Preliminary results

Our three-year project started in March 2012 and ended in March 2014 (with financial support of the Polish National Science Centre, DEC-2011/01/D/HS3/02187). Within these years a team grew from 7 to 12 investigators working in a field, including 2 specialists in laboratories. The main part of surveys were made in the extramural area, but also along the line of the late Roman defensive walls of the eastern annex, since their accurate position has never been verified with modern surveying devices.

The places chosen for the multi-method prospection were located in in the so-called eastern annex of Novae, the presumed vicus at Ostrite Mogili, two small lots on the western side of the fortress, a lot to the east from the eastern annex, one of two sites to the south-east from the vicus, and a supposed villa at the place called Kalna Cheshma. The chosen research areas were divided into survey grids of 30 × 30 m polygons, which covered a total of 12.67 ha. The same grids have been employed for field surveys using metal detectors. Handheld GPS devices were used for mapping find spots of each metal find, including modern metal waste. Additionally, the relief map has been made for the south-eastern corner of the site with a high scarp. In places where the results of magnetic prospection was promising, earth resistance surveys were applied as a complementary method. Field walking provided additional information about chronology and character of the place based on the pottery and glass fragments.

Surveyed areaFig. 1. The surroundings of Novae. A–F — places where geophysical prospection was carried out in 2012–2014 (A. Tomas, P. Wroniecki)

Several high resolution aerial photographs were taken over the legionary fortress and its neighbourhood, and over the vicus. The photographs were taken using a remote-controlled camera platform attached to various flying deviced, depending on weather and topographic conditions. The images have been orthorectified and georeferenced with the satellite image and ground control points, measured with total station.

SAM_4955 At present, the broader area of the military hinterland is being analysed with regard to the landscape, topographical features, settlement pattern and availability for land use.  The analyses of micro- and macro-faunal remains have given an interesting view on the environment in the past, but also the use of imported wood and cultivation of cereals from the earliest stages of Roman presence. These data, being still in process, bring especially interesting results about the  settlement development and strategic valours of the fortress’ surroundings.

 

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