A Virtual Reconstruction of the Baptistery of the Episcopal Basilica at Stobi (Republic of Macedonia)
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In the last decade of the sixth century CE, the baptistery of the Episcopal Basilica at Stobi, presently located in the Republic of Macedonia, collapsed, which destroyed the roof and the interior support structure of the baptistery. When the building was excavated in 1971, the stratigraphy was difficult to interpret; scholars originally believed that the baptistery had been undisturbed, even though there was no evidence of the roof present in the stratigraphy. To date, two very different reconstructions have been made. The first (figs. 7-8), made by William Dinsmoor in 1975, was disproved by subsequent archeological discoveries. A second reconstruction (fig. 9) was published in 2006 by James Wiseman, but failed to include any supporting evidence from comparanda. Since no adequate reconstruction attempt has been made, this paper will put forth a new reconstruction for the baptistery, supported by a photogrammetry-derived 3D model and evidence of similar baptisteries from the same period. Additional research topics which have not been addressed in the existing scholarship of the baptistery will also be discussed, including the provenance of the kantharos and the function of the structure found underneath the baptistery.