Review of the


Belgrade, Serbia, 19–26 September 2010


(by Philip Kenrick and Archer Martin)


Photo Gallery

20.9.2010      21.9.2010      22.9.2010     23.9.2010      24.9.2010      25.9.2010     26.9.2010

(Photos sent by Susanne Zabehlicky-Scheffenegger,
Susanne Biegert and Philip Kenrick)

On this occasion, we met in Belgrade as guests of the National Museum and the Institute of Archaeology of Belgrade. The congress was organized by Dr. Tatjana Cvjetićanin, Director of the National Museum, together with Dr. Vesna Bikić of the Institute of Archaeology, ably assisted by Vera Krstić as Permanent Congress Secretary and numerous other staff members and volunteers. Since the National Museum is currently closed to the public for refurbishment, we had the building to ourselves: this provided an excellent meeting space in the central atrium, with other spaces immediately surrounding it which were conveniently adapted for poster displays, refreshments, the congress secretariat and a temporary exhibition, set up for our benefit, of “Roman pottery in Moesia Superior.”

In addition to a full programme of lectures and poster sessions, we were also treated to the following excursions:

20 September:
Belgrade Fortress (Kalemegdan)

This is an impressive site overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. It was a defended military stronghold from at least the 2nd century AD until 1867. The tour of the fortress included a photographic exhibition on the theme “Ceramic pots through the centuries in Belgrade” and a hands-on display of pottery in the Cannon Foundry now occupied by the Institute of Archaeology.

21 September:
National Museum of Požarevac

Charmingly located in a late 19th-century villa surrounded by a jardin épigraphique, this museum contains objects from a wide chronological span, many of them found in rescue excavations at Viminacium.
This was the site of a Roman military base close to the Danube, from the 2nd until the 6th century AD; there was also an extensive civil settlement for part of that time. The site is in open countryside, but now lies between a power station and a vast opencast coal mine. These represent a threat, but also a substantial source of funding both for excavations and for the construction of an exhibition and study centre. We enjoyed both lunch and dinner here, in addition to tours of the excavations (including a complete skeleton of a mammoth, found deep in the sand overlying the coal seam) and another hands-on display of pottery from the excavations.

23 September:
Sremska Mitrovica
- Sirmium
This is a town of some elegance on the banks of the Sava. It overlies the Roman city of Sirmium, which was once the capital of the province of Pannonia Secunda, and was the birthplace of several Roman emperors. Scattered excavations have revealed many buildings, including a hippodrome and part of an imperial palace. Again, finds are well displayed in the local museum, and a special exhibition of pottery had been laid out for our inspection.

The General Meeting of the RCRF was held at the end of the congress and was followed by a farewell reception in the glittering rooms of the Belgrade Aero Club.

An optional excursion to eastern Serbia, attended by a large number of participants, took place on the  two days following the congress and was a great success in spite of spells of rain. The first day we went to the National Museum in Zaječar and to the nearby tetrarchic palace at Felix Romuliana (Gamzigrad) and then to the Museum of Krajina at Negotin. The second day was dedicated to the Iron Gates (Djerdap) region, with visits to the Roman fortress-castrum at Diana, to the remains of Trajan’s bridge and the Roman fortress at Pontes / Transdobreta (Kostol) and to the Iron Gates Museum at Kladovo. A highlight was lunch overlooking the Danube in the spectacular Iron Gates scenery at Lepenski Vir and a tour of the Mesolithic site there, which is being restored for opening to the public. All the museums present Roman pottery in their normal displays, and several pottery shows were set up for our visits.

Until the post-congress excursion, the weather was generally kind to us, and an equally warm social and intellectual atmosphere was sustained throughout by our hosts – both in the National Museum and at the various other museums and sites that we visited! The whole was organized with impeccable timing and attention to detail, which enabled the participants in the congress to relax and to enjoy the full benefit of a most fruitful gathering!


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