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MOGORJELO (“Ad Turres”) Bosnia-Hercegovina, Yugoslavia.

By the Neretva river, near Čapljina. Possibly the site can be identified with Ad Turres, a station on the Roman road between Narona and Diluntum (Tab.Peut.)

The principal remains are Roman, dating from the last half of the 3d c. A.D. and continuing in use through the 4th c. Fortification walls of opus mixtum enclose the site on all four sides, forming a slightly iregular rectangle. Towers protect the walls at each corner and flank each of the three gates. A single rectangular tower projects from the middle of the SW wall. The space within the walls is occupied by a residential area in the SW and a work area in the N quarter. Adjoining the inside of the NW, NE, and part of the SE walls is a row of small cubicles with internal dimensions of about 4 m on a side. These functioned either for storage or as sleeping quarters for servants or soldiers. The residential area, extending over the entire SW half of the complex, consists of a long row of rooms running the length of the SW wall. Its interior side, facing the center of the complex, is screened by a columnar portico. On the analogy of the nearly contemporary palace of Diocletian at Split, a long ambulatio was restored on the second story of the residence along its entire SW side, lighted through an arcade in the SW perimetral wall. The formal dining and receiving rooms were also placed in the second story behind the ambulatio.

The workyard contains, in addition to a storage shed with dolia set into the ground, two rooms with hypocaust floors (incorporated from an earlier building on the site) and a large oil press. Parallel to the perimetral walls in the E quarter stood an arcaded portico facing the work area.

The remains of an unfortified rectangular villa rustica of the 1st c. A.D., were found beneath the later complex. During the 5th c., twin Christian basilicas were built over the S end of the residential part of the villa. These buildings, representing the last phase of occupation of the site, face towards the W, and one of them contains a cruciform baptismal basin.

A building of the 4th c. has been variously interpreted as a castrum, a palace or castle, or simply a fortified villa or villa rustica. The building's connections with agriculture are obvious, but whether it was the center of a large private estate or formed part of the imperial properties in the regions administered from the palace at Split, is still speculative.

Excavations were begun in the 19th c. and preservation of the walls and buildings have proceeded since 1948, but no detailed analysis of the finds have been published.


E. Dyggve, “Drei Paläste vom gleichen Fassadentypus aus dem jugoslawischen Künstenland,” Festschrift Karl M. Swoboda (1959) 83-90; id., “Mogorilo Kastell oder Palast,” Akten des XI. internationalen byzant. Kongresses (1960) 131-37; id. & H. Vetters, Mogorjelo. Ein spätantiker Herrensitz im römischen Dalmatien (Schriften der Balkankommission. Antiquarische Abteilung 13; 1966)MPI; H. Vetters, “Zum Bautypus Mogorjelo,” Festschrift für Fritz Eichler (1967) 138-50; I. Bojanovski, “Mogorjelo: Rimsko Turres,” Glasnik Zemaljskog Muzeja u Sarajevo, NS 24 (1969) 137-63I.


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