Scientific report for the period 2013-2014
Concerning the implementation of the project “Digitizing the Roman limes. Sector: Brâncovenești-Sărățeni”
The most important scientific activity of the team in 2013 (September-December) was the elaboration of an on-line database structure in order to classify the information related to archaeological sites and material. By creating and testing the database, there has been developed the project’s most important tool.
The main task of the project team in 2014 was to upload data into the online database, as part of a general effort aimed at the systematization of the available information concerning the sites of the auxiliary forts from Brâncoveneşti and Sărăţeni, as well as the minor fortifications from Eremitu (Dealul Tompa, Cetatea Săcădat), Chiheru de Jos (Dealul Pogor), Ibăneşti (Cetăţuia mică) and Vătava (Cetăţele). In conformity with the contextual data available for the material, the finds relevant from a chronological and functional point of view were individually uploaded into the database. The forms, the records and the interface of the database is in English and is accessible via an account and password on the project web page (http://www.rlrc.ro/database/). Following the conclusion of the project the database will be accessible to the public. The abovementioned internet page (http://www.rlrc.ro/) comprises the description of the project, the team members, the up-to-date results and the news related to the activities undertaken. The language of the web page is English.
Due to a comprehensive documentation effort a consistent bibliographical fund was created which comprises publications related to the sites of this limes sector, and the archaeological material. In 2013 this fund contained approximately two hundred titles, this time it has above three hundred titles.
In the frame of a wide series of museum-pedagogical activity (Ars unguentaria, Roman delicacies, 2R Festival (Roman + Renaissance), Open doors day at Gurghiu castle, Identity and culture exhibition, Ancient Rome workshop) we managed to promote the work and the results of the project for a large public. In the same time we had the opportunity to approach topics related to everyday life in the Roman period (diet, cosmetics, textile production, stone-working, pottery production, metal-working, gaming, fashion, military equipment, etc.) through the methods of experimental archaeology. This approach was extremely helpful in the interpretation of functionality, the manner of use, and the production techniques of various Roman artefact categories.
In 2013 the team members had in total 10 presentations on national and international conferences and an article has been accepted in a non-indexed (non-BDI) journal.
The scientific results achieved by the members of the team were disseminated in the course of 15 international conferences, 3 national and regional conferences held in Romania and abroad, comprising of 30 oral presentations and 2 poster presentations. It is important to emphasize that a number of 10 conference attendances were included in the accomplishment plan of the project for 2014.
In terms of publications the output of the project staff comprises 6 studies issued in journals indexed in international databases, 10 book chapters and contributions to collective volumes issued at prestigious publishing houses as well as 4 articles published in unindexed journals or forthcoming collective volumes, and a review in an internationally indexed journal. It is important to emphasize that a number of 5 publications were included in the accomplishment plan of the project for 2014.
At the workshop organized at Târgu Mureș by the project on the 15th of November, 18 presentations in English, covering various aspects of the eastern limes of Dacia, were given in total. The wide range of discussed subjects were related to topics such as digitizing archaeological data, history of research, the general and particular chronology of the researched area, the material culture and the Roman architectural structures, results of the non-invasive investigations as well as the valorification of the region’s touristic potential and cultural heritage. Following the presentations a highly fruitful round-table meeting was held in which new research strategies, approaches, and objectives were proposed for the future period for the same region.
The reassessment of our information concerning the old excavations at Brâncovenești and Sărățeni was based on two fundamental aspects. The first step of this process took into consideration the old excavations undertaken in the two abovementioned sites. Based on the published data and the documentation kept in the archives, the team managed to identify those component elements of the researched structures which where documented by excavators. This phase was crucial in the revaluation of the stratigraphy and the correlation of the hitherto unpublished material with the reconstructed contextual data. It must be mentioned that this effort resulted in a highly unequal outcome which was determined by the fact that the field research undertaken at Brâncovenești covered much larger areas, compared to the situation at Sărățeni.
The field research in 2014 was carried out in two large campaigns (a spring campaign and a summer campaign), and consisted of field-walking, topographical survey and a metal detector survey. The archaeological data was completed by the results of the geophysical measurements (geomagnetic and electric resistivity) as well as by aerial archaeology surveys. The main goal of the intensive surveys undertaken at Călugăreni, Sărăţeni şi Brâncoveneşti was to determine the extent and the structure of the civil settlements (vicus) pertaining to the forts and to georeference the plans based on the old excavations, which turned out to be unreliable in their original form. The finds were collected systematically according to individual 25 x 25 m grids. The collected material comprises Roman, prehistoric, medieval and modern artefacts.
Concerning the finds processing, emphasis was placed on the contextual information linked to the material rather than on the finds themselves. In accordance with this strategy, a digital distribution map was created based on the field-walking results, which was superimposed on the plan of the geophysical measurements. The distribution pattern of the finds partially confirmed the anomalies displayed on the geophysical plan, but also helped identify new clusters of archaeological material which require future geophysical surveys. Based on the field-walking the concentration of different categories of finds (tiles, daub, bricks, pipes, hypocaust elements) was mapped which might help in assessing the character of different areas within the inhabited perimeter but also the manner of use of various artefacts, allowing this way a general evaluation of the everyday life and the economy of the settlements.
The processing of the finds recovered during the old excavations were completed according to a complex approach, the first step of which was to sort the finds conforming to material and the archaeological contexts. The finds were registered individually, the special artefacts were restored and the most relevant and remarkable objects were recorded with 3D photography.
The processing of the pottery finds from Brâncoveneşti and Sărăţeni comprised the functional, typological, technological and contextual analysis of the finds. The main goal was to obtain an optimum amount of scientific data from the respective pottery assemblages. The material was recovered during the old excavations prior to 1989 and have not been analysed so far, the assemblages from Brâncoveneşti consisting of over 2000 ceramic fragments. During the first stage of the process the information linked to each fragment was individually registered in a database. The fragments which were considered representative from a typological and technological standpoint were digitalized in order to create a reference group for the pottery finds from the respective sites. A reference group for the local pottery production was also created by classifying the fabric types encountered using macroscopic and microscopic methods. Subsequently, through the integrated analysis of these assemblages important information was recovered concerning the composition of the ceramic assemblages, the local production but also the way of use of certain vessels. A considerable part of the ceramic material cannot be linked to any structure within the fort. A consistent pottery assemblage from the vicus comes from a pottery workshop. Within this assemblage two specific types of fabrics could be identified which can be linked directly to the ceramic production of this workshop.
Among the material recovered from the fort from Brâncoveneşti a group of fragments characteristic to the category of imported and local terra sigillata (also termed as ‘terra sigillata imitations’) consisting of fine tableware and other artefacts (lamps), could be identified. In the case of this category the proper assessment of the production place is unfeasible using macroscopic methods, consequently the employment of archaeometric methods was decided. A number of 20 representative samples selected from the assemblages recovered from the fort from Brâncoveneşti were sent to the ceramic archaeometry laboratory of the „Excellence Cluster Topoi” from Berlin. The samples were analysed using the pXRF method, and the results were compared with reference groups for terra sigillata fabrics from across the Roman Empire. As a result of this analysis it was possible to pinpoint the production place of these artefacts, revealing important information concerning the commercial relations of the region in Roman times, as well as the supply of the fort and aspects of local pottery production.
The majority of Roman sculptural monuments and inscriptions from Brâncoveneşti were discovered in the defensive ditch of the fort. Their investigation according to the standard modern methods in the field was deterred by the extremely fragmentary state of the material, due to the fact that they were intentionally broken and reused as building material during the Roman age. An integrated analysis based on functional, epigraphic and iconographic aspects was attempted. The first stage consisted in the reassessment or reinterpretation of the functionality of fragments belonging to funerary stelae, funerary altars and elements of funerary constructions. In certain cases more individual fragments could be linked with the same monument. The integrated analysis of the sculptural material conveyed important information concerning the choices of funerary representation and commemoration determined by the cultural and ethnic identity of the community members.
The CBM assemblages from Brâncoveneşti and Sărăţeni consists of a low number of fragments. During the old excavations the excavators collected only the fragments which were considered representative or relevant. The material consists of roof elements, drainage system, hypocaust heating system as well as construction elements. The analysis of the material was based on typological, functional, technological, aspects, with a focus on the fabrics. Based on this material hypothetic reconstructions of roof systems were completed, according to the dimensions and morphological characteristics of the finds. The pipes, the chimney pots, the spacers and bricks can only be found in low numbers. The fabrics analysis was accomplished using macroscopic and microscopic methods, and resulted in the definition of 10 fabric types.
The classification of most of the metal artefacts was hindered due to the poor state of preservation. Because the classification was based on the aspect of functionality, it resulted in 4 large groups: ornamental and garment elements, military equipment and weapons, tools and domestic instruments, structural elements (nails, hooks). Slag with high metal concentration was identified occasionally. Samples were selected for archaeometric analysis.
PUBLICATIONS IN 2014
ARTICLES, STUDIES PUBLISHED IN BDI INDEXED JOURNALS
- Constanze Höpken: Ein Bankett für Sabazios in Straubing, In: Banquets of gods, banquets of men. Conviviality in the Ancient World. 16th International Conference of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, November 23rd – 24th 2012, Cluj-Napoca, Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai. Seria Historia, 59/1, 2014, 204-214.
- Silvia Mustaţă, Szilamér Péter Pánczél, Dávid Petruţ, Katalin Sidó: Drinking and gaming in the Roman fort of Porolissum. Preliminary data offered by the excavation at building C3, In: Banquets of gods, banquets of men. Conviviality in the Ancient World. 16th International Conference of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, November 23rd – 24th 2012, Cluj-Napoca, Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai. Seria Historia, 59/1, 2014, 215-238
- Silvia Mustaţă, Iosif Vasile Ferencz, Cristian Dima: A Roman thin-cast bronze saucepan from the Dacian fortress at Ardeu (Hunedoara County, Romania) In: Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology 1/2, 2014, 40-49.
- Dávid Petruţ: A Central Gaulish terra sigillata bowl with multiple production marks from a fort barrack in Roman Dacia, In: Instrumentum. Bulletin du Groupe de travail européen sur l’artisanat et les productions manufacturées dans l’Antiquité, 2014, 39, 16-19.
- Dávid Petruţ, Monica Gui, Horea Trîncă: Lighting Roman military barracks. An interdisciplinary approach based on evidence from Dacia, In: Archaeologia Bulgarica, XVIII/ 3, 2014, 65-92.
- Dana Dan, Petruţ David-Timotei: A military graffito on a pottery plate from the auxiliary fort at Buciumi (Roman Dacia), In: Tyche. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte, Papyrologie und Epigraphik,2015 (forthcoming).
BOOK/VOLUME CHAPTERS, CONTRIBUTIONS
- Constanze Höpken: Konservierung von Lebensmitteln in der Antike: naturwissenschaftliche Grundlagen und historisch-archäologische Quellen. In: J. Drauschke/R. Prien/A. Reis (Hrsg.), Küche und Keller in Antike und Frühmittelalter. Tagungsbeiträge der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Spätantike und Frühmittelalter 7. Produktion, Vorratshaltung und Konsum in Antike und Frühmittelalter. Gemeinsame Tagung mit der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Römische Archäologie (Friedrichshafen, 30. Mai – 1. Juni 2012). Studien zu Spätantike und Frühmittelalter 6 (Hamburg 2014) 91–116.
- Constanze Höpken: Diatretglas-Fragmente vom Dülük Baba Tepesi. Funde der Jahre 2006 und 2011. In: E. Winter (Hrsg.), Kult und Herrschaft am Euphrat. Dolichener und Kommagenische Forschungen VI. Asia Minor Studien 73, Bonn, 2014, 107-126.
- Constanze Höpken, Manuel Fiedler: Nimbus? Ein Kultgefäß aus Köln und weitere sogenannte Weinheber, Siebheber oder Vakuumschöpfer. In: B. Liesen (Hrsg.), Römische Keramik in Niedergermanien. Xantener Berichte 27, Mainz, 2014, 366–375.
- Constanze Höpken, B. Liesen, R. Niemeijer: Bibliografie zu römischen Töpfereien in Niedergermanien. In: B. Liesen (Hrsg.), Römische Keramik in Niedergermanien. Xantener Berichte 27, Mainz, 2014, 403–421.
- Constanze Höpken: Olivenöl aus Spanien, Wein aus Gallien, Bier und Milchprodukte aus der Region – Amphorenfunde aus dem Bonner vicus. In: H. Kennecke (Hrsg.), Der Rhein als europäische Verkehrsachse. Die Römerzeit. Bonner Beiträge zur Vor- und Frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie 16, Bonn, 2014, 175–190.
- Constanze Höpken, M. Hermanns: Die Schiffbarkeit des Kölner Hafens: Wrackteile römischer Flachbodenschiffe in der Rinne zwischen Stadt und Rheininsel. In: H. Kennecke (Hrsg.), Der Rhein als europäische Verkehrsachse. Die Römerzeit. Bonner Beiträge zur Vor- und Frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie 16, Bonn, 2014, 145–174.
- Szilamér Péter Pánczél: A római Dácia keleti limes-ének kutatása Maros megyében / Searching for the eastern limes of Roman Dacia in Mureş County. In: Gaul C., Sági G., Vasáros Zs. (eds.) Identitás és kultúra / Identity and culture. Budapest, 2014. 18-21.
- Constanze Höpken, Manuel Fiedler, Gregor Döhner: Erasmus IP – a római limes az európai kultúrtájban / Erasmus IP – the roman limes as european cultural landscape. In: Gaul C., Sági G., Vasáros Zs. (eds.) Identitás és kultúra / Identity and culture. Budapest, 2014. 16-17.
- Lóránt Vass: Contribution To The Knowledge Of Bone And Antler Bow Lath Production From Roman Dacia; In: Sorin Cociș (ed): Archäologische Beiträge: Gedenkschrift zun hundertsten Geburtstag von Kurt Horedt. Cluj-Napoca: Editura Mega, 2014. 99-121.
- Zsolt Molnár, Katalin Sidó: Petrographic and statistic research of the Middle Bronze Age ceramic in northwestern Romania. Methodological issues, new perspectives. In: Proceedings of the 14th SGEM International Multidisciplinary Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts, Albena, Bulgaria, 2014, 399‒411 (ISI indexed).
ARTICLES, STUDIES PUBLISHED IN NON-INDEXED JOURNALS
- Szilamér-Péter Pánczél, Manuel Fiedler, Constanze Höpken, Gregor Döhner, Máté Szabó, László Lenkey, Nicoleta Man: Forschungen am Dakischen Ostlimes zwischen Brâncoveneşti und Sărăţeni. In: Der Limes 8, 2014, 23–27.
- Silvia Mustață: Pouring the water, offering the wine. Instrumenta sacra depicted on votive altars from Roman Dacia. In: I. V: Ferencz, N. C: Rișcuța, O. Tutuilă (eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Representations, Signs and Symbols. Religion and Magic, Deva March 27-29, 2014, Cluj-Napoca 2014 (forthcoming).
- Silvia Mustață : R. Mateescu, Istoriile unui templu, Biblioteca Musei Napocensis XXXVIII, Cluj-Napoca: Mega, 2012, 207 p. (40 figures and 55 plates), In: Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai. Seria Historia, 59/1, 2014, 426-429.
- Dávid Petruț: Aspects of Military Cult Practice in Roman Dacia. The Case of a possible miniature votive offering from the fort at Buciumi in Dacia Porolissensis, In: I. V: Ferencz, N. C: Rișcuța, O. Tutuilă (eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Representations, Signs and Symbols. Religion and Magic, Deva March 27-29, 2014, Cluj-Napoca 2014 (forthcoming).
- Alpár Dobos: Erdély a gepidák korában. Eredmények és perspektívák / Transylvania in the Gepidic Period. Results and perspectives, In: Magyar Régészet / Hungarian Archaeology, Online magazin, 2014 nyár/summer, 1-9.
PRESENTATIONS DELIVERED ON INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL AND REGIONAL CONFERENCES IN 2014
- Constanze Höpken: Was war verpackt? Inhalte von Amphoren
- Constanze Höpken, Szilamér Péter Pánczél: Digitizing the Roman Limes. Sector Brâncovenești-Sărățeni Project
- István Bajusz, Mátyás Bajusz: Research history of the Eastern Limes of Dacia superior
- Silvia Mustață, Alpár Dobos: Old excavations in the fort of Brâncovenești
- Nicoleta Man, Daniel Cioată: The military vicus from Brâncovenești
- Lóránt Vass: Roman brooches from the Eastern Limes. Sector Brâncovenești-Sărățeni
- Katalin Sidó, Dávid Petruț: The Roman pottery assemblages from Brâncovenești. Preliminary results
- Koppány Ötvös, Katalin Sidó: Ceramic building material from Brâncovenești and Sărățeni
- Dávid Petruț: Roman sculptural monuments from Brâncovenești. A reconsideration.
- Koppány Ötvös, Daniel Cioată: Roman military equipment from the Brâncovenești-Sărățeni sector
- Constanze Höpken: Die Gläser der Sammlung Niessen auf der Saalburg
- Dávid Petruț: Pottery and Military Life. A Preliminary Assessment of the Ceramic Assemblages from the Barracks of the Auxiliary Fort from Buciumi (Dacia Porolissensis)
- Szilamér Péter Pánczél, Máté Szabó, Márton Futó: First World War Battles on the Roman Limes from Eastern Transylvania (Poster)
- Zsolt Molnár, Katalin Sidó: Petrographic and statistic research of the Middle Bronze Age ceramic in northwestern Romania. Methodological issues, new perspectives
- Szilamér Péter Pánczél: A marosvécsi segédcsapattábor a régészeti adatok tükrében
- Koppány Ötvös, Katalin Sidó: Segédcsapatok Dácia keleti limesén
- Lóránt Vass, Szilamér Péter Pánczél: A tér és csontfegyver tartozékok összjátéka. Példák egy dáciai segédcsapattáborból
- Koppány Ötvös, Daniel Cioată: Római katonai felszerelés a Maros Megyei Múzeum gyűjteményéből
- Silvia Mustață: Pouring the water, offering the Wine. Instrumenta sacra depicted on votive altars from Roman Dacia
- Dávid Petruț: Aspects of Military Cult Practice in Roman Dacia. The Case of the Auxiliary Fort Barracks
- Koppány Ötvös: Communication Networks? The Eastern Limes of Dacia (Poster)
- Alpár Dobos: Kontinuitás és diszkontinuitás a 6-7. századi Erdélyben a régészeti leletanyag alapján
- Katalin Sidó: Egy graffitós tál tipológiai és epigráfiai elemzése
- Silvia Mustață, Szilamér Péter Pánczél, Dávid Petruț, Katalin Sidó: Mi történt az emeleten? Adalékok egy segédcsapattábor térhasználatához
- Koppány Ötvös, Szilamér Péter Pánczél: Sóvárad a római korban
- Katalin Sidó: Amit megtehetsz ma, ne halaszd a télre! A római kori kerámiaanyag feldolgozásának lépései és folyamata
- Constanze Höpken, Szilamér Péter Pánczél: Forschungen und Lehrgrabung am Dakischen Ostlimes (Rumänien)
- Constanze Höpken: Der Rhein als europäische Verkehrsachse. Erste Ergebnisse zum Fern- und Regionalhandel in römischer Zeit
- Nicoleta Man, Daniel Cioată, Szilamér Péter Pánczél: Principia și băile castrului roman de la Călugăreni, jud. Mureș
- Silvia Mustață: Utilizarea vaselor de bronz în mediul militar. Cazul Daciei Porolissensis
- Dávid Petruț: Aspecte de viaţă cotidiană în lumina analizei ansamblurilor ceramice din barăcile castrelor. Studiu de caz – castrul auxiliar de la Buciumi (jud. Sălaj)
- Lóránt Vass: Mikháza római öröksége