The five-year programme “Systematic excavation of the Forum of Nikopolis“, which was inaugurated with the excavation period of September-October 2023, under the direction of the honorary curator of antiquities Konstantinos L. Zachos, aims at the detailed study of the configuration, character and historical development of the Forum of Nikopolis and its individual monuments. The project is being implemented with the kind sponsorship of the Hellenic Parliament and thanks to the personal care of the President of the Parliament, Mr. Konstantinos Tasoulas.

As was already demonstrated during the first excavation period, research in the centre of the economic, social and political life of the city can significantly enrich our knowledge of the architecture and urban planning of the urban public space of the Roman period, while it will allow the reconstruction of the monumental centre of Nikopolis and its integration into the general master plan of the consolidation of the Nikopolis Archaeological Park.

The five-year programme includes the study of the Forum area, which opens to the west of the Roman Odeum, as well as the excavation of various buildings whose ruins are directly related to the Forum, which they define. The excavation work in 2023 focused on a building of square plan, to the west of the conservatory. The excavation of both the periphery of the building and part of its interior yielded a number of finds and led to important conclusions about the configuration of the Forum and the character of the building.

In conclusion, the sum of the information obtained from the observations on the architecture of the building, the individual movable finds as well as the inscriptional and numismatic evidence, allow us to restore the building as one of the central public buildings of the Agora, which had a long life and operation during the imperial period. Its exact function cannot yet be precisely determined, but it is likely that we are in a place dedicated to imperial worship, the city’s Sevastion.

The excavations of 2023 clearly demonstrated the prospects of the research programme and its potential contribution to the study of the formation and evolution of the urban space of Nikopolis. The continuation of the project and the systematic investigation of the wider area of the Forum and its monuments will, on the one hand, complete our picture of the centre of the social life of Nicopolis in imperial times, while, on the other hand, it will enrich our knowledge of the role and evolution of the markets of Greek cities during the same historical period.

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