The idea to start non-destructive investigations in the surroundings of Novae (Roman province Lower Moesia, now Bulgaria) came about when we had realised how quickly the remains placed outside the legionary fortress irretrievably disappear. The place is continuously looted and damaged by modern human activity. Within the last 15 years the site has changed dramatically.

In autumn 2011 we made the first tests. The task was not easy: the site is situated in the suburbs of the modern town of Svishtov. Apart from the private lots surrounding the site, the landscape and nature is not very friendly to the archaeologists. The fortress is situated on a wide plateau, but the surroundings are not only fields, but also hills and forested places, deep valleys, and a high Danubian scarp heading from the north. The canabae is situated on the western side of the camp. The private lots are very dense there. Only some areas like the eastern and south-eastern side of the fortress, remained available to our prospection. Some places, such as the villa, the Mithraeum or the vicus placed ca. 2.7 km to the east from the fortress were known before. When the project started our knowledge about the civil settlement accompanying the legionary fortress was quite poor. We have decided to find, document, and save as much as possible, though the aim seemed to be a heroic task.

Our project was supported by the Polish National Science Centre, project no. 2011/01/D/HS3/02187


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Department of Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw

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Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw

  1. I’m sure that you can do a very good job, the history need to save the canabe.

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