Survey of the Roman Empire’s limes in Romania reveals new finds

Archaeologists are researching the so far unexplored border, or limes, of the Roman Empire in north-western Romania. Among the finds of the recent season is an unknown border sentry post near the legion fort of Resculum, near Bologa.

Roman fort Resculum (by Felix Marcu)
Roman fort Resculum (by Felix Marcu)

Polish archaeologists of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, together with Romanian experts of the National Museum of Transylvanian History in Cluj-Napoca, are studying the area of the Resculum fort for three years. They managed to reconstruct the fort’s layout and are now searching for the civilian settlement (canabae) and road infrastructure.

Excavations at the site (by Jacek Rakoczy)
Excavations at the site (by Jacek Rakoczy)

The newly discovered fortification, located nearly 4 kilometres of Roman legion fort of Resculum, was incorporated into the limes walls and situated on the shortest tract linking the Roman province of Dacia Porolissensis to the east with the city of Aquincum, modern Budapest, to the west. It sentry post was once a stone structure measuring 50 by 50 metres, but it preserved in poor condition due to activity of nearby quarry.

North gate of the fort during digital scan (by Jacek Rakoczy)
North gate of the fort during digital scan (by Jacek Rakoczy)

The Resculum fort was established in the beginning of the 2nd century AD and was used until half of the 3rd century. Archaeological research at the site revealed a room heated with a hypocaust installation. Most of the floors of the unearthed rooms are covered with well preserved rubble of the interior walls which allow to reconstruct the inner layout of the buildings. Conservation specialists present at the site studied the plaster of the walls and made chemical analysis that enabled to reconstruct its composition. It was revealed that local sand, mixed with water and lime was used in creation of the plaster.

Conservation of Roman plaster (by Jacek Rakoczy)
Conservation of Roman plaster (by Jacek Rakoczy)

Are of the northern gate was also studied, revealing a symmetrical stone structure with towers on both sides of the entrance. The towers had a semicircular shape from the outer site of the fort. The gate seems to have been re-built few times and even walled up at one point. The structure is believed to have been over 9 metres and three stories high. The unearthed structures and the area of the fort were documented with use of digital scanning.

(by Nauka w Polsce, Felix Marcu & Jacek Rakoczy)

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