Sponsored by: AIA Southwest Texas Society
The third century CE is arguably the most poorly understood period of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, it is a critical time in World History, as it ushered in the transition of the Classical World to Late Antiquity and saw the end of the Roman system as defined by Augustus. One of the most consequential changes of the period was the loss of substantial frontier territories that lay beyond the traditional riverine boundaries of the Empire; the Agri Decumates in southwest Germany and the province of Dacia in Romania. This paper examines the relationship between the historical sources and the archaeological narrative for the end of Roman authority in these regions and offers new interpretations of the processes that led to their collapse based on forensic analysis of the archaeological evidence.
Evan Scherer is a post-doctoral researcher at Newcastle University, where he is currently bringing legacy data from archaeological excavations of Roman sites in Romania to publication, including a cult site associated with Liber Pater at Apulum (Alba Iulia) in western Transylvania, and the late Roman fortified site of Salsovia (Mahmudia) in the Danube Delta. He has worked at Roman sites on Hadrian’s Wall and in London in the UK, in Romania, and in Rome.