Slovenska cesta: CARDO MAXIMUS

Cardo maximus je bil v Emoni glavna mestna povezava v smeri sever-jug. Povezoval je prostor severnih in južnih emonskih vrat in kdorkoli je želel prehoditi celotno ulico, je ob tem prečkal sedem križišč, se sprehodil ob vzhodnem robu foruma in šel mimo vrveža številnih lokalov in trgovinic, ki so bili vzdolž ulice razporejeni v pritličjih insul.

Del izkopavanj, ki ga bomo v naših predstavitvah imenovali CARDO MAXIMUS predstavlja ograjeno območje med Kongresnim trgom in dovozom na parkirišče Šumi. V obdobju antične Emone je bil to prostor znotraj mestnega obzidja, neposredno ob severnih emonskih vratih, kjer se je začel cardo maximus. Vrata so predstavljena v (trenutno žal zaprti) Bukvarni, del zidu pa je viden ob vhodu v garažno hišo.

CARDO MAXIMUS je prvo območje, kjer je naša ekipa začela z delom in nedavno je bil najbolj severni del (prostor tik ob Kongresnem trgu) dokončno raziskan. Razkril je veliko zanimivih in nekaj popolnoma nepričakovanih stvari.

Med izkopavanji so se najprej pokazali zidovi novoveških stavb. To ni bilo nič nepričakovanega, saj vemo, da je na tem mestu še do leta 1973 stala Wurzbachova palača. Čeprav je bila stavba porušena, so se pod zemljo ohranili njeni kletni prostori. Žal pa to ne velja za rimske plasti, v katere je posegla gradnja kleti. Te so bile na nekaterih delih poškodovane tudi z novoveško kanalizacijo in sodobnimi priključki, a na srečo je večji del rimskih ostalin ostal nedotaknjen.

Po odstranitvi t.i. »temne plasti«, ki je povezana s propadanjem mesta po njegovi opustitvi, je bil odkrit del cestišča, ob njem pa obcestni jarek in pločnik z bazami za stebre. Območje pločnika je bilo verjetno urejeno kot polpokrit hodnik, ki je bil na eni strani s stebriščem ločen od ceste, na drugi strani pa so se ob njem nizale trgovine in lokali, nad katerimi so bila stanovanja.Kot kaže smo naleteli na severozahodni rob insule XXXIII, ki je bila na območju Šumija v preteklosti že detajlno raziskana.

Drugo zanimivo odkritje tega območja nam kaže, kaj se je tu dogajalo v času, preden je bila zgrajena stavba s stebriščem. Odkrili smo manjša ognjišča, jamo za kaljenje železa, številne železne opilke in kovaški odpad. Vse to nam daje slutiti, da je v rimskem obdobju ob vhodu v Emono stala kovaška delavnica.

Globlje kot smo posegali v arheološke plasti, bolj zanimivo je postalo. Razkrita je bila namreč ureditev najstarejše emonske kanalizacije na tem področju, ki je razložila marsikatero nejasnost iz preteklih izkopavanj. Nenavaden potek odtočnega kanala iz že omenjene insule, ki je v nasprotju s pričakovanji zavil proti severu, je dobil smisel v trenutku, ko se je pod njim odprla septična jama (greznica).

V času tik po izgradnji Emona še ni imela zgrajenega omrežja kloak, ki bi odplake odvajale proti Ljubljanici , ampak preproste zidane odtočne kanale z lesenimi tlemi in pokrovi. Znotraj insul so bili narejeni posamezni odtočni kanali, ki so odplake večinoma odvajali v greznice na dvorišča insul. V primeru naše insule pa se je izkazalo, da so se kanali navezovali na zbiri kanal, ki se je iztekal v greznico – ta je ležala pod cesto, ob vhodu v mesto. Verjetno je bila to le začasna rešitev v najzgodnejšem obdobju (začetek 1. stoletja), dokler niso zgradili sistema kloak. Kmalu zatem so jamo namreč zasuli, območje nad njo pa tlakovali s kamnitimi ploščami.

Greznica je bila za izkopavalce precejšnje presenečenje, saj je bila odkrita tik pred koncem izkopavanj tega območja. Ta so se zato za nekaj dni podaljšala, zaradi pomembnosti odkritja pa je bilo odločeno, da se struktura ohrani na mestu odkritja. Greznico smo zavarovali in ponovno zasuli, gradbinci pa so se ji izognili tako, da svoje delo nadaljujejo pod njo.

Razveselilo nas je tudi odkritje štirih rimskih peči. Čeprav so bile vse precej poškodovane, lahko na podlagi oblike in velikosti sklepamo, da gre za vojaške peči za pripravo hrane, kakršne so že bile odkrite na najdišču Šumi in NUK II. O prisotnosti vojske nam govori tudi 2 m širok jarek, ki je pred izgradnjo obzidja varoval graditelje mesta. Skupaj z ostalimi sledovi (npr. ostanek vadbenih taborov na najdiščih Kongresni trg in NUK II) predstavljajo dokaz, da je bila tu vojska prisotna in aktivna že v času pred izgradnjo mesta oziroma v času njegove gradnje.

Če vas zanima, kaj se še skriva pod Slovensko cesto na še ne raziskanem delu CARDO MAXIMUS, nas spremljajte, saj se v kratkem javimo z novim poročilom iz dela DECUMANUS.


Cardo maximus was the main connection of the North-South direction in the Roman city Emona. It was a link between the Northern and the Southern city gates and whoever wanted to walk the entire length, had to pass seven crossroads, walk next to the eastern part of forum, and go past the hustle of many taverns and shops, that were aligned in the ground floor of many insulae along the street.

A part of our excavation site, which we named CARDO MAXIMUS, lies behind the fenced area between “Kongresni trg” and “Šumi” car park,. Two thousand years ago, in the time of ancient Emona, this was an area inside the city walls, right next to the northern city gate, where cardo maximus began. The gate is still preserved and presented in “Bukvarna” (the access to it is unfortunately limited at the moment ) however you can see a part of the northern wall next to the entrance of garage house.

CARDO MAXIMUS is the first area where our team started the excavations and just recently we finished working on the northern part of this area. We made many interesting discoveries, some of which were completely unexpected.

First thing we discovered were remains of a building from the Mid-Modern Period. The discovery wasn’t unexpected as we knew that up until 1973 house of the family Wurzbach was still standing on this location. Even though the building was demolished, its cellar was preserved under the ground. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case with layers from the Roman period, which were damaged when the house was built. These layers were also damaged with Mid-Modern Period sewerage system and modern installations, but luckily they were mainly well preserved.

After removing the so called “dark soil”, layer connected with the decay after the abandonment of the city, we found a part of the roman road with a ditch and a pavement with foundations for pillars. The area of the pavement was probably arranged as arcades, with pillars separating pavement from the road on one side and taverns and shops on the other. Apparently we discovered northwestern part of insula XXXIII, which had already been partially excavated in the past as part of the “Šumi” site.

The next interesting discovery illuminates the activities that were happening in this area before the arcaded building was built here. We found small hearths, a pit for hardening the iron, flakes of iron and some iron waste. All this hints that a blacksmith’s workshop was located next to the entrance of Emona.

The deeper we went with our excavations, the more interesting things we discovered. The arrangement of Emona’s oldest sewerage system was finally revealed and we were able to solve some of the riddles from the past excavations. Unusual course of a canal from the above mentioned insula, which – contrary to our expectations – turned to the North, made sense the moment it opened up into a cesspit.

Just after Emona was built, the network of sewers, that would drain the waste towards river Ljubljanica, had not yet been established. Instead there were some simple channels with built walls and wooden floors and lids. Each insula had its own channels that drained the waste toward a cesspits under the courtyard. But in the case of our insula the story was a bit different: its channel led to to a sewer, which was connected with a cesspit that laid under the road, just next to the city gate. This was probably only a temporary solution in the earliest period of Emona (in beginning of the 1st century), until a proper sewerage system was built. Soon after that the cesspit was intentionally filled, and the area above it was paved with stone slabs.

The cesspit was a big surprise for the excavators, as it was discovered just before the excavations were done. The importance of discovery affected the decision to preserve it on the site of discovery, so construction workers had to change their plans and built under it.

Another exciting discovery were remains of four ovens. Even though the ovens were severely damaged we can still conclude from their shape and size that they were used for food preparation and were connected with the Roman army. Similar ovens were also found on the sites “Šumi” in “NUK II”. An evidence for the presence of the army was also 2 meters wide ditch, which was probably used as a protection for the builders of the city, before the city walls were built. If we consider all the evidence (including the remains of training camp trenches from the sites “Kongresni trg” and “NUK II”) we can conclude that Roman soldiers were present and active in this area also before the city was built or during that time.

If you are curious in what lies beneath Slovenska cesta, under the part of CARDO MAXIMUS that has not yet been excavated, follow us. You can also learn more about what is happening in the part called DECUMANUS.

avtor: J. Furlan

fotograf: M. Lukić