Serbian archaeologists believe they have found a Roman imperial palace just outside the city of Sremska Mitrovica.
The site was initially thought to be the remains of a Roman villa but now the archaeologists think that it was the palace built by Emperor Maximian in his home town of Sirmium (present day Sremska Mitrovica) where at least eight emperors were born.
“According to sources from the 4th century, Emperor Maximian Herculius built a palace near Sirmium at the place that his parents lived as farmer hands. Since this is the only site near Sirmium which has imperial materials in it, we believe that this could be the palace mentioned by the 4th century sources,” the Belgrade Archaeological Institute’s Stefan Pop Lazic told N1.
The archaeologists have found a floor mosaic which was too expensive for anyone but aristocrats and the remains of towers showing that the villa was well-guarded. The find that they believe proves that the site is an imperial palace is a purple stone (porphyry) of a type mined in the imperial quarries in Egypt and only used in royal buildings.
The archaeological site has been known for more than a century but excavations began only last year under Sydney University Professor Richard Miles who says this is the crowning moment of his career. Miles added that he worked at sites in northern Africa and in Rome but got interested in Sremska Mitrovica after hearing about archaeological sites in Serbia.