Archaeology of Identity: Roman Palatial Villa Excavation - Identity and Wealth on the Roman Frontier (Transylvania, Romania)
- This project is examining the following period[s] : Imperial Roman (Provincial)
Our excavation will explore the central building of a rural villa of "palatial" size, unique in the Dacian Provinces (Transylvania), covering ca. 1.2ha of built space. Our test excavations have unearthed a rich environment, with 2 story buildings, painted walls, potential colonnades, several buildings outside the villa complex itself and a plethora of artifacts. The mechanisms of Roman occupation of Dacia are very complex and not well understood. The Dacian aristocracy and upper classes were in continuous contact with the Roman world well prior to the final fall of the Dacian Kingdoms. These interactions took many forms, ranging from raids and limited warfare, to intensive and extensive trade, to use of Roman techniques, technologies and craftsmen. With the defeat and "suicide" of the last Dacian King, Decebalus, in 106, the structures of the local social system collapsed in parts or in whole. The new Roman presence generated a dynamic and continuous process of creolization in the new province, redefining the concepts and practices of identity, wealth and class representation along Roman traditions, in theory. However, the realities in the field are quite more subtle. First of all, the local population was still present, controlling if not the resources proper, the various technical aspects of harvesting them. Second, the new Roman population was a very diverse aggregate of ethnic groups from across the Empire, the heavy Syrian presence in Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana and the many auxiliary garrisons along the various Transylvanian limes illustrating emphatically this aspect. Third, the Dacian Province presented de facto a frontier environment, constantly under pressure from foreign incursions from Germanic tribes from the north and west and the free Dacians and the Sarmatians/Scythian riders from the east.
This particular excavation will attempt to address these aspects of identity perception, presentation and representation. Combined with a series of lectures covering Daco-Roman history and archaeology, material culture analysis, geophysical and geochemical survey techniques, and associated hands-on laboratory and field training, this extraordinary environment and its associated monuments, with spectacular surrounding natural landscapes and beautiful Transylvanian churches and castles, guarantees all students and volunteers with an outstanding archaeological and cultural experience.
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- Director/ Project Organiser: Prof. Andre Gonciar (Archaeological Techniques and Research Center); Dr. Gica Baestean (Dacian and Roman Civilization Museum, Deva, Romania)
- Organisation or Institution: Archaelogical Techniques and Research Center (ArchaeoTek-Canada); Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilisation (Romania)
- Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 11 - August 12, 2017 (3 week sessions)
We house everyone in double or triple occupancy rooms in the village houses. Every house is equipped with bathrooms. You will be guests of Romanian families and will have a chance to discover the true sense of old fashion Transylvanian hospitality. Breakfast and dinner is included during the work week and we will eat as a team in one of the local restaurants. Students are responsible for their own lunches in the field. Beware that Romanian cuisine is generally meat oriented (although we do our best to satisfy vegetarians as well).
US $1295 any 3 week session (June 11 - July 1; July 2 - July 20; July 23 - August 12)
NOTE: participants registered to any two of our Roman Provincial field sessions can participate free of cost to our intensive Applied Field Geophysics Workshop.