2022).
This year, the project conducts geological surveys of the Small Lake and Large Lake located in the Pelister National Park, in order to obtain a detailed climatic and ecological record for the wider region in the last ten millennia. We expect that the taken geological samples will provide an excellent high-resolution record of the environmental changes and human activities in the wider region over the last ten millennia.
Archeogeological excavations were also conducted in the region north of Lake Ohrid in order to determine the water level of the lake in different chronological periods and thus to reconstruct the cultural landscape and to see how climate change has affected life in the region.
Geophysical non-invasive surveys were also conducted at several sites in order to determine the character of the sites themselves and eventually to discover other more significant underground architectural structures.
Test-pit excavation was conducted at the site “Gorica”in the village Leskoec in order to determine the organization of the settlements in the region with special emphasis on the transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
Within the project, architectural and epigraphic survey is carried out in order to conduct extensive research and review of known architectural remains (i.e. churches, mosques, etc.) in the region.
The project is the result of the cooperation of the NI Archaeological Museum of Republic of North Macedonia and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and the project managers are Pero Ardzanliev, MA and Dr. Marek Verchik.
Partners in the realization of the project are the NI Institute for Protection of Monuments of Culture and Museum-Ohrid, the Czech Geological Survey from Prague, the German Archaeological Institute, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany and the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Czech Republic.