The Porolissum Forum Project:The Porolissum Forum Project:
archaeology on the fringes of thearchaeology on the fringes of ...
Rome and Dacia
Rome dominated by Trajanic monuments
commemorating victory over Dacians; despite this,
Dacia is still one o...
Dacia
Danube River and Carpathian
Mountains
- protection
- fertile valleys
- very rich in minerals (Ar,
Au, Cu, Fe, Pb, sa...
Later Iron Age: By 6th/5th century,
Geto-Dacians achieved a form of culture
akin to some contemporary Italian
cultures, es...
Burebista – first to unify Dacians – reportedly
200,000 soldiers in mid 1st century BC.
Contended with Romans, Mithradates...
King Decebalus (ca. AD 86-106)
similar aims as Burebista, but reportedly with far
fewer troops – perhaps 40,000. Limited t...
Trajan’s Dacian Wars (AD 101-102, 105-106)
Military strategy: ca. 100,000 soldiers, fortify position, establish chain of
s...
Building and maintaining Roman Dacia
Fortresses and Cities: Colonia Ulpia Traiana
Sarmizegethusa, Apulum, Tibiscum, Poroli...
Historical summary of Dacia
Relatively peaceful existence interrupted by
Marcomannic-Sarmatian Wars (AD 167-180)
Conflict ...
Overview of Porolissum,
including recent work of
Porolissum Forum Project
Porolissum: historical facts/framework
• AD 106 founded as primary military base
along northern frontier (Roman military
d...
Porolissum main military center in
hierarchy of fortresses and
watchtowers.
Tihau, Romita, Romanasi, Bucium
Line of vision...
General plan
Pomet Hill
Castrum – wooden phase; inscription
mentions repairs in Severan period, but
likely constructed in stone prior to
building ...
Castrum - Not a legionary fortress
(apprx. half the size), but some legionary
troops stationed here at times; primarily
Au...
Sanctuary Terrace
Customs house – based upon location
at beginning of road which meets
defensive wall and a pair of inscri...
Sanctuary Terrace
Temple to Liber Pater (mid 2nd c.)
 then Bel (late 2nd c.) 
then Christian church
(Constantinian or Mi...
Sanctuary Terrace
Commercial facilities – large public
space that does not conform to
religious, military or political
bui...
Temple of Jupiter Dolichenus
(syncretism of Jupiter and Syrian god)
Houses, presumably of officers and
veterans – about a dozen excavated.
Amphitheater – built in stone AD 157
Shrine to Nemesis
Still used…
Aqueduct
Fed a series of public fountains
and cisterns.
Spring at 530 m.; max elevation
of Pomet Hill 502 m.
One or two ci...
Vicus developed on east slope of Pomet Hill, facing Agrij Valley
Municipium Septimius Porolissensis – Colonia or municipia...
Magnetometry by J.K. Haalebos and
A.V. Matei, 1996-98
• Conducted in an area of the city to the
southeast of the Castrum –...
Porolissum Forum Project
(De Sena and Matei 2004, 2006-2010)
Objectives:
• Urban Topography: study the development and fun...
Urbanistic questions
 how/when was area first used?
 when was “mature” forum established?
 ad hoc development?
 coordi...
Excavation strategy – combination of long exploratory
trenches and smaller control trenches to verify features
suggested b...
Trenches and features through 2009
Preliminary results
• in 6 summer field seasons, we have ascertained the basic parameters of the forum’s
courtyard and hav...
Phase 1: wooden fortress
• Evidence of extensive wooden
structures surrounded by
agger/vallum defence
• Abandoned during A...
Phase 2: major campaign in stone. Early forum or other function? At
least two major public buildings; time of Antoninus Pi...
Phase 2: Antonine stone phase
Such walls revealed extensively on west and north sides of courtyard
Functions not determine...
Phase 2: Antonine stone phase
Appears to have been systematically dismantled and building material recycled.
No paving til...
Phase 3: the mature Forum
There are still far more questions than
answers…
The courtyards measures ca. 40 x 26 m.
with col...
Porolissum: the mature Forum
• The northernmost structure possibly a
basilica (law court); ca. 26 x 17 m.
• The innermost ...
Porolissum: the mature Forum
The east side of the forum hosts a public
building with an extensive hypocaust (heating)
syst...
Porolissum: the mature Forum
• West side investigated in 2009 and 2010.
Severan phase involved major reconstruction
– wall...
Post-Roman Porolissum
Aurelian withdrew Roman administration AD
271, but dramatic decline in numismatic record of
the site...
Phases 4 and 5: post-Roman
evidence from Forum excavations
Crude walls within Forum structures and
dark, packed earth, pre...
Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations
Trench 24 – narrowing of Roman threshold and late hearth
Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations
Area 22 revealed three post-Roman hearths
Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations
Evidence of post-Roman usage, but no clear chronology. Two broad post-Roman pha...
Widespread post-Roman destruction – single
phase or gradual deterioration?
Most structures encountered to date with
revers...
Daily life in Porolissum
Archaeological materials as indicators of lifeways –
range of food, craft, building supplies
• lo...
• To date, about 1.5 tons of pottery, glass, metals,
animal bone, worked bone have been recovered and
about half has been ...
Total
no (47) Total wt ()
EVC
min (2)
EVC
max (5)
EVE
(1.26)
Amphora, Spanish 93.7 97.5 100 40.0 100
Amphora, Spello-Forli...
Porolissum, PFP 2006. Percentage of pottery types from Trench 7,
ca. AD 200. Essentially all regional production.
Total no...
The Porolissum Forum Project (2011-2014)
Enter phase two of the Project in 2011 – continued excavation
and analysis of art...
Thanks for friendship and support: Drs. Dan and Sanda Bacueţ-Crişan (Salaj County
Museum of History and Art, Zalau), Drs. ...
Porolissum Excavations - Romania
Porolissum Excavations - Romania
of 52

Porolissum Excavations - Romania

This is an overview of the excavations I direct at the site of Porolissum, Romania.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Porolissum Excavations - Romania

  • 1. The Porolissum Forum Project:The Porolissum Forum Project: archaeology on the fringes of thearchaeology on the fringes of the Roman EmpireRoman Empire Eric C. De SenaEric C. De Sena
  • 2. Rome and Dacia Rome dominated by Trajanic monuments commemorating victory over Dacians; despite this, Dacia is still one of least understood provinces Overview of Dacia and Porolissum, as well as new information from the Porolissum Forum Project
  • 3. Dacia Danube River and Carpathian Mountains - protection - fertile valleys - very rich in minerals (Ar, Au, Cu, Fe, Pb, salt)
  • 4. Later Iron Age: By 6th/5th century, Geto-Dacians achieved a form of culture akin to some contemporary Italian cultures, especially Samnites – agriculture, livestock, crafts, little interest in high level of art or architecture. Some influence from Greek colonies on Black Sea. Fended off Alexander the Great (who was more interested in East, anyway…). Greater sophistication by 2nd century BC – greater number of hill forts. Correlation with Rome’s victory in Greece, 146 BC? Blidaru citidel
  • 5. Burebista – first to unify Dacians – reportedly 200,000 soldiers in mid 1st century BC. Contended with Romans, Mithradates and northern tribes. Federation / proto-state? Amicus et socius of Rome under Pompey during war vs. Caesar. Julius Caesar planned a campaign for summer 44 BC and would have taken Octavian......Caesar and Burebista assassinated in same year. Names of successive kings, but deeds unknown: Koson, Cotiso, Comosicus, Scorylo, Duras
  • 6. King Decebalus (ca. AD 86-106) similar aims as Burebista, but reportedly with far fewer troops – perhaps 40,000. Limited to lower Dacia with center at Sarmizegethusa. - Occasional raids into Roman territory south of Danube; routed Domitian’s troops led by Cornelius Fuscus “This man was shrewd in his understanding of warfare and shrewd also in the waging of war; he judged well when to attack and chose the right moment to retreat; he was an expert in ambushing and a master in pitched battles; and he knew not only how to follow up victory but how to manage defeat. Hence he showed himself a worthy antagonist of the Romans for a long time.” (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 67)
  • 7. Trajan’s Dacian Wars (AD 101-102, 105-106) Military strategy: ca. 100,000 soldiers, fortify position, establish chain of supplies, warfare and diplomacy, construct new strongholds Post-war strategy: subdue/seduce local population, colonize, build
  • 8. Building and maintaining Roman Dacia Fortresses and Cities: Colonia Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegethusa, Apulum, Tibiscum, Porolissum, Potaissa - land repartitioned amongst colonists and cooperative natives Infrastructure: roads, bridges, acqueducts, forts Technology: agriculture, construction, factory-like manufacture Culture: language, art (Roman style with provincial flair), customs (e.g., togas and baths)
  • 9. Historical summary of Dacia Relatively peaceful existence interrupted by Marcomannic-Sarmatian Wars (AD 167-180) Conflict followed by stability – reflected in new building activities and general prosperity into Severan period Negative effects of Gothic Wars and 3rd century crisis? Coins cease at many centers in 260’s. Withdrawal of Roman administration AD 271 under Aurelian Immediate post-Roman period not well-known; clear links to Roman Empire; social continuity through 4th century – “Daco-Roman” Did Constantine re-claim Dacia??? Migration Period (5th-10th centuries)
  • 10. Overview of Porolissum, including recent work of Porolissum Forum Project
  • 11. Porolissum: historical facts/framework • AD 106 founded as primary military base along northern frontier (Roman military diploma August 106). • AD 124 Hadrian repartitioned Dacia with Porolissum as northern capital • AD 157 amphitheater built in stone (inscription). • AD 193-211 renamed municipium septimium porolissensis. • AD 271 Roman withdrawal • immediate post-Roman phase (ca. AD 271- 375 – Daco-Romans?) • Migration period, 5th-10th c. • Rediscovered in mid 19th century with some archaeological work through 1950’s. • More significant work since 1977.
  • 12. Porolissum main military center in hierarchy of fortresses and watchtowers. Tihau, Romita, Romanasi, Bucium Line of vision across 20 miles of the limes and 16 miles toward Simleu Silvaniei (largest north Dacian settlement).
  • 13. General plan Pomet Hill
  • 14. Castrum – wooden phase; inscription mentions repairs in Severan period, but likely constructed in stone prior to building of amphitheater in AD 157
  • 15. Castrum - Not a legionary fortress (apprx. half the size), but some legionary troops stationed here at times; primarily Auxiliary troops: Thrace, Hispania, Gaul, and Syria. Estimated 5000 soldiers – including those posted along limes.
  • 16. Sanctuary Terrace Customs house – based upon location at beginning of road which meets defensive wall and a pair of inscriptions mentioning publici portorii.
  • 17. Sanctuary Terrace Temple to Liber Pater (mid 2nd c.)  then Bel (late 2nd c.)  then Christian church (Constantinian or Migration period?)
  • 18. Sanctuary Terrace Commercial facilities – large public space that does not conform to religious, military or political building types. Presumed for Roman-native transactions.
  • 19. Temple of Jupiter Dolichenus (syncretism of Jupiter and Syrian god)
  • 20. Houses, presumably of officers and veterans – about a dozen excavated.
  • 21. Amphitheater – built in stone AD 157 Shrine to Nemesis
  • 22. Still used…
  • 23. Aqueduct Fed a series of public fountains and cisterns. Spring at 530 m.; max elevation of Pomet Hill 502 m. One or two cisterns in castrum; one known near forum. At least two bath complexes – one on west side of castrum and one (at least) on forum.
  • 24. Vicus developed on east slope of Pomet Hill, facing Agrij Valley Municipium Septimius Porolissensis – Colonia or municipia prior to this time? Investigated by Alexandru Matei since 1990’s  current collaboration.
  • 25. Magnetometry by J.K. Haalebos and A.V. Matei, 1996-98 • Conducted in an area of the city to the southeast of the Castrum – broad, relatively even tract of terrain • Defined a large central area with structures on all four sides – consistent with a forum • Presumably variety of civilian features in immediate environs – houses, workshops, shrines • Matei excavated several trenches 2001- 2003 before proposing collaboration.
  • 26. Porolissum Forum Project (De Sena and Matei 2004, 2006-2010) Objectives: • Urban Topography: study the development and function of spaces in Forum • Elucidate aspects of daily life in Porolissum during Roman and post-Roman times – farming, community relations, trade • Relationship with Barbaricum • Study Porolissum in context of environment and other nearby cities. • Cultural/educational exchange between East and West – we host about 15 students each summer and work with an equal number of Romanians; field trips.
  • 27. Urbanistic questions  how/when was area first used?  when was “mature” forum established?  ad hoc development?  coordinated construction?  function of spaces?  changes over time?  post-Roman usage? Colonia Ulpia Traiana
  • 28. Excavation strategy – combination of long exploratory trenches and smaller control trenches to verify features suggested by geophysics • both kinds of trenches excavated stratigraphically • near complete recovery of archaeological materials – sorting and quantification of materials • documentation: plans and sections, photography, Total Station
  • 29. Trenches and features through 2009
  • 30. Preliminary results • in 6 summer field seasons, we have ascertained the basic parameters of the forum’s courtyard and have identified at least five broad phases of construction and usage: • early Roman wooden fortress, ca. AD 106-140s/50s • early forum phase, ca. AD 140’s-150’s (Antonine) • mature forum phase, ca. AD 193-217 (Severan) • Late Roman and immediate post-Roman usage – dwellings, fortification, ca. AD 260-375 • Migration period activity (5th-10th c.)
  • 31. Phase 1: wooden fortress • Evidence of extensive wooden structures surrounded by agger/vallum defence • Abandoned during Antonine period
  • 32. Phase 2: major campaign in stone. Early forum or other function? At least two major public buildings; time of Antoninus Pius, mid 2nd century AD, based upon pottery and coins.
  • 33. Phase 2: Antonine stone phase Such walls revealed extensively on west and north sides of courtyard Functions not determined – but substantial architecture – walls 90 cm wide. Temple? Basilica? Bath?
  • 34. Phase 2: Antonine stone phase Appears to have been systematically dismantled and building material recycled. No paving tiles below mortar and rubble; large stones removed from rubble; thick layer of clay placed over rubble to level surface and some new areas paved with tile.
  • 35. Phase 3: the mature Forum There are still far more questions than answers… The courtyards measures ca. 40 x 26 m. with colonnades verified on north, south and west sides. Large public buildings north, east and west. Functions of most structures remain undetermined. This phase dates to the Severan period, AD 193-217 based upon an analysis of artifacts, corresponds to renaming of city municipium Septimium Porolissensis. Basilica ? Bath complex Porticus and shops
  • 36. Porolissum: the mature Forum • The northernmost structure possibly a basilica (law court); ca. 26 x 17 m. • The innermost element is the edge of a porticus with a drain and column bases; to the north is a solid wall; • Trenches 2, 5 and 10 indicate that it extends along the entire northern side of the forum; • Constructed at the same time as colonnades on south and west sides.
  • 37. Porolissum: the mature Forum The east side of the forum hosts a public building with an extensive hypocaust (heating) system consistent with a bath complex. Discovery of a large cistern 50 m. to the south. Trench 1 revealed a solid stone wall facing onto the courtyard; inside the wall, to the east, an incompletely excavated area of 7 x 2 m. hosted the hypocaust system. Trench 3, 10 m. to the east, revealed more hypocaust pillars as well as evidence for the praefurnium; in the same trench was an apsidal wall (incompletely excavated in 2004). Trench 27 (2009) revealed the apsidal wall - small heated basin (caldarium). Trenches 25 and 26 helped identify the dimensions, ca. 100 x 60 Roman feet.
  • 38. Porolissum: the mature Forum • West side investigated in 2009 and 2010. Severan phase involved major reconstruction – walls often erected on top of the dismantled Antoninie walls, but not always. • Function of Severan structures unclear – series of apsidal walls and extensive cocciopesto floor. A(nother) bath. Market / macellum?
  • 39. Post-Roman Porolissum Aurelian withdrew Roman administration AD 271, but dramatic decline in numismatic record of the site beginning 10 years earlier. - no signs of immediate withdrawal or destruction - small number of 4th century Roman coins at Porolissum (i.e. some communication/trade); Roman style pottery also through 4th c. AD - “Roman” structures used for secondary purposes (e.g. paleo-Christian church over Temple of Liber Pater); domestic/industrial activity in Forum - Gepids and other cultures would occupy site until ca. AD 1000.
  • 40. Phases 4 and 5: post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations Crude walls within Forum structures and dark, packed earth, presumably dwellings or work spaces; also hearths and post holes within the Roman spaces. Extensive spoliation – no/few furnishings discovered (columns, floors, wall revetment, etc.).
  • 41. Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations Trench 24 – narrowing of Roman threshold and late hearth
  • 42. Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations Area 22 revealed three post-Roman hearths
  • 43. Post-Roman evidence from Forum excavations Evidence of post-Roman usage, but no clear chronology. Two broad post-Roman phases, immediate post-Roman (AD 271-375) and Migration period (5th-10th c. AD).
  • 44. Widespread post-Roman destruction – single phase or gradual deterioration? Most structures encountered to date with reverse sequence: rubble layer immediately above “tile layer”; frequent amounts of charcoal within tile layer; both layers with mix of post-Roman and Roman material Probably gradual deterioration. Very little pavement preserved (only the mortar base); few column drums, many column bases, one capital; several post-Roman features within the “Roman” structures; also many roof tiles taken prior to collapse of walls. Useful materials stripped away  fire/collapse  some “quarrying” of building material.
  • 45. Daily life in Porolissum Archaeological materials as indicators of lifeways – range of food, craft, building supplies • local production vs. importation • catchment area of imports • changes in supply patterns over time
  • 46. • To date, about 1.5 tons of pottery, glass, metals, animal bone, worked bone have been recovered and about half has been studied. • Pottery: regional economy within Roman “global” system – less than 5% from other Roman provinces (Italy, Gaul, Spain, Greece, North Africa). • continuity of Roman styles in immediate post- Roman period • Domesticated animals: pigs, cattle, sheep/goats, horses, dogs, deer – no meaningful diachronic patterns. • Much iron, some slag - smithing • Worked bone implements, but few indications of production – a single sawn deer antler (also used in tanneries) • Domestic glass and window glass, but no indication of production
  • 47. Total no (47) Total wt () EVC min (2) EVC max (5) EVE (1.26) Amphora, Spanish 93.7 97.5 100 40.0 100 Amphora, Spello-Forli 2.1 1.2 – 20.0 – Amphora, local 4.2 1.3 – 40.0 – Total no (496) Total wt () EVC min (113) EVC max (126) EVE (11.45) Cookware, local 99.8 99.6 99.1 99.2 99.1 Cookware, IRSC 0.2 0.4 0.9 0.8 0.9 Total no (1521) Total wt () EVC min (144) EVC max (239) EVE (15.31) Porolissum Tableware 73.0 72.6 60.4 58.1 67.6 Gray ware 19.3 20.5 20.1 25.5 17.2 Dacian hand-built 0.8 2.4 1.4 1.3 0.9 Overpainted 0.1 0.1 – – – Black Slipped 4.3 2.4 9.0 6.7 8.3 Sig. Porolissensis 2.0 1.5 6.9 6.7 3.6 Sig. Gallic 0.3 0.2 0.7 0.4 0.5 Sig. Italian 0.2 0.1 0.7 0.8 0.5 Early glazed ware 0.1 0.1 – – – Unclassified 0.2 0.2 0.7 0.4 1.4 Porolissum , percentages of pottery from mid second century deposits in Trench 14 (PFP 2008).
  • 48. Porolissum, PFP 2006. Percentage of pottery types from Trench 7, ca. AD 200. Essentially all regional production. Total no. (413) Total wt. (11242 g.) EVC min (75) EVC max (121) Amphora - regional 0.2 0.7 -- 0.8 Coarse 1 11.1 17.0 17.3 14.9 Coarse 1 slipped 0.2 0.6 1.3 0.8 Coarse 2 40.7 35.2 33.3 31.4 Coarse 2 slipped 0.2 1.3 1.3 0.8 Cookware 17.2 20.2 18.7 22.3 Fineware 1 22.0 17.9 20.0 20.7 Fineware 2 2.7 3.3 -- -- Gray coarse 1 0.2 0.1 -- -- Gray coarse 2 3.4 3.5 2.7 2.5 Gray fineware 1.0 0.3 1.3 2.5 Sigillata – other 0.1 0.1 1.3 0.8 Sigillata Porolissensis 0.8 0.5 2.7 2.4
  • 49. The Porolissum Forum Project (2011-2014) Enter phase two of the Project in 2011 – continued excavation and analysis of artifacts BUT… Publications – articles on urban and social aspects of the city and prepartion of monograph. Architectural preservation – currently features reburied for conservation; if we find funding, we will begin proper preservation of architecture – consolidation of walls and permanent rooving system. Would add about 10% to visitable area of the archaeological site – Porolissum most important tourist attraction in this part of Romania.
  • 50. Thanks for friendship and support: Drs. Dan and Sanda Bacueţ-Crişan (Salaj County Museum of History and Art, Zalau), Drs. Ioan and Corina Bejinariu (SCMHA), Peter Cooper and Corina Stirb (Wriers, Zalau), Zsolt Csok (SCMHA), Patrick and Sandra De Sena (Somers, N.Y.) Prof. Patricia Fleming (Saint Mary’s College), Dr. Joseph Hagen (John Cabot University), Prof. Susan Kane (Oberlin College), Prof. Michael MacKinnon (University of Winnipeg), Elisabeta Marianciuc (SCMHA), Prof. Archer Martin (American Academy in Rome), Neville McFerrin (University of Michigan), Prof. Mary Merva (JCU), Dott. Maurizio Miranda (Indo-Italian Institute for Trade and Technology), Prof. Carol Ann Mooney (SMC), Prof. Franco Pavoncello (JCU), Dr. Horea Pop (SCMHA), Prof. Portia Prebys (SMC and JCU), Daniel Sana (Salaj County Commission for Cultural and Natural Patrimony), Christian Spinu (SCMHA), Edit Ujfalvi (Salaj County Dept. of Land and Housing Registry), Dr. Robert Wanner (University of Leicester) and Daniel Weiss (University of Virginia), the Romanian Ministry of Culture, John Cabot University, Saint Mary’s College, and especially...the 2004, 2006-2010 Field School Students! www.porolissum.org

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