Archaeological site of Simonov zaliv

On a promontory south of the marina in Izola/Isola lie the remains of a Roman seaside villa (villa maritima). The residential part of the villa stretches across a surface of 3,000 m2, where excavations focused mostly on two wider areas. The living quarters are connected by a long walkway or portico to the extended harbour, which covers a surface of over 7,000 m2. In the hinterland of the villa were discovered remains of a clay pipe aqueduct supplying water to the villa complex. The northern part of the villa was built between 25 and 10 BC, while the southern part represents an extension built in the time of Tiberius. Parts of the villa were already abandoned between 50 and 70 AD, whereas the southern part with the portico was in use through a longer time period until the fourth century AD. Several black and white geometric floor mosaics were discovered in Simonov zaliv. The representative area in the south of the promontory is introduced by the portico (rooms 1), which was not excavated in its whole lenght (which should reach about 66 m) and where very little of the mosaic floor was conserved. From there at least three rooms were accessible: room 3 with diamond pattern mosaic, where a small structure identified with the base of a lararium was placed on the mosaic in a later phase of use, corridor 4 with simple white mosaic with black frame and the large room 5 (7 x 7,80 m) with a covering modular pattern of squares with inscribed four-pointed concave stars delimited by a grid loaded with lozenges. In this area there were also discovered remains probably related to an inner courtyard. The northern part of the villa is organized around the very large room 17 (5,9 x 13,40 m), which has in the eastern part foundations for column bases and a wider square structure in the southern corner. By a richly decorated mosaic threshold (with arcades motif) room 17 is connected to the northern passage room 20. To the west there is room 14 with guilloche-frame mosaic, corridor 15 and room 16, where several pieces of ceiling plaster cleaved to the simple white black-framed mosaic floor, whilst east of room 17 there are three service rooms without mosaic floors (rooms 18, 19 and 21) – in room 19 very little fragments of opus spicatum are still visible. Most of the mosaics are conserved in their original location, were subjected to minimal consolidation treatments and are protected by geotextile, expanded clay, sand and gravel. The threshold between rooms 17 and 20 was lifted in 1925 and is now exposed in the Regional museum of Koper/Capodistria (Pokrajinski muzej Koper). Five fragments were lifted in the southern part (threshold between rooms 3 and 4, sections of floor mosaics of rooms 4 and 5) are hold by the Restoration center of the Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (Restavratorski center).

Site Details

CODE SI-040/SSim
LOCATION Izola, road Jagodje
PERIOD final quarter of the 1st century B.C. – late 4th century A.D.
PERIOD OF EXCAVATION 1922-1923 (first excavated) 1986-1994 (excavation of the southern part) 2011 (last excavation)
OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT Municipality of Izola Manager: University of Primorska, Science and Research Centre
CREATED BY Katharina Zanier