The First Field Research

The first field research in the framework of the project From Barbarians to Christians and Rhomaioi. The Process of Byzantinization in the Central Balkans (late 10th – mid-13th century) was carried out by Dr Ljubomir Milanović, Dr Marka Tomić and Dr Miloš Živković in cooperation with other colleagues between July 15th and 19th with the support of the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, Program Ideas, Grant No. 7748349.

  The fieldwork included a tour of church monuments in southern and eastern Serbia, that is, in the area of the Vranje, Niš and Timok eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church: the Monastery of St. Roman in Đunis, the church of St. Panteleimon at the cemetery in the village of Đunis, the Church of St. Nestor in Vitkovac, the church of St. Petka in Ćurlina, the Church of St. John in the village of Orljane (municipality of Doljevac), the ruins of the church of St. Petka “Rusalna” near Svrljig, archaeological remains of churches in Niš (St. Prokopius, St. Panteleimon) and its surroundings (St. John in Gornji Matejevac and the “Latin church” near the same village), monuments in Prokuplje (the Church of St. Prokopius, the “Latin church”, built on the remains of an early Christian basilica), Kuršumlija (Church of St. Nicholas, Church of the Virgin, “Marko’s Church” near Kastrati), Vranje and its surroundings (Church of St. Petka, Kacapun Monastery, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Mrtvica near Vladičin han), as well as the monastery of St. Prohorus of Pčinja. This is a fairly numerous and typologically heterogeneous group of churches, the construction of which is dated in the Middle Byzantine period (9th-13th centuries) mainly on the basis of architectural features. The present appearance of many of them is the result of later alterations and renovations, and sometimes even the construction of completely new buildings. In addition to the church monuments, members of the project team also visited some important fortresses in the given area (the town of Koprijan, “Markovo kale” near Vranje) and compiled extensive photo-documentation of all mentioned monuments. The field research was followed by a review of the pertinent records of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia – Niš.