The favorable geographic situation and location in the Middle Ages on the cross-roads between the East and the West, on the trade-military road of Via Egnatia, determined that this region would often find itself under the influences of many cultures which contributed to a more marked shaping of the specific archaeological values.
Some three to four decades ago, the Medieval archaeology was forced to fight for its status in Archaeology.
The first allowance was made when the investigation of the Slavs archaeology was extended to the 9th century, while today the attitude of Medieval archaeology is to explore until, using archaeological methods, we are able to acquire a clear picture for these certain periods of the past, and that is why the entire Middle Age is included here.
In our municipality, Medieval archaeology started to be investigated for the first time following the foundation of the Institute for the preservation of monuments of culture in 1975.
The very first probe protective excavations on the location of the town began during the winter and spring of 1976, on the north-western part of the C.H.M. “Bezisten” during its adaptation into a department store. This was continued with investigation on the street “Dobrivoe Radosavlevic”, the location of the new “Stopanska Banka” where ceramic items dating from XIII and XIV c were found. There were also investigations near the location of Hydar Khady Mosque (1980), as well as in the “Deboj” (1988).
The dating was difficult because the excavation was not undertaken on clear and untouched archaeological layers, but at the place of construction works, and the intensity of the continued living had left behind only many times unearthed cultural layers. In 1994 on the location of Isak Mosque or better known as “Seherezada”, for the first time in the Bitola area, fragments of “crepni” ceramic vessels used in the everyday life of the people and distinctive to the Slavs, were unearthed.
In 1999 2000, in the interior of the church of St. Dimitrija, an untouched cultural layer was unearthed, which, according to the age of the findings, was dated from the X c. This was irrefutable proof that a part of Medieval Bitola lay precisely under the foundation of present day Bitola.
In the period 2001 2004 the speed and intensity of excavation of locations in the town (Dr. Tome Janakievski, Ubication of Medieval Bitola) increased. The number of findings belonging to the late Medieval Age (XII XIV c.) grew, thus providing further support for the belief of the existence of Medieval cultural layers on the area of present day Bitola on both sides of the River Dragor.
October 1978 (G. Filipovska and P. Srbinovski) will be remembered for the first unearthing of the Medieval (IX -XII century) Slav stratum at the locality of “Kale”, situated north-west of the town on the left side of the River Dragor on the highest flattened spot on the hill above the location called Baden-balari. This locality, with some interruptions, has been investigated in the years 1989-1981,1994, 2002 and 2004.
In the course of the carrying out of the project: “Investigation of the Medieval settlements of the Bitola region” (1981-1986,) the accent of the work has been put on: the Cathedral church, the Episcopal seat, the locality of Kale Bitola, the necropolis of the locality “Tumbata-Cebren” village Zovic; the settlement and necropolis of the locality “Markovo Kale” village Oreovo.
In 1988 investigation began on the project “Complete investigations on the church of St. Mother Mary in the village Velusina”, where the medieval necropolis was discovered, and the investigations continued on the medieval necropolis at the locality of Slanec, village Suvodol in the year 1990.
In the central part of the settlement at the locality of Heraclea, (G.Tomasevic) Medieval findings which have been discovered include items such as: over-earrings, earrings, fragments of ceramic for everyday use and Byzantine coins, as well as findings unearthed from the Medieval necropolis stratum from X XI c. of the sector called Avtoremont, beside the Siva Voda brook during 1982-1986 (E. Maneva) which are considered to have been formed above the remains of the basilica built in the first half of the VI c.