Session Chair: Phil Nemanja Mrđić
Affiliation: Institute of Archaeology
|09.20||Nemanja Mrđić||Legionary fortress at Viminacium and the Principia of the VII Claudia Legion|
|09.40||Piotr Zakrzewski||What did and what did not change in the fortification system of Novae (Lower Moesia) – the legionary base of legio VIII Augusta and I Italica?|
|10.00||Ivan Bogdanović||Is Anybody out there? Viminacium Legionary Fortress in Late Antiquity|
Legionary fortress at Viminacium and the Principia of the VII Claudia Legion
Nemanja Mrđić, Milica Marjanović, Snežana Golubović, Institute of Archaeology
Viminacium and its legionary fortress were the most important military stronghold in the Upper Moesia. Systematic geophysical surveys have been conducted since 2001 covering almost entire area of the castrum. Preliminary excavations were done in 1882 and 1902, and work on legionary fortress in Viminacium continued about 100 years after that – in the 2003 parts of Porta Praetoria were excavated. First systematic research begun in 2016, when segments of the ramparts closing the area between West and North gates have been researched, along with the gates and towers. Most recent research were focused on principia and excavation begun in 2020, in southeast corner of the building, moving northwards towards opposite corner. Proton magnetometer provided us with outer walls of the building and some details within. Ground penetrating radar was used in the northeast section giving detailed information on state of preservation and further distribution of rooms. Excavations resulted in documenting parts of the forum, tribunal, portico, and multiple rooms along the south and east sides. Sections of heating and water supply systems were also excavated. Multiple building phases are identified and correspond to the chronology of the castrum previously established. One coin hoard discovered in room 3 dates potential disaster into the years after 330 AD, but no final destruction phase of the building and castrum is yet defined. Latest results as well as quantity of finds suggest that Viminacium fortress was rather abandoned than destroyed.
What did and what did not change in the fortification system of Novae (Lower Moesia) – the legionary base of legio VIII Augusta and I Italica?
Piotr Zakrzewski, Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw
The legionary fortress of Novae was set up over the southern shore of the Lower Danube in the province of Moesia by the Eight Augustan legion. Established probably around the reign of emperor Claudius, it was the easternmost legionary base in the European part of the Roman limes at the time. The first fortification system defenses were composed of loess rampart with a palisade placed on top together with wooden square towers and a system of V-shaped ditches. Available information indicate that they remained in use without significant alterations until the departure of the Augustan legion in AD 69. After the arrival of legio I Italica, probably in AD 72, in the beginning of the 2nd century AD the entire military base underwent many alterations. Most notably, the main camp buildings and the defensive structures were rebuilt in stone. Although the changes greatly affected the architectural design and defensive properties of the new fortification system, the layout and localization of its main elements were apparently very similar to their earth and wooden predecessors. Thanks to the extensive archaeological works conducted at the site between 1960-1990 by the Bulgarian-Polish Archaeological Expedition and a decade-long post excavation project Per lineam munitionum, devised and led by the late Tadeusz Sarnowski, it was possible to recreate the history of both fortification systems, including their building sequence, later alterations, repair and maintenance works made until they fell into disuse at the beginning of the 7th century AD.
Is Anybody out there? Viminacium Legionary Fortress in Late Antiquity
Ivan Bogdanović, Ljubomir Jevtović, Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade
Viminacium was an important military base, located at the confluence of the Mlava and the Danube rivers, within the province of Moesia Superior and Moesia Prima in the later period. During most of its history, it was the home of the Legio VII Claudia. According to recent archaeological excavations in the North-western part of the fortress and broader area of the principia, it was possible to define two main phases of the construction, as well as layers and features that date back to the late Roman period. This paper deals with the appearance of the legionary fortress in Late Antiquity. Based on destructed walls and ramparts, the filled V-shaped ditch, graves and buildings from the late Roman period, it is possible to suggest that the fortress was abandoned during the 4th century AD. In this paper, we will discuss the reasons for its abandonment, while we will also tackle the question of the plausible location of the legion in Late Antiquity.