A tombstone of a veteran of Legio XV Apollinaris
The tombstone from arcaeological research on Gosposvetska street brings new findings of the first generation of settlers in the Roman city of Iulia Emona.
Before the refurbishment of municipal infrastructure as part of the rearrangement of Gosposvetska cesta, Ljubljana, phase one of preliminary archaeological research took place between August and December 2017.
Excavation has revealed part of a major late-Roman graveyard in the western part of what is today's Ajdovščina. A special feature of this part of the Emona's northern necropolis is a 4th-century group of inhumations in sarcophagi and masonry tombs. Serving as a covering for one of the brick tombs was a secondarily used tombstone of an Apollo's Fifteenth Legion veteran.
Made of dark grey limestone, the tombstone is carved quite precisely and deeply with centrally aligned text:
L(ucius) Obulsius, L(uci) f(ilius)
vet(eranus) (ionis) Apo(llinaris)
annorum LX, t(estamento) f(ieri) [i(usit)]
Lucius Obulsius, son of Lucius,
from the Camillia voting district, native of Pisaurum,
an veteran of the Apollo's Fifteenth Legion,
aged 60, (the deceased) ordered (this stone) to be erected in his will.
Who was Lucius Obulsius?
The proposed dating and location of his burial support the assumption of L. Obulsius having belonged to the first generation of settlers, thus indirectly reinforcing the validity of the deduction on the existence of a close connection between the “establishment and commencement of operation of urban functions at Emona's new location” and being granted the status or deduction of a colony, which was accompanied by veterans and civilians settling there as the constitutive element of the new roman colonia Emona.
Archaeological research was headed by the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (MGML), excavation was executed by the Archaeological Research Consortium for Ljubljana (ARKLJ) composed of the Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, the ZRC SAZU Institute of Archaeology, the Skupina STIK institute and companies Arhej, PJP and Er-Tac.
Andrej Gaspari, Phd., Expert Adviser on Field Research, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology / Rene Masaryk, Head of Field Research, Skupina STIK / Igor Rižnar, Phd., Expert Adviser on Geology / Martin Horvat, Head of Archaeological Research, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana
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