Fieldwork

Roman Villa and Settlement Excavation (Transylvania, Romania) – Identity Creation on the Frontier of Roman Imperial Dacia

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Uroi-Rapolt, HD, RO

Season: June 6, 2021 to July 31, 2021

Session Dates: Session 1: June 6 - July 3, 2021 (4 weeks); Session 2: July 4 - July 31, 2021 (4 weeks)

Application Deadline: March 1, 2021

Deadline Type: Rolling

Website: https://www.archaeotek-archaeology.org/roman-villa-excavation

Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:
No

Affiliation:
Archaeological Techniques and Research Center (Canada) and Dacian and Roman Civilization Museum (Deva, Romania)

Project Director:
Dr. Andre Gonciar (Archaeological Techniques and Research Center); Drd. William Henry (Archaeological Techniques and Research Center); Dr. Gica Baestean, Dr. Marius Barbu (Dacian and Roman Civilization Museum, Deva, Romania); Dr. Angela Balos (Romanian Ministry of Culture - Hunedoara County)

Project Description:

     The mechanisms of Roman occupation of Dacia, the last Roman expansion in Europe, are very complex and not well understood. With the defeat and “suicide” of the last Dacian King, Decebalus, in 106, the structures of the local social system collapsed in parts or in whole. The new Roman presence generated a dynamic and continuous process of creolization in the new province, redefining the concepts and practices of identity, wealth and class representation along Roman traditions, in theory…

     However, the realities in the field are quite more subtle. First of all, the local population was still present, controlling if not the resources proper, the various technical aspects of harvesting them. Second, the new Roman population was a very diverse aggregate of ethnic groups from across the Empire. Third, the Dacian Province presented de facto a frontier environment, constantly under pressure from foreign incursions from Germanic tribes from the north and west and the free Dacians and the Sarmatians/Scythian riders from the east.

     This liminal environment generated very dynamic vectors of creolization and associated practices of identity construction. The Roman “civilizing” social constructs, based on an urbanized way of life implementing processes of alienation through technical and technological dependencies, was constantly threatened by external and internal pressures. The very rapid process of urbanization of the Dacian Provinces forced a lot of dynamic negotiation and practical creolization in the definition, construction and display of social identity and status.

     This particular excavation will attempt to address these aspects of identity perception, presentation and representation. Our site is situated half way between Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana and Apulum, the two most important cities of the Dacian Provinces, very close to the largest gold deposits in Europe in the Apuseni Mountains, and on the main Imperial road in Dacia. Our ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey from 2015 and 2016 has revealed a rural villa of “palatial” size, unique in the Dacian Provinces, covering ca. 1.2ha of built space. Our test excavations have unearthed a rich environment, with 2 story buildings, painted walls, potential colonnades, several buildings outside the villa complex itself and a plethora of artifacts.

     Combined with a series of lectures covering Daco-Roman history and archaeology, material culture analysis, geophysical survey techniques, and associated hands-on laboratory and field training, this extraordinary environment and its associated monuments, with extraordinary surrounding natural landscapes and beautiful Transylvanian churches and castles, guarantees all students and volunteers with an incredible archaeological and cultural experience.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman (Imperial, Provincial), Daco-Roman, Late Iron Age - Dacian

Notes:
Excavation of a rural villa of “palatial” size, unique in the Dacian Provinces (Transylvania), covering ca. 1.2ha of built space. Our test excavations have unearthed a rich environment, with 2 story buildings, painted walls, colonnades, several buildings outside the villa complex itself and a plethora of intriguing artifacts.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: Training in excavation, survey and processing provided on site. Lectures will be offered throughout the program.

Room and Board Arrangements:
We house everyone in double or triple occupancy rooms in the village houses. Every house is equipped with bathrooms. You will be guests of Romanian families and will have a chance to discover the true sense of old fashion Transylvanian hospitality. You will experience some of the nicest aspects of Eastern European country life, indulging in your guest families home made cookies and a variety of  home made traditional  beverages. Generally speaking, you will have all the advantages of a country life with the comfort of an urban environment. Breakfast and dinner is included during the work week and we will eat as a team in one of the local restaurants. Students are responsible for their own lunches in the field. Beware that Romanian cuisine is meat oriented (although we do our best to satisfy vegetarians as well). Cost: $1,795 per each 4 weeks session.

Contact Information:


Dr. Andre Gonciar

Archaeological Techiques and Research Center (ArchaeoTek Canada)

Canada

archaeology@archaeotek.org

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