The Mouth of Yantra River at the Lower Danube. Fortifications and Settlements from the 1st to the 6th c.
Sven Conrad, Lyudmil Vagalinski
When planning the fortification system of the limes along the Danube, the Roman army had always had a special focus on the mouths of bigger tributaries.
Although the mouth of Yantra is situated in the most southern, and for that reason – much endangered section of the Danube, the written sources don’t mention a fortress at the mouth of Yantra.
Despite this, at least a temporary fortification could be expected to have existed in the first decades of Roman occupation, although it is still not discovered. The field surveys carried out in the last two decades, recently continued by a newly established joint Bulgarian-German team at Tash bair hill at the western side of Yantra River, revealed some traces of military and settlement activities in the 1st c. The possible absence of a Roman fortification at the mouth of Yantra River could be explained by the fact that in the early years the province of Moesia reached up to Yantra River only. Up to now, only civilian settlements have been registered at the mouth of Yantra River, dating from the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
The late Roman and early Byzantine fortress of Iatrus was finished by Constantine I, although the plans for the reconstruction of the limes along the Danube and the building of new fortresses could be very likely set up during the reign of Diocletian. The regular unit cuneus equitorum scutariorum mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum was replaced by semi-military troops, among them very likely foederati, at the end of 4th c. at the latest. After the collapse of the settlement system along the lower Danube in the end of the 4th c. and the beginning of 5th c. the neighbouring settlement areas at the limes were abandoned. Now the habitation was more or less limited to the fortifications and their immediate vicinity.
According to reports from different authors, Iatrus still played an important role in the defence system at the lower Danube during the 6th century. The phrurion Latarkion mentioned by Theophylactus Simocattes must be located somewhere between Iatrus and Novae. Up to now a site in the western outskirt of the village of Novgrad, Tsenovo municipality, is the only one which can be considered for its localization.
The late Roman fort of Guntia / Günzburg (Raetia secunda) – 4th century grave inventories reflecting evidence of migration and cultural exchange
The late Roman site Guntia / Günzburg in the province of Raetia secunda is the subject of my PhD thesis (supervised by Prof. Dr. Michael Mackensen at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich). Guntia was situated to the east of the confluence of Iller and Danube, therefore it was located in the outermost border area at the western end of the late Roman Danube Limes. From the Tetrarchic period onwards, the main task of Guntia was to guard a strategically important river crossing mentioned in historical sources (transitus Guntiensis). Latest finds belong to the mid 5th century, when the Notitia Dignitatum lists the unit of the milites Ursarienses being garrisoned at Guntia.
In addition to remains of a late 4th century fort, located directly at the water front, the main sources for the late Roman period of Günzburg are two cemeteries lying to the east and to the west of the fortification. The burial grounds at the sites Ulmer Straße and Oberstadt have been excavated in various campaigns between the 19th century and 2008. While the latter solely contains late Roman graves, the cemetery at Ulmer Straße was in continuous use since the 1st century AD. Altogether, approximately 140 burials can be dated to the late 3rd to mid 5th centuries. A significant number of them contains grave goods of non-local, respectively Germanic origin. Based on well-known literary sources, this is generally associated with the presence of foreign mercenaries serving in the late Roman army.
Detailed analysis of the archaeological evidence eventually supports the hypothesis of immigrant soldiers for some of the burials, but also emphasises that a differentiated investigation is necessary. For many of the examined burials, we also have to take into account cross-border exchange and mutual acculturation processes as reasons for the presence of finds from Germanic territories – especially in remote areas such as Günzburg.
Aside from a general presentation of the dissertation project, this poster aims to discuss those topics based on selected case studies.
Where did Valentinian die? New excavations in the legionary fortress of Brigetio
The legionary fortress of Brigetio is one of the most important Roman sites in Pannonia, however, systematic archaeological investigations have been started only in the last years. In 2015, we have located the courtyard of the principia, while one year later a campaign of low-altitude aerial photography was made in the praetentura of the fortress. The most interesting result was the discovery of remarkable traces of a large apsidal building near the porta principalis dextra. In summer 2017 the building was partly excavated with very impressive results. The apsidal building has massive stone walls and hypocaustum, its total area is more than 500 m2. According to the brick stamps, the erection of the building can be dated to the first years of the 370s, and it can be connected to the fortification works of Terentius and Frigeridus, under the last years of the reign of
Valentinian. We have obviously no proof whether the emperor died there or elsewhere in the fortress, but that is the only identified building datable to the Valentinian age so far, and the large, impressive building could be used as a „consistorium”, mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus.
The Roman fortress and the detachment of Legio VII Claudia from Cioroiu Nou, Dolj County, Romania
The Roman vestiges from the village Cioroiu Nou, located in Cioroiași Commune, Dolj County, Romania, are among the most significant in the south-west area of this country. In the village mentioned above it can be seen in particular a fortification of considerable size ( 235 x 140m), inside which there is a bath-house build by a detachment of the Legio VII Claudia.
The presence of this military unit at Cioroiu Nou is certified by an inscription, many stamped bricks and tiles, and by a number of weapons and pieces of military equipment. Given the fact that the basic camp of the Legio VII Claudia was at Viminacium (today Kostolač, in Serbia), in Moesia Superior province, it becomes more difficult to explain why it was felt the need of displacement in southern Dacia, at Cioroiu Nou, of a military detachment from another province.
The archaeological materials found are most important and can provide reasonable answers or explanations, regarding the questions related to this spectacular archaeological site.
The lower Danube Limes in Bulgaria between the rivers Iskar (Oescus) and Yantra (Iatrus) during the first century of Roman occupation (1st c. AD): Relationships between the fortified system and the landscape
The Danube riverbank of today’s central northern region of Bulgaria is characterized by alternation of sections with very steep vertical slope and widely opened riparian lowlands. The section in question is also characterized by the presence of several major tributaries – Oescus, Utus, Asamus and Iatrus. These distinctive landscape features defined the configuration of the Roman’s fortification system since the early days of their dominance over the territory (the beginning of the 1st c. AD).
The Romans have always sought for an adequate response to local conditions, finding concurrence between their general strategy and the particulars of the surroundings. The analysis of the Roman fortification concept carried out by different authors through the years has revealed that river mouths, fords and places where the character of the terrain changes are locations whose defence was usually a priority.
All known early fortifications in the researched section (Oescus, Utus, Asamus, Dimum and Novae) are built at locations that comply somehow with these rules. It seems however, that there are some missing links and that there may be some fortified locations still unknown to the science. The recent “rediscovery” of the probable location of the 1st century Asamus by S. Torbatov supports such suggestion.
The proposed paper is looking into the strategic qualities of the locations of the known early fortifications in the area between the rivers Iskar (Oescus fl.) and Yantra (Iatrus fl.) in relation to the landscape features. It explores also the pattern behind the initial fortification concept of the Danubian frontier in the region in response to the characteristics of the surroundings at a larger scale. By analyzes of the landscape and the emerging pattern behind the fortified system it becomes possible to outline probable spots of other fortifications that may still lay undiscovered to this day.
Offering to the Gods – A Ritual Deposition and Other Forms of Religious Communication in Vindonissa
Sabine Deschler-Erb/Regine Fellmann/Andrew Lawrence/Michael Nick/Jürgen Trumm
In 2016, during an excavation outside the southern defenses of the legionary camp of Vindonissa, a ritual deposition was discovered. The find spot is located in the vicinity of a road leading to the valleys to the south of the camp, in an area with otherwise no religious architecture. The deposition con-sists of a completely preserved cooking pot, 21 oil lamps (with a further lamp beneath the pot), 21 coins and the re-mains of at least 22 burnt femura. In a first step, by examin-ing the finds and their arrangement, our poster will present this new deposition and offer a possible interpretation. In a second step, other forms and sites of religious communica-tion in Vindonissa will be highlighted. Insight will be given into the impact the arrival and withdrawal of the troops had on the religious communication in around the camp, and also how the ritual activity of the military and civilian communi-ties may have influenced one another.
Slaves in Teutoburgium?
This paper presents shackles found in Dalj (Teutoburgium), which are kept in the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. Iron shackles have been identified during the revision of the Dalj collection of The Greek and Roman Department in 2017. Unfortunately, the archaeological context data is lacking, but there is no doubt about the findspot. Such shackles were normally used to restrain convicts, prisoners and slaves. Thus, they are not likely to have been used for military slaves (unless there were some disciplinary issues, but this remains purely speculative), but they certainly could have been used for prisoners of war. Such finds on military sites raise series of questions that have to be thourougly discussed, without necessarily providing clear and definite answers.
Fishing at the Upper Moesian frontier: Remains of freshwater and migratory fish from Viminacium (Upper Moesia, Serbia)
Ivana Živaljević, Sonja Vuković – Bogdanović, Ivan Bogdanović
The site of Viminacium, a legionary fortress and the capital of the Roman province Upper Moesia/Moesia Prima, is situated on the right bank of Mlava river near its confluence with the Danube. Its location and the vicinity of water suggest that fishing must have contributed (at least to some degree) to the diet of its citizens and legionaries. However, fish remains are fairly scarce in the Viminacium faunal assemblage, represented only by a few dozen of bones (in comparison with several thousands of mammal bones). This is primarily a consequence of hand – collecting of animal bones. Nonetheless, although much fewer in number, fish remains offer insights into fishing and fish supply practices in this Roman city and consequently in the Upper Moesian frontier in general, as the Viminacium faunal assemblage is the only one analysed in this part of the limes. The largest assemblage comes from the area of the city itself – the Roman amphitheatre and its surroundings, but also from settlements located outside of the city and fortress. Fish remains include those of catfish, cyprinids, pike, as well as migratory sturgeons (including its largest representative – the beluga sturgeon). In order to understand the significance of fishing and the role of fish in the diet at the Upper Moesian frontier, we will look into contextual data, taxonomic composition, taphonomic data and biometry of fish remains. We will further discuss possible supply routes of highly valued fish in Roman times – large beluga sturgeon at the frontier and inlands. We will also take into account the archaeological findings of fishing equipment from Viminacium, particularly fishing hooks and weights used for fishing nets. The diachronic changes in fishing practices (from the 2nd until the 4th century AD) will also be discussed, namely the differences in the spectrum of species and fishing equipment with respect to certain periods.
A Stronghold of the Lower Danube’s Hinterland: New Fieldwork on the Fortifications of Zaldapa, Bulgaria
Brahim M’Barek, Dominic Moreau, Nicolas Beaudry
with the collaboration of
Georgi Atanasov, Valeri Yotov, Albena Milanova
Zaldapa is largest known Romano-Byzantine stronghold of the hinterland of Romano-Byzantine Scythia and Moesia Secunda. The city was known in the sixth century as the birthplace of General Flavius Vitalianus († 520), who rebelled against Emperor Anastasius I and contributed to the rise of the Justinianic dynasty; later sources also mention the city as an episcopal see.
The city’s irregular walls followed the topography and defended a large, densely built plateau structured by two main thoroughfares running NNE-SSO and NNW-SSE. The site was explored between 1889 and 1910 by the fathers of Bulgarian archaeology, Karel and Herman Škorpil; Romanian archaeologists carried limited excavation between 1913 and 1940; and in 1949, a cistern was exposed NW of the defended perimeter.
Since 2014, Georgi Atanasov and Valeri Yotov have been excavating a large church thought to be the city’s cathedral. While the city walls were planned, summarily described and dated to the 4th century, they remain to be thoroughly studied, together with the other military structures of Zaldapa. This poster introduces an international archaeological project launched in 2018 to study of the Christian and military landscapes of Zaldapa. It will present and discuss the results of its first field season, focusing on fieldwork carried in the NW part of the city’s defenses.
How to trace and date the Roman roads? A case study from the territorium of Antiochia Hippos
Although the physical remains of Roman roads and milestones in the Golan Heights are known at least since pioneering work done by Gottlieb Schumacher in the 1880s they drew little scholarly attention. To date only short summaries of Z.U. Maʿoz and of the Golan Survey are available; both of which indeed raise more questions than answers. Particular lacunae in our understanding of the Roman roads, mainly in the southern Golan, pertain to the development and chronology of the road system. Another question arises concerning the actual continuation of the known road stretch westward.
The current research concentrates on the Roman road system in the southern Golan, encompassing southern part of Gaulanitis district and territory of the city of Antiochia Hippos. The research is undertaken in three phases:
1) GIS analysis locating best optimal routes in the region using cumulative focal mobility network approach. The results are used in concordance with historical topographical maps as a tool for field survey evaluating westward continuation of the extant remains of the Roman road.
2) Survey of the physical remains of the various stretches of the ancient roads focusing on the characteristics of road construction methods, materials and dimensions; which may help in distinguishing stages of development of the road system and identification of Roman and later roads.
3) Metrological study of the milestones and their comparison with milestones from provinces of Judaea and Arabia may clarify the dating of anepigraphic milestones and thus allow dating of the road system as well.
The combination of these analyses seeks for better understanding of the development of Roman road system in the region where provinces of Judaea, Syria and Arabia converge and of the Roman army involvement in the territorium of Antiochia Hippos and the Gaulanitis district.
Stone made projectiles found in the Roman fort of Mehadia (Caraș-Severin County, Romania)
During the archaeologycal researches patroned by the West University carried out during the last decade inside the Roman forth of Mehadia, three stone projectiles were found, in the deepest inhabitated level at 0,15 – 0,40 m in depth, having 5,2 to 9 cm in diameter. To these we add one piece found by Professor M. Macrea between 1942-1948 (having 10 cm in diameter).
The shape of these projectiles is round, bearing visibile craft marks.Two of these projectiles were found in the central area where the kraft center of Mehadia developed. We consider that they were realised in an workshop found within this area beside one pottery workshop (with two furnaces and a clay basin), found near a bronze workshop (also with a furnace). The importance of these discoveries form Mehadia is underlined by the fact that they were discovered in the last habitation level dating from Constantine the Great time (first half of the 4th Century), when the entire fortification was rebuilt. The closest resemblences to these, that correspond from the chronologycal point of view are the projectiles found in Capidava, Topraichioi, Sucidava-Celei. We must add that they have the same shape and weight with pieces found dating from the classical imperial age and that they were common to Roman Dacia at Porolissum, Arcobadara (Ilișua), Buciumi etc.
The military unit that was stationed in the fortification of Mehadia, during Late Roman epoch, is not epigraphically attested, but we have to suppose that in a similar way with Dierna, the one from Mehadia integrated itself in the area belonging to Legio XIII Gemina.
The Roman Army in the Lower Danube and Balkan Region
In the second and more notably in the third and fourth century CE, so-called barbarian groups started to cross the Danube Limes and invaded, pillaged and plundered the Roman provinces of the Balkan region. As a member of the project „Scythica Vindobonensia“, I write my PhD thesis about the situation of the Roman army in the two provinces of Moesia inferior and Thrace on the eve of the incursions as well as the changes and adaptations that were caused by them in the following two centuries. Besides the archaeological sources, with the military diplomas for the second and the inscriptions for the third and fourth century, epigraphic sources are among the most important ones to enhance our knowledge about the identity and stationing areas of troops in this region. The aim of my poster is to give an insight into my ongoing PhD thesis, which investigates the effects of the recurrent incursions on the Roman army in the studied area. This includes changes in the stationing and the composition of troops as well as the stationing of army units in civil contexts.
Layers of Vindobona
Kira Lappé, M. Meszar, K. Hornek, M. Wagreich
The term Anthropocene stands for the time of the rising anthropogenic influence on the Earth System and has become a symbol of the anthropogenic global change. Anthropogenic deposits under cities such as Vienna stretch from pre-historic and historic to recent times and are caused by a combination of human and geological forces. Based on the legionary camp of Vindobona at the Danube limes, the first massive layers in the city area of Vienna stem from the Roman times.
A new project, financed by the WWTF (Vienna Science and Technology Fund), investigates the growth of the Anthropocene signal in the urban environments of Vienna. “The Anthropocene Surge” (ESR17-040) is a unique interdisciplinary project, combining natural sciences, humanities and art, which is regarded as a chance for a holistic view on the Anthropocene, its stratigraphy and perception.
Besides geochemical investigations, which aim at detecting trace metal contamination and establishing a genetic classification of anthropogenic sediments, one of the key tasks of this project is the implementation of the geological and archaeological data into a geographic information system (GIS). This data derives from more than 60.000 well cores and the whole digitised documentation of the archaeological excavations produced by the Urban Archaeology division Vienna. Objective is the creation of a 3D model of the Roman and later historical anthropogenic layers, showing not only their present form but also their evolution in time.
By this 3D model and by an essay film, which will be created accompanying the research and reflecting on the trajectories of the Anthropocene within different fields and methods, a new way of making archaeological data and results accessible to the general public is sought to be achieved.
Scrawl, scribble, doodle – killing time in military tileries of Roman Dacia
Beyond very general information, there is not much to start from when trying to catch a glimpse of the everyday military life of the Roman soldiers in Dacia. One very direct source, however, is represented by various more or less legible/intelligible inscriptions and drawings made by the soldiers themselves on unfired bricks and tiles. This type of material is found in numerous forts throughout Roman Dacia and in some cases it is a testimony to the men’s interests, aspirations, pastime activities, or simply to how they amused themselves or idled away time. To this effect, the current poster intends to present a wide range of scrawls, scribbles and doodles – from jokes, writing exercises (sometimes manifesting downright frustration), to improvised gaming boards and playful drawings, all giving away something of the life of their authors.
„Borderland Christianity” − Small finds and their significance on the Hungarian section of the Danube Limes (4th –5th centuries)”
„Borderland Christianity” − Small finds and their significance on the Hungarian section of the Danube Limes (4th –5th centuries)”This poster investigate the Christianization of the Roman frontier in Pannonia in the 4th –5th centuries, especially focused on the Hungarian section of the Danube Limes, the two border-provinces of the Late Roman Empire (Pannonia Prima and Valeria). Many early Christian small finds can be discovered in Hungarian museums which derived from the Late Roman limes region, they serve as relevant archaeological sources while investigating the Christianisation of this era. In some cases we have the opportunity to give new interpretation of the earlier published materials put the recent publications to account. My research deals these artifacts with Christian symbols, emphasizing the chronological, methodological problems and the relevant difficulties of the interpretation.
Gagra temple in the system of Pontus limes
The present Abkhazia, like its historical territory, is rich in numerous monuments of various eras. After the wars of Mithridates with Rome in the first century BC, Colchis and the territory of Abkhazia, like most of the south-eastern coast of the Black Sea, started incorporating into the system of Pontus Limes. It was the most clearly manifested in the era of the formation of the imperial form of government in Rome. The first archaeologically documented Fortresses-Castellas of I-II centuries appear in Sebastopolis, the current name of the city of Sukhum as well as in Pitius (present name of Pitsunda). Not all fortresses of the Pontus Limes located on the territory of Abkhazia have been constructed simultaneously.
We believe that Castella Fortresses appeared on operational necessity. However, Pontus Limes begins to strengthen in Abkhazia in the Byzantine era. It is at this time that many Castella Fortresses in Abkhazia are being restored and expanded, for instance, the fortresses of Sebastopolis and Pitius. At the same time the new ones are being constructed both in Gagra, Tsandripsh and Ziganeas (Gudaa).
Christian churches are being constructed in many fortresses of the Roman-Byzantine era and Abkhazia is no exception in this regard. The Gagra temple, constructed within the eponymous Castella Fortresses of the late Antiquity, belong to the early Christian era. According to the researchers, in ancient times the Greek city of Nitike/Stennetika has been mentioned on this place.
The remnants of the fortress of the late Antiquity in Gagra, despite a number of significant changes in the XIX century have been preserved quite well. It is constructed on the very shore of the Black Sea, at the mouth of the river Zhoekvara, at the very foot of the mountain. A plan of the Castella Fortress has a shape of a rectangle close to a square. Of all the walls of the fortress, the eastern wall with a stone arch was better preserved. Roman large-scale square masonry is clearly visible.
Inside the fortress, an early Christian one-nave church with side extensions was preserved; however, it was substantially rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century. The church was constructed with large blocks. The masonry of some sections of the walls of the temple and fortress is almost the same, which gives us the opportunity to assume the simultaneity of their construction. Especially that Gagra plan of the church before its reconstruction, fixed by Dubois de Montpéreux in the first half of the XIX century, in its absolute form repeats the well-known Roman and Byzantine basilica churches with a protruding semicircular apse of V-VI centuries.
Fortifications of the Inner-Caucasian Limes in Abkhazia
At the turn of the eras, several fortified areas (limes) have been created to protect the north eastern regions of the Roman Empire, adjacent to the Caucasus: “Cappadocian” – by the name of the Roman province in Eastern Anatolia, covering the land border of the Roman province (T. Mitford); “Pontus” – a chain of the Black Sea fortifications with garrisons to guard the approaches to the empire and ensure the safety of navigation on the Pont River (V. Lekvinadze). According to S.M. Perevalov, the Cappadocian and Pontic limes represented a single cordon line, called the Caucasian Limes, which included the entire stretch of the north eastern Roman limes from Melitena to Pitiunt and performed important functions of foreign policy. The Caucasian limes served as a pillar of Roman power in Asia Minor and Transcaucasia, as well as a strategic foothold for the foreign policy of the Roman Empire in the Middle East.
The Roman Empire constantly carried out military reform to effectively protect its borders, sometimes the empire entrusted the protection of its borders to the local population of its provinces, paying them big money for it. The Byzantine Empire, the successor of the Roman state, relied on the fortresses of Roman Limes in its struggle for fortification in the Caucasus; has restored some of them, frequently using local fortresses such as Tsibilium, Tsakhar, Trachea, Shapky, Pal, Gerzeul etc.
As established by specialists, all these fortresses were combined into one new defensive system, forming a fragment of the Internal Caucasian limes. Its paramount task was to guard passages in the gorges (Lat. clausura), through which the roads led to such important coastal fortifications of the Byzantines as Apsar, Phasis and Sebastopolis. Simultaneously, the old Roman defense system has been restored and deployed along the sea, throughout the entire territory of the empire; the limes that represented a single continuous system of external limb of the Justinian era appeared once again.
Thus, it can be assumed that the Pontic Limes, especially in combination with appeared in the middle of the 1st century AD of the internal foothill line of fortresses in the territory of Abazgia, Apsilia and Misiminia, Lazika “Inner-Caucasian Limes”, was a grandiose defensive line, designed to protect the Byzantine provinces including Western Transcaucasia from the attacks of nomads.
Moving Supplies in the Roman Dobrogea
The Dobrogea represents a compact study region in which it is possible to model the transport needs of providing food to the Roman garrison. A comparison of the position of archaeological sites recorded on the Romanian national database of sites – cIMeC – against the well-researched road network can be carried out within ArcGIS. This program can produce pictorial representations of travelling distances to particular garrisons as irregular polygons representing individual days’ travel according to the road network. Archaeological sites within particular polygons can be said to have been best placed to serve the particular fort from which the polygon was produced. Then using simple algorithms within Excel it is possible to model the impact of providing animal feed to the traction animals. These algorithms can be adjusted to accommodate different vehicles travelling at different speeds. From this process it is possible to assess the efficiency of certain vehicular combinations and the relative merits of using fewer mule-drawn vehicles that would have required a greater quantity of feed, over slower oxen-drawn vehicles that would have required less arable to be turned to feed. It is also possible to model within Excel the effect of moving supplies from particular ports to the garrison forts. The power of the algorithms allows one to adjust key variables: yields, size of garrison, productivity of workers, and the number of workers to a site. The end result is a series of models which offer suggestions as to the most likely scenarios in terms of yields, productivity and agricultural population.
Hidden gems: Roman finds in the PUG-collection in Utrecht
Joanneke van den Engel-Hees, Herwin van den Engel
Since 1841 the Provinciaal Utrechts Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (PUG, Provincial Utrecht Society of Arts and Sciences) has acquired an impressive archaeological collection, with the main focus on finds from the province of Utrecht. This collection tells us a lot about Utrecht’s Roman past. It contains finds from no less than three Roman castella along the Rhine Limes: Vechten (Fectio), Utrecht (Traiectum) and De Meern.
Vechten, to the southeast of Utrecht, is one of the earliest Roman castella in the Netherlands, built under the emperor Augustus. A large portion of the Roman finds in the PUG-collection comes from this important site.
In 1995 the PUG-collection was conveyed to the care of the Department of Heritage of the city of Utrecht. Part of the collection is exhibited in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. The collection was leading a somewhat languishing existence: there was no complete inventory and a lot of valuable objects were in danger of deteriorating. Therefore a plan was made in 2007 to improve the state of the collection. The main goal of the project is make an complete digital registration of all the objects, so both the public and the scientific community will be able to enjoy the collection online.
Between 2011 and 2015 the public could see the work on the collection for themselves in an open workplace exhibition about the PUG-collection in the Centraal Museum. Visitors of the museum could take a look behind the scenes and ask questions to the curator. There were archaeological workshops for children with real Roman finds.
Our aim is not just to show Utrecht’s antiquities to the general public, but this special collection is also a rich source for scientific research. Many important researchers have found their way to Utrecht in the past, for instance for the terra sigillata. Even though the information about the find circumstances only rarely complies with modern requirements, the objects from the PUG-collection can still add a lot to modern archaeological knowledge. They are still relevant. Fortunately we see a renewed interest from specialists who want to study objects from the PUG-collection.
Stone extraction for Vindobona – regional infrastructure and economic relationship by the example of a legionary garrison in Pannonia
The interdisciplinary project „Stone monuments and Stone Quarrying in the Carnuntum – Vindobona Area“ aims to acquire new knowledge about Roman economic and settlement history, art, quarrying and infrastructure through the integration and analysis of archaeological and geological data. Preliminary examination of approximately 200 Roman stone objects, including all types of artefacts from works of art to plain building materials, suggests that three quarrying areas were significant for the supply of stones to ancient Vienna. Based on historical maps and airborne laser scans potential quarrying regions around the Roman city and legionary camp of Vindobona were selected and representative samples taken. Evaluating the geological results from an archaeological point of view, the following conclusions can be made: It seems that as a first step after the installation of the Roman legionary fortress, the building material was quarried from the margin of the Alpine region, including the Vindobona vicinity. Moreover, algal limestones from the Leitha area played an important role as raw material for sculptured stone monuments, such as gravestones, altars, etc.
GIS-mapping of all known archaeological sites of the area of north-western Pannonia, as well as the analysis of aerial photographs and airborne laser scans are pinpointing potential quarries and highlight their necessary infrastructure. Equally important is the consideration of possible transportation routes. Interactions with Carnuntum, the provincial capital of Pannonia superior, in terms of exchange of goods as well as cultural or artistic transfer, are exciting sets of issues. Additionally, GIS-based low cost analyses calculating possible likeliest routes are an important instrument for supporting those examinations.
This is the first time to study the construction technology of the beacon tower in the Han dynasty in xinjiang of China. It is of great significance to understand the construction technology of rammed earth in xinjiang.
This poster gives a full picture of the ramming technique of the beacon tower which is represented by the Kizilgaha beacon tower in the western regions of the Han Dynasty from three aspects that are ramming history, ramming way and ramming process. At the same time, in this poster, the author figures out that the ramming technique used in the constructions in the Western Regions along the Silk Road was introduced from the Central Plains region, by comparing the Kizilgaha beacon tower with the Central Plains Han Great Wall and the Hexi Corridor of the Han Dynasty. At that time, the craftsmen and soldiers brought advanced ramming technique to the Western Regions through the Silk Road. Meanwhile, with the changes of the environment, the ramming technique introduced from the Central Plains formed a new technical character, which was a fusion of ramming technique of the Central Plains and the local construction technique.
Moreover, the new technical character laid an important foundation for the development of rammed earth buildings in the western region.
Using the objective and plenary data to analyze and demonstrate the relationship between the construction of Ming’s Great Wall, the climate changes and wars of the agricultural and nomadic peoples.
The Great Wall is a linear cultural relic with national characteristics, is the outcome of the ancient Chinese political entity and the national relation development, and also witnesses the power shift between agricultural and nomadic groups. Because of the specific climate, rainfall and landform of the Great Wall’s area, agricultural and nomadic peoples all gathered there. Ming Dynasty is the last peak session of the construction of the Great Wall. Meanwhile, in Ming Dynasty, the defense facility and the engineering technology of the Great Wall have reached to the peak. Based on the survey of the Ming Great Wall since 2006 and the statistical data of wars’ times and the climate changes, the author found that constructions of the Great Wall are always along with the increasing temperature and the invasions of the nomadic peoples. This correspondence resulted from the fact that nomadic economy was at that time dependent on its climate and its mutual complementary relationship with agricultural economy.
Aspects of Roman imperial power in Transcaucasia
When referring to the region known as Trancaucasia, i.e. the countries on the southern slopes of the Caucasus mountain range stretching from Roman provincial territory on the Black Sea in the West to the Caspian Sea and the regions controlled by the Parthian and Sassanid Empires in the East, Roman narrative sources in Greek and Latin usually mention the ancient kingdoms of Iberia and Albania in the same breath. They convey the image of a distinct and unitary strategic sector, which they set apart from the Roman Colchian coast and the politically and historically more prominent kingdom of Armenia further South. A string of Roman forts along the Colchian Black Sea coast has led some scholars to speak of a Roman ‘Caucasus frontier’, while others take the same forts to disprove the principle of linear frontiers in Transcaucasia. Rome’s interests and investments in the South Caucasus as well as the methods, by which the Empire intended to control the region, not only remain among the least researched but also among the least understood of all frontier regions of the Imperium Romanum.
This poster proposes to present a project at the Archaeological Institute of the University of Warsaw, which aims at reassessing the narrative and epigraphic evidence in the light of recent archaeological and historical research with the aim to analyse Roman investments, and Roman political, military, and economic interests in Transcaucasia and Roman strategies of control in this region.
Exploitation of wild animal resources on the Limes in Upper Moesia
Gordana Jeremić, Selena Vitezović
Wild fauna had an important role in the Roman culture; some of the animals were particularly valued and had symbolic, religious significance. Hunting as activity had an important role beyond purely economic; it was also connected with status and prestige. Wild fauna also provided diverse resources – meat, fur, etc. Especially important raw material were red deer antlers, used for variety of purposes since the prehistoric times. In the Roman period, the use of antlers varied considerably from region to region and in different periods, depending on local preferences and needs.
In this paper will be offered an overview of the antler production and use on the borders in Upper Moesia province. In Singidunum, on the location of the Castrum, an antler workshop was discovered, with large quantities of antler segments with traces of manufacture. In the Iron Gates region, antler artefacts were discovered at several fortifications, and the typological repertoire included awls, needles, spindle whorls, etc. Particularly numerous are combs (pecten), discovered at several sites, including Saldum, Diana, Novae, Pontes, and mainly originating from Late Antiquity period.
Digitizing Ancient Epigraphic Heritage: Project EpiDoc XML Encoding of Roman Inscriptions from Serbia
The project EpiDoc XML Encoding of Roman Inscriptions from Serbia: Digitization of Ancient Epigraphic Heritage carried out by the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia focuses on research, training, digital documenting and digital edition of Roman inscriptions from the territory of Serbia (the Roman province of Upper Moesia and parts of Lower Pannonia, Dalmatia and Thrace). The project’s primary aim is to form a national e-archive of inscriptions that will be encoded in EpiDoc TEI-XML format. This collection of digital corpora will represent a completely new epigraphic edition that is furthermore born-digital and ready for interchange. The project is envisioned as a core for networking and intensifying the collaboration between research and cultural institutions. It is ment to educate, inspire and instigate collaborative work and new concepts in epigraphic research.
The last frontier. The extra muros civil settlement from Noviodunum. The beginning of a new research
Marius Streinu, Aurel Stănică, Alina Streinu
We intend to illustrate the results of the ongoing research in the civilian settlement found East of the ancient city of Noviodunum. Through this research we aim to understand the development of civilian settlements around the major urban and military centers on the outskirts of the Empire, but also of the military, social, economic and cultural life issues of the people inhabiting them.
Roman quarries on the Northwestern border of Dacia. The sandstone and volcanic stone quarries of Porolissum
The scientific research of stones, as prime building material and the provenience of these have been almost totally neglected throughout the scientific research of Dacia province. Only three or four researchers could be enumerated starting from the end of the 18th century and 19th century who were intrigued to study and note the most important quarries of the region. Currently I am studying the stone as the base building material in Dacia and the process of its mining. My actual project is to map all the quarries serving the settlements and fortifications of the north-western border of Dacia Porolissensis, and based on the location of each site I am trying to model the possible roman routes of the transportation of the mined stone. In addition to these my interest is widened to the social background and human resources of the process of quarrying. Concerning the aforementioned area, I managed to identify 18 quarries of four different kinds of stone, of which now I am presenting some of those which served Porolissum, so only three quarries of sandstone and volcanic stone will be discussed. The situation is complicated by the fact that a certain percent of the quarries are currently active, or have been used throughout the centuries, so during the research has rise a need for the methods of geology and ethnography too.
The Danube limes fort from Pojejena in a new light of non-invasive prospections
Archaeological research at Pojejena were start again after a long break of almost 40 years. In this first campaign we used the geomagnetic prospecting, surveying and soil resistivity to see the archaeological site size and state of preservation of the fortification. We also watched using aerial photography to identify traces of walls, soil prints of architectural structures that might be visible in the field. The control section that we made in the civil settlement, in the close neighborhood it indicated a fairly compressed stratigraphy, the sequence of habitation levels not exceeding 90 cm deep. The archaeological material resulted largely boils down to ceramics, especially late roman pottery pieces.
Production of Olive Oil and Wine in the Vicinity of Limes Delmaticus
Almost the whole Eastern Adriatic coast, lined with hundreds of islands, is mountainous and quite inhospitable but the climate is very suitable for olive and wine growing. In Roman times, these two agricultural items formed the basis of local economy and trade.
This poster is focusing on the group of production centres located in the vicinity of the Limes Delmaticus (the line of military fortresses of Burnum, Kadina Glavica, Andetrium, Tilurium and Bigeste in the area between two rivers Krka and Cetina). Those military bases became a very important element of the colonization process in the newly created Province of Dalmatia at the beginning of the 1st century AD.
The soldiers of XI. legio (Burnum) and VII. legio (Tilurium) collaborated on the construction of new road system at the time of Publius Cornelius Dolabella (14 – 20 AD); those roads simplified the penetration of new inhabitants into Dalmatian countryside where new settlements were established in this time period.
Rapid development of the planting of olive trees and grapevines started in the context of the newly created villae rusticae in the 1st half of the 1st century AD; in the begging on the islands and in coastal areas and later also in hinterland. These villae were established by colonists mostly from Italy. The indispensable part of new inhabitants was made up by veterans from Imperial army who earn part of a land after long military service (missio agraria).
The area around rivers Krka and Cetina was quite densely inhabited in Antiquity (vici, municipia, villae rusticae). This poster will provide a new comprehensive map of the civil settlements in the area around the Limes Delmaticus in the relation to the production of olive oil and wine and evaluate the unique status of this area according to its proximity of the capital city of Salona.
Location of the production centres in this area shows us some interesting patterns which are visible on the newly created map; relation to the main roads, larger settlements and geomorphological structures. One of the main questions is if the amount of local production was large enough to supply olive oil and wine to the army or were both liquids imported from other parts of Empire? These and other questions will answer this poster.
La situation des femmes sur le limes danubien de la Dacie entre religion et implication sociale
Mariana Balaci Crînguș
Sur la frontière d’une province, la présence de l’armée et implicite ses traces sont très claire. A côté de l’élément militaire, dans les localités qui se trouvent sur la ligne du Danube, a cote gauche, on connait aussi la présence féminine, pas très nombreux, mais dans certaines situations assez présent et surtout actif. Je me réfère, par exemple, la présence des femmes dans la vie publique de Drobeta, ou elles sont organisées dans un collège religieux. On rencontre les femmes mentionnés sur les feuilles d’or gnostiques de Dierne, ou bien sur des autres monuments funéraires, dans des diverses rôles. Sont intéressantes aussi les mentions avec les femmes comme héritées et les implications juridiques découlant de ces aspects. La présence féminine, bien que modeste, elle existe et elle mérite d’être analysé sous des angles différents pour une image plus claire de la puissance financière et sociale de la société romaine, même à la frontière de l’Empire.
Perforated coins from the Aquincum-Graphisoft cemetery
Perforated coins are very rare amongst Roman coins usually only accounting for less than 1% of the total number, not taking into account the late Roman coins in barbarian context. Their greatest proportion was found in the Graphisoft cemetery east of Aquincum’s civil town, where theses amounted to 8% of the total coins. Interestingly enough these were predominantly found in child inhumations and cremations, which in itself raises a series of interesting questions. The number of perforations also differs from one to three pointing to different function or ritual use. In some cases the use as bracelets or necklaces could be observed in connection with glass and amber beads. Unfortunately in most cases such information could not be gathered. The interpretations are hindered by the very fragile state of conservation of the human remains. The need for perforating a coin is also interesting, since it required some skill. The holes also differ technically, since some of the perforations were made with a nail, in other cases they were drilled. Two coins even show the eye of the emperor pierced through using a small and precise drilling technique. This level of detail on a small, but difficult surface raises the question of ritual mutilation of the coin and the portrait itself. Pierced coins are quite rare in the whole of the Roman Empire, with a few examples in Gallia and Germania. Their greatest concentration is found in both Pannoniae and Moesia Superior. The best parallel for the Aquincum cemetery comes from Viminacium itself, where the Više Grobalja yielded a number of perforated coins. Here they were also mostly found in child graves, which points to a common burial custom and belief on this stretch of the Danube.
Sex, Risk Allocation, and Roman Patriarchy: Excess Male Mortality on the Danube Frontier
C. Scott Speal
Excess mortality associated with the human male—meaning a populational disadvantage in life expectancy relative to females—has been found to be more or less the norm among modern and recent historical post-Industrial populations. Discovery of this phenomenon has led to some debate as to whether the condition is a ‘natural state’ of the human species tied directly to the biology of sex, or a product of cultural and environmental conditions—and therefore variable over time and space. Unfortunately, researchers have been faced with a dearth of demographic information from the ancient world that could be used to determine exactly how far back this ‘normalcy’ of excess male mortality extends among humans. Recent development of dramatically improved skeletal aging and paleo-demographic techniques has allowed deeper investigation of the time depth of the sex differential in mortality. The availability of large numbers of well-preserved skeletal remains from cemeteries surrounding Viminacium on the Danube frontier permitted examination of the phenomenon in the specific context of the Roman Limes of Late Antiquity.
As Viminacium had origins as a legionary encampment on the Danube Limes, and retained that military function to some degree throughout its existence, one expects a male dominated populace and some considerable degree of excess male mortality associated with the hazards of military service. Juxtaposed with the social ideology of Roman patriarchy however—widely recognized to have emphasized and celebrated masculinity to a rather extreme degree—questions arise as to whether their political and social dominance provided Roman males the ability moderate or ameliorate altogether their mortality disadvantage through increased access to resources and allocation of some risks to females. Social archaeologists have well established that elites or factions in power have a cross-cultural tendency to use their position predominantly to benefit themselves when the opportunity presents.
Computational survival analyses based upon skeletal age-at-death estimates were run to investigate differences in mortality by sex for a sample of 297 individuals recovered from Viminacium graves dating from the 2nd through the 4th Century AD. Results indicate a very pronounced excess male mortality among the ancient population. This finding is not consistent with notions that Roman patriarchy provided any type of ‘risk-buffer’ to males, as some have proposed, at least not on the Danubian frontier. Other skeletal indicators of systemic stress are also examined to investigate the relative impact of various vectors of mortality that may have influenced the disparity.
Establishing the Health Correlates of Social Status on the Danube Frontier using Grave Construction: The Viminacium Mortuary Complex
C. Scott Speal
Archaeologists have long sought to establish a connection between social status in life and mortuary treatment in death. This theoretical relationship is of central importance in our understanding of the past both for dertermining the presence of social hierarchy among ancient cultures for which political organization is poorly understood, and to better understand the consequences of social stratification among cultures for which hierarchical organization is already established. Unfortunately, very few archaeological studies, if any, have managed to empirically demonstrate this theoretical connection under conditions of known past status hierarchy in order to validate it.
The well-established Roman propensity for ostentatious display of wealth in both life and mortuary behavior provides a nearly ideal situation to test the Tainter Principle—which maintains that those individuals holding higher status in life will tend to draw greater investment in funerary treatment upon death—under known conditions of intense social hierarchy as described in Classical literary documents. Given the equally well-established principle that individuals of greater socio-economic status within modern human populations tend to enjoy an elevated health status over those of lower rank due to increased nutritional access and cultural buffering from health hazards, it was possible to pose an empirical test of the Tainter Principle under provincial Roman conditions using a skeletal sample from cemeteries surrounding the Late Roman city of Viminacium.
The analyzed sample consisted of 297 skeletal individuals recovered from 254 interments for which grave form information was available. An ordinal scale of mortuary investment was constructed for the various grave types observed in the study based upon the assumed level of effort each grave type would require to construct. Skeletal data including estimated age-at-death, presence of lesions considered indicative of adverse health conditions, and long bone measurements either contributing to or correlated with corporeal stature and robusticity, were obtained from each individual. Various statistical tests confirmed significant positive correlations between greater levels of investment in grave construction and the respective health variables of mortality, indicators of morbidity, and measurements of skeletal robusticity at Viminacium. These results validate the assumptions of the Tainter Principle for the set of mortuary features examined—which are also found across the middle Danube region during Late Roman times. The author hereby defines this set of mortuary features as the Viminacium Mortuary Complex. By corollary, it is also established that the provincial social hierarchy had significant health implications for populations living on the Roman Limes.
Archaeological Characteristics of Sarmatians Limigantes Culture
In the Late Roman period, massive colonization of the Pannonian Barbaricum happened. Great number of settlements is documented, often on large areas, with the semi-dugouts and aboveground structures, as well as necropoleis with inhumations, with different characteristics.
Throughout Roman written sources, according to the description of the lifestyles, it can be understood there were two ethnoses, and that their relationship had the ruling – slavish character (Free Sarmatians and Slave Sarmatians – Limigantes). Parallel observation of the written sources and archaeological facts clearly connects Limigantes with the mentioned settlements.
Material culture of the settlements shows sedentary population, with agriculture and cattle-breeding as the basis of their economy. Pottery, especially kneaded and on the slow wheel, leads us to the search for origin and connections of the bearers of the culture to the contemporary cultures of Central and Eastern Europe.
Simple connection of the Sarmatians in written sources and superficially analyzed archaeological findings lead to the wrong interpretation of the culture in question as entirely Sarmatian, and it misrepresented Sarmatians in Pannonian Barbaricum as inhabitants of the settlements practicing agriculture.
A small secret of the sea-silk from Szemlőhegy (HU)
Sea silk is the product of the fibre beard of the Mediterranean fan shell, Pinna nobilis. Although this fine, golden shimmering fibre has been processed since the Antiquity (textual evidence), the 4th century AD textile find from Aquincum-Szemlőhegy was the only material evidence of its production and usage before the 14th century. Although the find itself was destroyed during the World War II, it had been thoroughly investigated and published by the botanist Hollendonner bofore that. This report is widely referred to by the researchers of archaeological textiles, but a very important detail about its textile structure has been overlooked so far. Based on the testimony of this written evidence, the aim of this poster is to discuss what kind of textile technique could have been used for the production of this exquisite piece of Roman textile.
The extra muros residence in Novae (Sector VIIIA)
Pavlina Vladkova, Julia Valeva
Novae was founded as a legionary camp on the Limes Moesiae. It expanded into civilian settlement around its canabae. The most prosperous time for Novae was the peirod of the Severan dynasty. Our study will address the painted decoration of the rich house extra muros, which was presumably the residence for high officials staging temporary in the camp. The residence has several building phases. The largest part of wall paintings come from rooms B and D. Recompositions of the preserved fragments yield the possibility of reconstructing the decorative system of the painted walls which consisted of fields devided by vertical bands. So far only vegetal motifs have been recognized on the fragments. There are also embroidery borders, reminiscent of the Fourth style. Precious evidence about the building and repair phases give the fragments with multiple painting layers. The house was destroyed during the Huns’ incursions in the beginning of fifth century.