An important town of Dardania on the route Naissus (Niš)-Stobi. The ancient site is occupied by the Monastery at Gračanica in Kosovo ca. 10 km S of Priština. Ulpiana was founded on the site of a large Bronze Age settlement
probably during the reign of Trajan. The fact that the
town was a municipium by the middle of the 2d c. is
attested by numerous inscriptions. Its territory included
the fertile valley of the Lab and the Drenica. Its location
on the major route from the Danube to the Via Egnatia
and its proximity to important mining areas made it
important during the Early Empire. It was the residence
of a procurator by the 3d c. and continued to be of
importance during the Early Christian period.
The town was probably one of the many communities
destroyed by the Gothic army of Theodoric in A.D. 479.
Ulpiana, in any case, was in ruins when Justinian restored it in the early 6th c. and renamed it Justiniana Secunda.
Excavations have revealed several buildings of the later
city and some sections of the city wall, including one of
the principal gates on the N side. A three-aisled basilica
(34 x 14 m) was cleared within the settlement and two
phases of construction were detected, dating to the 5th
and 6th c. Parts of the cardo maximus were cleared as
well as several dwellings within the fortified area.
The N gate is flanked by two towers of horseshoe-shaped plan. Not far from the gate outside the wall a large industrial building of the 4th c. and a nearby basilica were excavated. Cemeteries to the N, W, and S of
the town have been explored. Near the wall at the edge
of the W necropolis a small Christian mortuary has been
cleared which has two lateral apses in its principal room.
The N cemetery has a three-aisled basilica with a crypt
and numerous burials below it. Near the center of the
necropolis was found a monumental marble sarcophagus
probably 4th c.) and parts of a floor mosaic were uncovered, with geometric motives (early 4th c.) belonging to a building earlier than the basilica. Graves in the N cemetery date mainly to the 4th c., but the basilica was
dated by the excavators to the time of Justinian.
Most of the material from the excavations belongs to
the 4th-6th c., but a number of stone inscriptions dating
from the time of Trajan through the 3d c. were found
and some contain the official name of the community,
municipium Ulpiana. Among the works of art from Ulpiana are several statuettes in marble and two bronze statuettes of Apollo and Mercury. A large bronze medal-lion of the Emperor Probus is also of interest.
Finds from Ulpiana are in the Museum of Kosovo and
Metohija in Priştina.
Excavation reports by E. Čerškov appeared periodically in Glasnik Muzeja Kosovo i Metohija
M. & D. Garašinin, Arheološka nalazišta u Serbiji
(1951); E. Čerškov, Les romains en Kosovo et Metohija