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Monkodonia a pre-historic Istrian city

Monkodonia (Moncodogno) Received the Heritage Award from the European Union


[Source: © Novi list, Monday, 22 September 2003.]

ROVINJ - On Saturday at Monkodonia, five kilometers from Rovinj, the largest Istrian prehistoric city ruin received the heritage award by the European Union. The official project coordinator of excavation and research of the ruins is the Archeology museum of Istria and Dr. Kristina Mihovilic, who nominated Dr. Bernhard Hansel as spiritus movensus of these excavations. At the ceremony besides the archeology scientists and students, there were present the president of the city governments Davorin Flego as well as city member responsible for urbanization and environmental protection Milan Mihovilovic. According to Dr. Mihovilic, the administration of the Institute for Prehistoric Archeology of the Free University of Berlin, lead by Dr. Hansel is the real supporter of the project, because without their technical and financial help it would be difficult to get involved into such a complex undertaking.

Research work has been conducted in Monkodonia, a city dating from early Bronze Age, for the last seven years. During that time they found ceramic pieces of various household dishes as well as various metal objects, which allowed them to date this archeological discovery to 1800 to 1200 years BC. The most significant discovery this year was finding of a grave and bones, most likely of a young woman, said Dr. Mihovilic.

In accepting the certificate, Dr. Hansel stressed that Monkodonia is a historical jewel of priceless importance to Istrian cultural heritage and to the world. He reiterated that the local officials protect and correctly value its importance, saying that Istria's future does not depend only on its sea and coast, but also the interior in which the greatest significance in historic hierarchy makes Mokodonia a place of exceptional importance and value. To prove its value, it is shown in the fact that out of 300 such projects Mokodonia received awards and a diploma from EU and Europa Nostra organization, and took 3rd palace in its category. This year in the competition they also allowed projects outside of Europe. Nada Duic-Kowalsky, the representative of Croatia Nostra, the branch of Europa Nostra in Croatia took the initiative and presented Mokodonia with two other projects in Croatia; St. Ivan's chapel in Trogir and a village in Konavlima.

Since 1997, a group of archeologists from Pula, Rovinj, Berlin and Ljubljana resumes excavations each September, reinforced by a large number of archeology students from European countries. However, the most important contributors to the excavation and reconstruction are Dr. Hansel, president of the Free University of Berlin, Dr. Kristina Mihovilic, curator of the Archeological Museum in Pula, Prof. Damir Matosevic, custodian-archeologist of the museum in Rovinj, Dr. Cornelia Becker, archeologist at the Free University of Berlin, and finally Dr. Biba Tezan, professor of pre-historic archeology at the Free University in Berlin and Ljubljana.

Several scientists and students of archeology from Germany, Poland, Rumania, Slovenia and Croatia conduct this year’s research that started in September. This project for this year will continue till the end of this week.

The discoveries from Monkodonia were used to educate several generations of archeology students and considering the size of the excavation site, the project may last for at least another 10 years.

The multi-year efforts on this project are very visible. The foundations of the old primitive houses have been uncovered, you can see the streets, and in some degree the city walls that protected the city have also been uncovered. Besides the scientists and students, a big role in uncovering the city walls was made by Kapitel, a specialized company from Zminj.

N.O. Radić
Translated by Pino Golja

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Created: Monday, September 22, 2003; Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
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