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Archaeological discovery of a Roman furnace on the route of the Cirkovce-Pince transmission line

Archaeologists are researching an important find in the Stanovno settlement in the municipality of Ormož before the construction of the Cirkovce-Pince transmission line begins. They have discovered a Roman furnace, which tells of the incredible technical knowledge the inhabitants possessed during the Roman period.

The archaeological research within the construction of the overhead line Cirkovce-Pince takes place in several stages. During the first stage, the area where each of the transmission towers will stand was researched superficially, which means that experts did a sample survey of the ploughed upper layer of earth. In the areas where they discovered traces of human activity during archaeological periods protective archaeological excavations then need to be performed with the intent of preserving archaeological heritage.

Archaeological excavations began two weeks ago by the company PJP d.o.o. (head of research Primož Predan), contracted by ELES, in cooperation with the research institute Skupina STIK (deputy head of research mag. Rene Masaryk). Soon after the excavations began they discovered a part of an extensive Roman furnace at the northern edge of the excavation site. In order to research the entire furnace they have extended the excavation area in agreement with the competent authorities and the head of research so that it now includes the entire layout of the furnace, which measures about 4 x 8 m in size. The remains of the furnace lay just before arable land so the upper part of the furnace had been destroyed in the past. What survived were mostly the canals in the lower part of the furnace, which were used to heat up the oven by utilising hot gases rising up through the sifter into the interior of the furnace. According to plans the furnace will be fully researched in the following days.

This discovery is important especially from the viewpoint of civilizational development that the territory of present day northeastern Slovenia experienced during the time of the Roman Empire between the 1st and 5th century AD. These kind of furnaces were rare back then even in city centres such as Petoviona (present day Ptuj) and were very rarely found in the countryside. This furnace tells of the incredible technical expertise the inhabitants possessed during the Roman period and one that couldn’t be found in this area after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century until the industrial revolution in the 19th century. This furnace represent incredible technical heritage.

Rene Masaryk, deputy head of research (Skupina Stik): “This furnace was found on the edge of the excavation site where the construction will take place so the plan, after we conclude our investigation, is to leave the furnace in its present location so it will be preserved for posterity and future presentations of this kind of technical invention. Close by we also found the remains of an old torrential riverbed, which contains a huge treasure trove of findings and various remains of pots and baked clay and that could point to a huge prehistoric settlement nearby.”

Iva Jennie Roš, field archaeologist (Skupina Stik): “Finding this Roman furnace in this location was a positive surprise because the furnace was found outside the excavation site and because most of the pottery found in the area came from prehistory.”

Here at ELES we are incredibly happy that the extensive archaeological research taking place during large infrastructural projects, such as the construction of the new cross—state overhead line between Slovenia and Hungary, can significantly contribute to a better understanding of how this area was settled in the past. Therefore it makes us even happier that the aforementioned discovery was made during this research.

Andrej Magdič, univ. dipl. arheolog, ZVKDS OE Maribor, head of archaeological research, mag. Rene Masaryk, Skupina STIK, deputy head of archaeological research, and Iva Jennie Roš, field archaeologist from the research institute Skupina STIK all contributed to the making of this press release with their expert knowledge.