In 2005, under the guidance of the Archaeological Museum of Istria in Pula, excavations began at the site called St. Theodore’s district in Kandler Street in Pula. The site got its name from the Renaissance Benedictine convent and the Church of St. Theodore. This is a complex site with construction spanning 3000 years, and the oldest findings are from as far back as the pre-Roman Histrian period. The archaeological excavation site is 4000m², and the average depth is approximately 6m. Excavations and research with temporary conservation were conducted over a period of four years. Seven building phases were identified, in some of which were found the remains of an ancient Roman religious complex with a temple, a wealthy Roman home, a public bath (thermae), the early Christian Church of St. Lucy , and the Renaissance Benedictine convent as well as the Church of St. Theodore. A shrine to Hercules with a temple from the 1st century BC has been preserved in the foundations, which also included the courtyard of a temple, a boundary wall and a well at a spring. A sewage canal drain was connected to the thermae and the domus dating from the last quarter of the 1st century BC. The domus was lavishly decorated with Pompeii style frescoes and floor mosaics, and in the thermal area of the domus a niche with mosaics dedicated to the goddess Salus was found. The findings with all the above-mentioned features, as well with essential details such as marks on the tiles which covered the ground and the system of drainage canals, suggest that the construction of streets, terraces, water supply and drainage system, houses, passages and other structures were carefully planned, and because the materials were well preserved some of the findings could be dated. 2000 amphorae with stamp fragments were found deposited in the courtyard of the temple.
The oldest layers of the site date back to the period of transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, when the area was inhabited by the Histrians before the arrival of the Romans, which is evidenced by a series of smaller findings of crude kitchen pottery and the remains of Iron Age stone walls and houses. In the 1st century BC, during the late Roman Republic, the area was inhabited by Romans who established the colony of Pola. From this period, in addition to the religious complex with a temple, a series of minor functional objects were also found, of which the most important is the relief of Hercules’ club from the 1st century BC. This site is valuable precisely because of the rare findings from the pre-imperial period, which left behind more material remains than the late Republic, something that is characteristic of the entire Istrian coast. By the end of the 5th century, most of the Roman buildings had been destroyed by fire, and on the ashes of the baths an Early Christian church was built.
Pula, Kandlerova Street
1st century BC – 20th century
PERIOD OF EXCAVATION
2005 – 2009
OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
Tina Širec Džodan
Centro Internazionale di Documentazione sul Mosaico