Saturday, March 14, 2009

Roman “Villa Urbana”

Whole territory of today’s town Risan, from the spring Sopot till the monastery Banja, represents very rich and important archaeological site where are created the pages of the earliest history of Montenegrin Littoral. The Bay of Boka Kotorska was for the first time mentioned under the name of “Rison River” in the middle of 4th century BC. In the year 230 BC Illyrian fortress Rison on the hill Gradina over Risan become the war capital of Illyrian state of the tribe Ardiei under the king Agron and his heiress, very known queen Teuta, who began the first in the series of wars with the powerful state of Rome, which termined with the final decline of the Illyricum under the king Genthius, in the year 167 BC.
Immediately after the submission began the hurried Romanization of Risinium, which become a typical Roman town enclosed by “cyclopean” city walls and urban center or Forum on the field Carine at the right side of small creek Spila. Out of ramparts were the cemeteries or necropolis, and on the southern side the residential part of the town with the villas of rich merchants and landowners of Risan.
The mosaics cover the floors in 4 of 5 rooms in the east part and in 2 rooms in the west tract of villa, while in other rooms were discovered only the traces of mosaic floors. In the west part of villa, toward the sea, the mosaics were made in the technical of large cubes of local grey and black stone, with the motif of “labrys”, the double battle ash from Crete. Between the mosaics in the east part of villa the best is the mosaic floor in the north corner room, made by the stone cubes of different sizes and colors (red, yellow, green, blue, black, white), with stylized floral motifs wreathed in a certain geometric rhythm, but in the middle is the round medallion bordered with meander and on them, by very miniature cubes and skilful blended shades, presented the Greek god of dreams Hypnos in the shape of young winged boy, leaned on the pillow. By this figure and the fact of the absence of ornaments on one part of the floor in the size of a bed, it is concluded that it is the sleeping room (dormitories) of the owner. In the next room toward south the mosaic floor is made in the form of chess board by black and white stone cubes, while the subsequent one had the mosaic floor made in ceramics, destroyed in earlier excavations. The following two rooms have the mosaic floors, in the first one decorated by geometric ornaments and stylized examples of sea fauna, while in the last on the south the floor is divided in 8 rectangles, also with geometric motifs and stylization of sea fauna, but as here one part of the corner is without ornamentation, it is presumed that was the dining room of the villa, with typical Roman couches, for diner.

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