• Name: Paul McLerran
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Conbustica: Excavating a Roman Military Fort

By the first century A.D., the Romans had expanded their imperial reach into the eastern Balkans of present-day Europe. Among the many forts and towns they established in the region was the impressive fort of Conbustica, located in the northwest region of modern-day Bulgaria. The fort, situated on a plateau overlooking two major river valleys, was strategically positioned on the main road through the Roman province of Moesia. Conbustica is recorded on the Peutingerian Table, a schematic first-century A.D. map of the Roman world.

The Excavations

Over the years, excavations at the hilltop fort have revealed a classic model of Roman defensive architecture. The walls of the rhomboid-shaped fort were massive, with stone foundations measuring over six feet high and five feet wide. The wall's earthen superstructure is preserved to a height of four feet in some places. Inside the fort, archaeologists have found a range of artifacts that reveal the daily life of the soldiers who dwelt inside, including bronze artifacts, imported pottery and two unique bronze fibulae (ancient brooches used to fasten clothing). This season, excavation director Krassimira Luka, in conjunction with the Bulgarian Archaeological Association, will continue to excavate the camp's fortifications, but will also explore the site's pottery kilns and workshops.

The Field School

Volunteers and students are invited to join the team by participating this summer in the 2009 Field School. The training will afford students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in systematic survey and stratigraphic excavation techniques, including mapping of excavated features. The training will also inlcude plan and section drawing, archaeological drafting, laboratory processing and documentation of excavated material. In addition to the skills training, participants will attend formal and informal lectures throughout the dig period on a variety of topics related to the archaeological experience.

Team members will stay two-to-a room in a hotel in the nearby town of Belogradchik. Hotel amenities include private bathrooms, hot water, TV and internet access.

Does this sound interesting to you? Find out more about the project, program costs, and application procedures by going to the website at www.cambustica.archbg.net.


At 4:38 AM, Blogger Eric Jackson said...

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