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Roman Capital of the Dacian Provinces
First Roman city North of the Danube
July 6 - August 9, 2014
In the plains at the foot of the majestic Retezat Mountains in Southern Transylvania, rose the first Roman metropolis north on the Danube: Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa. Located less than 50km from the former capital of the mighty Dacians finally defeated in 106 by Trajan’s legions, built on a strategic point where a battle between the Roman legions and the Dacian troops took place, Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana was the largest city and the capital of the Dacian Provinces. With an area of over 30ha, it was a very imposing cosmopolitan center, featuring four Palmyrene temples (among many others), a large forum with associated buildings, an amphitheater, gladiator schools, imposing fortifications and several necropoles.
This extraordinary city produced a plethora of beautiful monuments, quarried for 15 centuries both for artistic value and high quality limestone and marble. Medieval churches, such as the early medieval church of Densus, and castles display fragments from Roman Sarmizegetusa bas-reliefs and statues. The forum itself has been quarried for lime for at least one century, when the local stopped building with brick and started using cement.
The systematic excavation of the site has started in 1924 under the direction of Prof. C. Daicoviciu and continued until 1936. In 1973, the excavations have resumed under the expert leadership of Profs. H. Daicoviciu, D. Alicu and I. Piso. At the present time, less than 15% of the site has been exposed, revealing a cosmopolitan and rich metropolis. Our excavation will continue the exploration of the Forum and associated temples as well as identifying domestic living structures outside the public plazzas. We will also survey the city necropolises and possibly start work on a funeral household enclosure.
Medieval church at Densus
Students and volunteers will be housed in a beautifully renovated rural pension with semi-private bathrooms. Full room and board is included Monday to Friday for the duration of the excavation (5 weeks mandatory).
Cost: US$1585 for the 5 week period. Field experience prefered but not required.