In the Roman era the cemetery was located along the northern side of the road Emona–Atrans–Celeia, and the river Savinja was running on the opposite side. The Roman settlement, vicus, was most likely situated just by the main road; however, only little is known about the settlement. A part of the cemetery was flooded in the great flood in the 3th century AD and the monuments that were closest to the riverbed fell into the water. They were covered with river sand and preserved over the centuries. The rest of the monuments were eventually used as building material.
Discovery and excavation
The Necropolis was discovered quite coincidentally in 1952, when works in an orchard revealed a statue of a sitting woman. The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts together with the Celje Regional Museum and the University of Ljubljana took over the excavation, which lasted 4 years to 1956. In this period the old course of the river Savinja was examined, and tombs that fell into the river were found. In 1964, the excavation continued east from Šempeter and another part of the Necropolis was discovered. Along the 9-meter wide and 315-meter long Roman road many tombs and graves were found.
During the excavation the first ideas of how to reconstruct the tombs were discussed. The plan was laid out and in 1960 the archaeological park was opened with 4 completely restored tombs and many small tombstones.
South of the cemetery a Roman road was discovered that had run parallel to the Necropolis. The road was altogether 9 metres wide. By the remains of the road outlines of Roman tombs and small graves can be seen.
Interactive panoramic image of the Roman Necropolis