Point History and Archaeological Excavations
From the last group of houses on
the south-west side of Kampor bay, there is a short climb to the Kaštelina peninsula which
sharply juts into the sea. In this beautiful place where I loved
to climb as a kid and from which
the view reaches across to the far horizons to the west, with the islet Boljkovac near by and to the distant Cres island.
It is easily observed how this place could have served as a
strategic lookout to monitor maritime traffic in the area
starting from ancient times.
Kaštelina point was inhabited
since the Iron Age. Later, Greek, Romans and Byzantinians built
their structures upon it. Today, there are only
ruined walls, yet until 100 years ago, there lied scattered large
quantities of coloured stones and larger blocks of mosaic.
Similarly, during field work, the inhabitants would find Roman
coins and other antiquities, some of which are kept in the
monastery of St. Eufemija.
possession (see below), I have a number of colourful
that I found half way up
the southern shore of Rt. Kaštelina
in the mid 1960s.
Due to the color variety, they appear to have come from different parts of
the ancient world. They most likely fell down from the top of the hill where
structures might have been located.
The Roman factory stamp of Quintus Clodius Ambrosius was discovered on Rt.
Kaštelina Roman Villa clay building material fragment (see: book
Rapski zbornik II, year 2012, p. 9).
Doing some research, I found that the Aquileia
(in Northern Italy on Adriatic Sea
between Venice and Trieste) factory of Quintus Clodius Ambrosius was active
for about 150 years, from the middle of first
century A.D. to the end of second century A.D. It exported pre-fabricated
construction materials along the
Adriatic coast from Piceno, Italy and to all of the Croatian Adriatic.
i Staklarne Radionice. Proizvodnja i trgovina na jadranskom prostoru (2008)
(Roman Ceramic and Glass Manufactures: Production and Trade in the
Nadgrobni spomenik obitelji
Baebius iz Arbe ( Family Baebius
Tombstone from Arba). By
Glavičić, Miroslav (2003).
author describes and analyzes a 1st
century AD fragment of a tombstone with
the portraits of the deceased family
Baebius, which is kept in the lapidary
museum collection of the Franciscan
monastery of St. Eufemia. The portrait
field shows the couple, ie. Decurion T.
Baebius T. f. Iustus and his wife Tettia
Volsonis f. Family memorial was created
by T. Baebius T. f. Iustus or Iustinus,
which is probably their son. The
fragment was found at the site of Miral
near Cape Kaštelina.
near Kampor on the island of Rab (T. 6, 1) (P. 39)
svjedočanstva o ranobizantskom vojnom graditeljstvu na
sjevornojadranskim otocima", Prilozi 5-6, 29.-53
On the western part of the island of Rab between Miral on the
bay of Valdoža in the north and Kamporska Draga in the south
lies the peninsula of Kaštelina which ends in Kaštelina point
(T. 6, 2). The point lies in a position which offers a splendid
view over the islands of Cres, Plavnik and especially Krk.
Toward the east the peninsula gradually slopes down into a flat
and spacious terrace whose height is 22 m. In its eastern part
stands a conical upright structure 33 m high, heavily-covered
with vegetation. The surrounding bays provided good anchorages.
To archaeologists the
site of Kaštelina was recongised as a larger
periodically-inhabited hill fort of the early Iron Age which
served as a refuge and look-out point (Batović 1987: 163; T.
VII, 1, 2). To the local population remains of architecture on
Kaštelina are traces of the so-called Greek city from which
foreign tourists plundered huge pieces of polychrome mosaic
between the two World Wars. Several finds from this site are
kept in the collection of the Franciscan monastery of Sv.
Bernardin in Kampor (T. 7; T. 8).
The toponym Kaštelina
can be connected with sights and buildings of a defensives
character (Šimunović 1972: 227). Similar names such as Kaštil,
Kaštilac, Kaštilo, Koščun and Košljun, Kaštelina derive from the
Latin castellum and castrum.
On the basis of the
walling, towers, water-tank and sacral building, another in the
series of Byzantine fortified posts can be recognized. The area
was additionally inhabited at other periods: as a Liburnian hill
fort in the early Iron Age, which in the Roman period a complex
of villae rusticae should be suspected in Miral bay.
In the sixth century
this appropriate location was used to build an early-Byzantine
fortification of a considerable size. This fortification formed
an important link in the protective complex of the island of Rab
where several ideally-located forts were built, such as the one
on Sv. Damjan hill above Barbat where A. Fortis tried to locate
Colentum (1774: 258, 260), and which recently has been
identified as an early-Byzantine fort (Domjan 1983: 136, n. 21).
Smaller posts were built in the interior of the island (Palit),
and on promontories (Sv. Nikola on Sorinj point). The
fortification on Kaštelina served to protect the island's
central town of Arba, but also the important naval route to Osor
and Krk and further to Ravenna and Aquileia (T. 1).
The site of Kaštelina
ideally complements other archaeological investigations of the
northern part of Hrvatsko Primorje, especially on Krk
(Mohorovičić 1987: 35; Faber 1988: 113-140; Tomičić 1988:
146-151; Gunjača 1986: 127; Brusić 1990: in press), on Palacol
Mali and Sv. Petar - Ilovik (Badurina 1982: 171-177). To these
may be added a whole series of locations which bear names such
as Stražica, Straža and Vela Straža, which suggest visual
signaling (Badurina 1982).
Kaštelina excavations 2008
(by prof. dr. sc. Miljenko Jurković, mr. sc. Iva Marić). Hrvatski
here as PDF
September 2008 the fourth campaign of archaeological excavations into the
area of Cape (rt) Kaštelina on the island of Rab was conducted; it was run
by the International Research Centre for Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
of Zagreb University in collaboration with the universities of Padua and
Lille. The objective of this year’s campaign was to continue the test digs
already started in the area of sector 2000 which lies at the north east tip
of the peninsula, while the following primary objectives were posed:
conclusion of the excavation in sector 2000 located in the northern part of
the peninsula and making various different test digs along the southern edge
of the plateau. In the area of sector north (2000) during the last campaign
an area of about 250 square metres was opened up, covering part of the villa
west of the rooms explored in 2005. After removal of the cultivated stratum
(with a maximum depth of 80 cm mechanically, we continued with the manual
excavation of the whole area, recording the sequence of the construction of
the villa. Stratigraphic excavation enabled the testing of the assumed
building phases (two from the Roman period, one post-Roman, modest
structures, and at the end the gradual transformation of the area of the
village into cultivable land). During the research, numerous fragments of
pottery were found, and some coins; the publication of these results is in
preparation. The data collected in this excavation campaign confirm in great
measure the previous assumptions and allow us at least two hypotheses: i.e.
that in the Roman period the villa had two phases, and that the area that
was excavated in recent years was probably the pars rustica of the building
(ed. see excavation plan below).
na otoku Rabu - od rimske vile do ranobizantske utvrde (Kaštelina on the
Island of Rab - from a Roman Villa to a Byzantine Fortress)". Book:
Rapski zbornik II, year 2012. Authors: Jurković, Miljenko;
Brogiolo, Gian Pietro; Turković, Tin; Chavarria Arnau, Alesandra, Marić,
Abstract: For the past six years
(ed. 2005-2012), in collaboration with the
University of Padova and the University of Lille 3, International
Research Centre for Late Antiquity and Middle Ages of the University of
Zagreb has been conducting archaeological excavations on the peninsula
Kaštelina on the island of Rab. Excavations have shown that although the
site has commonly been regarded as an Early Byzantine fortress, it is in
fact much more complex and multilayered than imagined. Explorations
encompassed the whole area of the peninsula and have yielded with the
identification of many previously unknown structures. Several
developmental phases of the complex have been identified, which
preceded the phase of fortification of the peninsula that has indeed,
most likely, taken place during the 6th century. The walls of the
earliest phase, especially those located on the promontory of the
peninsula, could be dated to the first centuries of the Roman Empire and
can be recognized as the remains of an extremely spacious coastal villa.
Rt. Kaštelina other Archaeological
Rt Kaštelina kod Kampora na
otoku Rabu, p 8 (prof.
villa on the peninsula of Kaštelina, island of Rab, partly
fortified in the early byzantine 6th century – report of the
archaeological campaign (Croatian with English summary).
Kaštelina excavations (PDF):
prof. dr. sc. Miljenko Jurković,
mr. sc. Iva Marić).
Hrvatski arheološki godišnjak.
Lewis: Ethnohistorical Processes and
Demographic Structure of Rab, Coll.
Antropol. 32 (2008) 3: 945–958.
G. Lipovac Vrkljan et al., PROJEKT ARHEOLOŠKA TOPOGRAFIJA OTOKA RABA:
REZULTATI..., Ann. Inst. Archaeol. X/2014., str. 202-208.
Novootkrivena ranokršćanska crkva na
otoku Rabu / Jurković, Miljenko ;
Tenšek, Ivan. SSN: 0352-177X.
Naslov na engleskom: Newly
discovered early Christian church on
the island of Rab. Summary: Opisuje
se novopronađena ranokršćanska crkva
u uvali Gožinka na otoku Rabu, i na
temelju tipologije i morfologije
datira u 6. st. Impresum: Zagreb :
Hrvatsko arheološko društvo, 1990.
Rab Island History.
Rab Island Bibliography.
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