The Episcopal Complex at Golemo Gradište, Konjuh, North Macedonia

Dr. Carolyn S. Snively

Professor Emeritus of the Department of Classics at Gettysburg College and Co-director of the  Konjuh Archaeological Project

on Saturday, March 04, 2023 


1 pm New York (EST),    

6 pm London, UK (GMT),    

8 pm Sofia, Bulgaria (EET)       


The event will last approximately 90 mins including Q&A.

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The site of Golemo Gradište is located in the territory of the village of Konjuh, in the Republic of North Macedonia. In Late Antiquity, the anonymous city stood in the province of Dardania.

The site consists of three main parts: the northern terrace, the acropolis ridge, and an uninvestigated space south of the acropolis. Excavations since 2005 have focused on the northern terrace of the site. The episcopal complex stood there, centrally located within the lower town. It included three buildings, the basilica with a baptistery, the northern residence, and the square building that later connected the first two.

The Northern Residence was a peristyle house, rare in the 6th century. The finds included numerous pithoi and other pottery vessels as well as agricultural implements. Two rooms within the residence served as shops or workshops; other rooms attached to the residence also indicate a commercial function.

The Episcopal Basilica, dated to the mid-6th century, appears to be a fairly standard three-aisle basilica, with an apse, narthex, a baptistry and associated rooms at the south, and other annexes at the west and north. Unusual features, however, include a kyklion in the apse, a very large presbyterium, two ambos, barriers between the nave and aisles, and an unidentified horseshoe-shaped structure in the nave.

The square building that connected the residence and basilica, perhaps constructed in the early 7th century, provided an atrium and main entrance to the basilica. The series of rooms along its east and west sides, with the exception of a kitchen, were stripped of furnishings and abandoned, leaving their function and that of the square building unknown.

Although medieval material has been identified at the site, and a literary source describes a town there in the third quarter of the 14th century, the Late Antique settlement was apparently abandoned and destroyed in the 7th century.