Viminacium was devastated and destroyed in the middle of the 5th century, and it remained forgotten and buried like Pompeii, which disappeared under a flood of lava from Vesuvius in 79 A.D.. That analogy and the recognition that the remains of the Roman town and the military camp represent a site of exceptional interest explains why Viminacium has been called the Balkan Pompeii.
All the legionary camps and Roman towns lie under modern agglomerations today - Londinum lies under the present London, Novaesium under Neuss, Castra Regina under Regensburg, Mogontiacum under Meinz, Mediolanum under Milan, Emona under Ljubljana, Aquincum under Budapest - and that fact makes excavation difficult. What distinguishes Viminacium from other archaeological sites and makes it particularly important is the exceptional wealth of finds contained already in its surface, arable layer. As a result, more than 13.500 graves have been explored in the past twenty-five years and more than 32.000 finds have been deposited in the vaults of the Museum.
However, although Viminacium is an exceptional archaeological site without exact parallel in any other region, we cannot but feel regret because of the sad fact that its treasures, which are of inestimable value, are often conveyed out of the country to enrich foreign museums and private collections.
The joint support of the municipality of Požarevac, the Republic of Serbia and the local firms, as well as the cooperation of the archaeologists abroad could make Viminacium an important tourist attraction and a significant source of income for the entire district.
Viminacium lies in the way of the expanding strip mine "Drmno". The experts and authorities, though aware of the importance of energents for the development of the country, are nevertheless trying to find means to preserve as large a part of the site of Viminacium as possible, for they consider it an exceptionally valuable testimony of the past which should be bequeathed to the future generations. According to the planned development of the "Drmno" strip mine, the zone of the Roman town and the military camp will not be endangered before 2040. Viminacium, however, covers as area of more than 450 hectares, and the town areals are directly menaced by the advancing mine. Some exceptional monuments are located in this area. They include an aqueduct nearly 10 kilometers long, some late classical basilicas, agricultural estates of Roman veterans, villae rusticae, and Roman roads which connected Viminacium with the neighboring towns. Some of these monuments have been discovered by the methods of remote detection, the analysis of aerial photos, geo-radar and magnetometric examination, and some have been archaeologically explored. A section of the aqueduct, partly archaeologically explored, had to be dislocated, for it stood in the way of the advancing strip mine "Drmno". Since bulldozers extending the mine had already demolished some parts of the aqueduct, it became urgent to commence salvaging operations. The dislocated part was used to replace a previously destroyed section of the aqueduct, the site and direction of which could be established. This monument is of great interest and it requires speedy conservation, protection and presentation. The explored part of the aqueduct is also seriously threatened because of the lack of funds. Some other important Roman monuments will be also endangered by strip-mining. A very short distance from the creeping front of the mine is a very important Roman basilica from the 4th century, which must be relocated and conserved very soon if it is to be preserved.
It should be recalled that Viminacium was placed under the state protection as a monument of culture - archaeological site as early as 1949. In 1979 the Serbian Assembly declared Viminacium a cultural monument of exceptional importance (Official Gazette SRS, 14-79)
Archaeology can, and should,. and must be profitable. The explored archaeological monuments should be protected, conserved, covered and presented as objects of tourist interest. There are many indications that Viminacium can become an attractive tourist destination as one of the richest archaeological sites from the Roman period,. A particular asset is the airport for light aircraft which is only three kilometers distant from the site. At the same distance from Viminacium is the Danube, which is not only an excellent natural thoroughfare, but is also considered "the river of culture" from its source to its mouth. This lends further support to the conception of Viminacium as a site of cultural interest and a source of profit.
Accordingly, further investment into the archaeological explorations at Viminacium will contribute to the development of tourism in this area, which is already an important centre of agricultural and energy production.