Yurta-Stroyno Archaeological Project

Research of the rural settlement in ancient Thrace


Archaeological investigation of the rural settlement on the site of Yurta was started in 2014 with cooperation with Regional Historical Museum in Yambol. The site is located in Yambol region, Elhovo municipality, by the vilage of Stroyno. Despite being known archaeological site for decades, it was never systematically investigated. Numerous chance finds were found in the past on site, among them a fragment of a Roman bronze military diploma dated to the mid-2nd c. CE. This find suggested an existence of a vicus, or the settlement of Roman army veterans, settled on a place of former Thracian village. Another important find was a fragment of a marble relief mentioning name Avillius (a Roman name but written in Greek alphabet). Avillius is also known from a nearby auxilliary camp in Kabila and his presence at both sites might suggest that the two places are closely connected. At this time, we propose that Yurta belongs to Kabila administrative district.

Our project took up on these chance finds with excavations in 2014-2016 and a field survey in 2016. We were able to identify areas of glass manufacturing, including production of blown galss, and iron production (smelting and smithing). In the northern part of the site fragments of architectural decoration were found – fragments of capitals, columns and bases. In the south-eastern part of the site we uncovered stone foundations of a building with five rooms and a courtyard. Yurta was intensively settled in the 2nd-3rd/4th c. CE, decrease in settlement activity occured in the 4th c. with revival at the end of the 5th c. The settlement then continues on a smaller scale during the 6th c. CE.

The finds from the three years of excavations and survey in now being prepared for the final publication, that is planned to appear in 2020. Smaller field study session in 2019 was focused on the survey of two additional Roman sites in the vicinity of Stroyno in order to better understand connections between individual Roman sites and the regional developments in the Roman period.

Reports from each year of the research can be found in Studia Hercynia (2014/1-2; 2015/1-2; 2017/2): https://studiahercynia.ff.cuni.cz/en/


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