The legionary fortress (castra) at Novae is accompanied by a civil settlement in a form of a town (canabae). At a certain distance from the camp, another settlement had grown (vicus), which must have been economically and socially connected to Novae. In the late Roman period the fortress and the civil settlements merged and transformed into the military-civilian town surrounded by the new, eastern line of walls with the suburbs. In such a form Novae existed until the beginning of the 7th c.
Regular excavations in Novae started in 1960, within the Polish-Bulgarian scientific network of the University of Warsaw and the Bulgarian Academy of Science. Soon the third party became the University of A. Mickiewicz in Poznań. During these years the excavations were conducted mainly in the centre of the late Roman town (Bishopric residence, forum) and along the late Roman fortifications. The only ‘extramural’ building which was regularly excavated was a large villa situated ca. 80 m to the west from the western walls of the fortress (Čičikova, 1997; Владкова, 2006). In the following years the archaeologists excavated the late Roman urban villa, military hospital, principia, officer’s houses, and legionary baths (Flavian and 2nd-century). Up to now, the number of publications exceeded one thousand (Kolendo, 2008).
The broad area beyond the fortress’ walls of Novae was not subject of regular, extensive research. Rescue excavations were made in some places in the adjacent area: the Mithraeum, western and southern cemetery, and a shrine of Dionysus/Liber Pater (Tomas 2006; Tomas 2012, 158–160; Sarnowski et al., 2012; Tomas 2015; Tomas, Lemke 2015). Field walking prospections were carried out in the vicus and in the surroundings of the fortress (Sarnowski 1979; Доневски 1991; Conrad/Stančev 2002; Tomas 2006). The aqueducts of Novae were subject to an extensive study (Biernacka-Lubańska 1979), but still many questions remain unsolved (Tomas 2011; Tomas 2012).