archaeological research excavated a Roman-era necropolis and a long section of the Roman aqueduct in the historical center of Belgrade near the building of the Serbian Parliament. Fourteen Roman tombs dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD have been excavated, revealing various burial styles and several significant grave goods.
The two tombs are rectangular, with brick walls and arched ceilings. Two more are brick coffins. Four of them are stone sarcophagi, accessible only to very wealthy people. One was a kind of spolya, a tomb made from other tombstones recycled from old graves. An inscribed tombstone fragment identifies it as the burial mark of a Roman soldier who died at the age of 46 after 30 years of service in the legions. At the other end of the spectrum, two intact skeletons were found, simply buried in a hole. Their arms were crossed over their chests and their graves were oriented east to west, indicating that they were Christian burials.
The tombs were plundered in antiquity, but the thieves did not get everything down to the last thing. A fragment of a golden necklace with a semi-precious green stone was found under the bones of the deceased inside one of the stone sarcophagi. One object is particularly special because of its fragility and unique material. Rainbow glass hair clip in excellent condition. Hairpins were usually made of metal or bone. This glass version is the only one of its kind ever found in Belgrade.
The excavations represented the southeastern part of the ancient city of Singidunum, a settlement founded by the Celtic people of Scordisci in the 3rd century BC. It was conquered by Rome in 75 BC. and gained importance due to its connection with a large fort that defended the Danube Lipy. (Roman military frontier that followed the Danube). He received the rights of the city (municipium) by Hadrian in 169 AD. and became an official colony in 239 AD. The future emperor Jovian was born here in 332 AD. 86 AD until the Hun invasions in the middle of the 5th century.
Two weeks before the discovery of Roman graves buried under the remains of the Ottoman era, a section of the aqueduct appeared. The presence of a necropolis in the area was known, but an unexpected find was a 200-foot section of an aqueduct with original lead pipes. Archaeologists believe this is a later offshoot, built in the 3rd or 4th century from the main aqueduct built by Vespasian in the 1st century, and was probably used to supply IV Flavius Felix with fresh water at the fort.
This rich archaeological site is destined for a shameful future: it will be paved to turn it into a public parking lot. Construction of the site would destroy all immovable ancient remains. Since the recent discoveries, there have been no new plans (or at least not been announced).
Responsibility for their fate lies with the City Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Belgrade. The conditions prescribed by the institute before the construction of the garage are that the archaeological heritage that will be discovered during the research should increase the monumental heritage of the entire territory, where, in addition to the House of the National Assembly, there is also the building of the Agrarian Bank and the donations of Joka Vlajkovic, Ignjatovic replied.
“We will wait a little longer for this decision, and one of the solutions is to present the remains in the archaeological park, which will be the first of its kind in Belgrade.”