Sections of Roman Road found in ancient Dalmatia
Roman veterans and other settlers built their homes and villas two thousand years ago, guided by convenience - according to a study of Polish archaeologists in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is why these structures were built on the edges of river valleys close to the road network.
|Roman road in central Dalmatia [Credit: Maja Zlokic]|
Archaeological heritage of the area is poorly researched and documented by local services. This is in part due to the armed conflict of the 1990s. As a result, the system of protection of archaeological and historical heritage stopped working for many years. Local services received help from Polish archaeologists, who last year began a large-scale, non-invasive archaeological project planned for several years. Its purpose is to verify data on the location of archaeological sites and enter them into a new database.
|The team during surface survey in unfavourable conditions due to intensive agricultural activity|
in the fertile valley [Credit: Anna Mech]
People had been leaving a strong mark on the area since the first half of the 1st century AD. That was when veterans came there - legionaries, given land by successive emperors. Due to that, this area was rich and quickly succumbed to Romanization. Tomasz Dziurdzik explained in an interview with PAP that this was the time when numerous investments were made - roads, settlements and villas. That is why Polish research focuses on the settlement of the Roman period and Late Antiquity (since the turn of the era to the 7th century). Mapping some of the relics from the antiquity from the municipality Ljubuški in western Bosnia and Herzegovina allowed to draw the first conclusions about the past of the region.
|Today's remnants of once great Roman road - ploughed strip of stones from the bed under|
the road surface [Credit: Anna Mech]
The researchers also found that during the Late Antiquity (4th-7th century AD), among the local community there was an increased sense of danger - probably related to the period of migration of nations, when many tribes from Eastern Europe were moving to the west. Therefore, at that time settlements were founded in hard to reach and naturally defensive places.
|Geophysical surveys allow to explore the underground relics of the past, without |
the need for excavation [Credit: Anna Mech]
"We were able to confirm the existence of a Roman fort, accompanying civilian settlement and cemetery from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD" - said Dziurdzik. The image generated with the geophysical method shows the fort wall and isolated shapes of buildings.
So far, archaeologists documented and verified a total of 34 previously known sites in the project. The surface research covered over 80 hectares. During these surveys, researchers found a few sites not reported by local services.
Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [November 19, 2016]