History of excavations and survey

Beginning of XVIII century – Italian army engineer Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli travelling down the Danube from Vienna, produces schematic drawings of the fortifications of Novae viewed from the river.

1726 – First description of Novae published in L.F. Marsigli’s Danubius Pannonico-Mysicus.

1744 – L.F. Marsigli’s work is published in French as Description du Danube.

1798 – Peace treaty between Austrian Empire and Turkey signed in Svishtov. First inscription from Novae copied by a British diplomat, later published in 1817.

1825 – Latin inscriptions and building materials with LEG I ITAL stamps from Stuklen were published, giving assumptions leading to identification of the site with Novae.

1828-1829 – Russian-Turkish war. Some inscribed stones from Novae were transported to Bucharest by the Romanian general Nicolas Mavros. At present the monuments are preserved in the Romanian Academy of Sciences and in the National Military Museum.

1838 – Zaharia von Liegenthal, an eminent German jurist, copied another Latin inscription in Svishtov during his voyage on the Danube and published it in 1940. He assumed that Svishtov was build in the place of Novae.

1845 – August Trebonianu Laurian, a Romanian historian and journalist published descriptions of Svishtov and information about Roman artefacts and Latin inscriptions from Novae in his work, Istriana.

1856 – Local museum was formed in Svishtov, with the first reading room in Bulgaria.

1868 – Description of Novae was made by a French epigraphist, Erneste Desjardins, in Sur quelques inscriptions inédites de Valachie et de Bulgarie.

1872-1902 – Inscribed stones from Novae had been collected and published in successive volumes of Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.

1905 – Czech archaeologist Karel Škorpil (1859-1944) working in Bulgaria, published the first schematic plan and photographs of Novae.

Svistov I foto Skorpil copyThe ruins of Novae. Phot. by K. Škorpil

1920-30’s – Stefan Stefanov (1893-1978), a local history teacher, investigated the ruins of Novae and the water supply system. S. Stefanov was a founder of the Aleko Konstantinov Museum in Svishtov holding some of the archaeological finds from Novae.

1960’s – On September 26th, 1960 the first Polish-Bulgarian excavations in Novae had started. The Expedition was headed by prof. Kazimierz Majewski (University of Warsaw) and prof. Dymitr Dymitrov (the Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences).

1970’s – the Expedition from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań headed by prof. Stefan Parnicki-Pudełko had started excavations in Novae.

1973 – Prof. Ludwika Press (University of Warsaw) takes over the management of the Expedition run by the University of Warsaw.

1975 – Prof. Maria Čičikova became the head of the Bulgarian Expedition.

1981 – the Bulgarian expedition’s management under prof. Aleksandra Dymitrova-Milčeva.

1990’s – prof. Evgenia Genčeva became the head of the Bulgarian Expedition. The formation of the Centre of Archaeological Research – Novae, University of Warsaw  by Prof. Ludwika Press, later on headed by prof. Piotr Dyczek

1998prof. Tadeusz Sarnowski became the head the Expedition of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw

2012 – Beginning of a three-year survey programme Research on settlement structures near the Roman legionary fortress at Novae (Lower Moesia) using non-destructive archaeological methods lead by dr Agnieszka Tomas (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw).


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