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PRILEP Yugoslavia.

A town in Macedonia ca. 42 km NE of Bitola (Heraclea Lyncestis). It lies in the NE corner of the rich Pelagonian plain in the ancient district of Denniopus and at the entrance to the Pletvar pass that leads to Paeonia.

There are several ancient sites in the immediate vicinity including one at Markov Grad, a suburb of Prilep. A large Roman necropolis is known there and parts of numerous walls have been found; the settlement was probably the ancient Ceramiae mentioned in the Peutinger Table. Roman remains are also known in the vicinity of the Varoš monastery, built on the steep slopes of the hill, which was later occupied by a Slavic and mediaeval community. A large number of early Roman funeral monuments, some with sculpted reliefs of the deceased or of the Thracian Rider and other inscribed monuments of an official nature, are in the courtyard of the church below the S slope of Varoš. Some of the larger of those monuments were built into the walls of the church.

There has been only limited excavation within the limits of Prilep and most of this has been concerned either with the later Slavic community, various chance discoveries, or with the necropolis. The burial gifts found in the graves indicate a flourishing community throughout the Imperial period. The small objects are in the National Museum at Prilep and include a large number of early Roman glass vessels, numerous bronze statuettes of Mercury, and an interesting sequence of pottery types.

The monastery of Treskavec, in the mountains ca. 10 km N of Prilep, is probably the site of the early Roman town of Kolobaisē. The site, at the edge of a small upland plain, is at a height of over 1100 m above sea level and is a natural citadel. The name of the early town is recorded on a long inscription on stone which deals with a local cult of Ephesian Artemis. The inscription was reused as a base for a cross on top of one of the church domes. Other inscriptions at Treskavec include several 1st c. Roman dedications to Apollo.

The necropolis of the town is to the SW of the monastery where the remains of a chamber tomb and a sculpted and inscribed marble funeral monument (1st to 2d c.) can be seen.

An important site in the vicinity is Bela Crkva, some 6 km W of Styberra, where the Hellenistic town of Alkomenai was probably located. It is on the Erigon river. Rebuilt in the Early Roman period, it was a stronghold of the Macedonian kings, perhaps from the time of Alexander the Great, and was at the Pelagonian entrance to a pass leading to Illynia. Part of the city wall, a gate, and a few buildings of the Roman period were uncovered here in excavations. All recent finds from these sites are in the museum at Prilep.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

N. Vulić, Spomenik 77 (1934) 58; F. Papazoglu, Makedonski gradovi u rimsko doba (1957); I. Mikulčić, Pelagonija (1966).

J. WISEMAN

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