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I N S T I T U T E O F A RC H A E O L O G Y A N D H I S TO RY O F A RT C L U J N A P O C A

AD FINEM
I M P E R I I RO M A N I
STUDIES IN HONOUR OF
CORIOLAN H. OPREANU

Editors:
Sorin Coci
Vlad-Andrei Lzrescu
Monica Gui
Dan-Augustin Deac

MEGA Publishing House | Cluj-Napoca | 2015


Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia

Michael Dawson

Abstract: This short review describes the context of a small excavation in the peri-urban zone of Sarmizegetusa. It
briefly reviews interpretations and changing attitudes to activities outside the formal urban boundaries of Roman
cities and notes the emergence of provincial patterns. Recent approaches to Dacian urbanism are reviewed including
interpretations of peri-urban activity. The prevalence of historical and juridical models is noted. A brief survey is made
of peri-urban evidence in Dacia and Roman urbanism in provinces from which, epigraphy suggests, early immigrants
may have originated. The experience of these communities and the role of the indigenous Dacia population are used to
suggest a model and some tentative conclusions as well as future research.
Keywords: peri-urban activity, migrant communities, Dacia, urban development

Introduction
The origins of this paper lie in 1978 with the excavation of a drainage ditch to the east of the modern
village of Sarmizegetusa, site of the Roman Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa. The ditch
revealed and partially destroyed the remains of a Roman period building, but it was not until 1980 that
children, playing in the area, found two complete Roman period oil lamps and drew the site to the atten
tion of archaeologist working in the village. The ditch had created a section through a stone building which
had exposed a series of floors and walls. Exploratory investigation by Dr Ion Piso in June 1982 also revealed
the remains of a pottery kiln. At almost the same time colleagues from the University of Cluj, Babe-Bolyai
had visited the UK, including University College, Cardiff, where I was post graduate student and had left
behind an invitation to visit the excavations. With a small travel grant from the Cyril Fox Memorial Award
it was the start of a lifetimes interest in Roman Dacia and the beginning of a long friendship with Professor
Oprean.
In 1982 the necessary formalities for an official invitation had been completed on behalf of the Museum
of the History of Transylvania by Prof Hadrian Daicoviciu and I travelled to Sarmizegetusa. The excavation
of EM23, as the site became known, was undertaken between 1982 and 1989, and summarised in short
papers published in the 1990s and 20041. The excavation of the pottery kiln and the remains of a stone and
half-timbered building was an opportunity for exchange and debate at a time of severe political repression in
Romania. That the arrangement was able to continue was almost entirely due to the influence and hard work
of Prof. Hadrian Daicoviciu and his Romanian colleagues, including Prof. Oprean. It was also supported by
the British Council, in particular from 1988, with the help of the cultural attach Alec Patterson. The work
at the site itself was carried out predominantly by Romanian students and local people using British systems
of contextual recording, planning and artefact recovery. The investigation was completed by Prof. Oprean and
Prof. Diaconescu in 1989. The episodic nature of the investigation, which took place in summer seasons, the
distance of the protagonists and developing careers, together with the overthrow of the communist regime in
1989, have meant that the excavation archive is presently divided. In the UK the earlier paper records remain
with the author, and in Romania the artefacts and records of the later excavations are registered with the local
museum in Sarmizegetusa. Despite the small scale of the investigation the results have made an important
contribution to the history of the colonia.
In the 1980s Sarmizegetusa had a small, but well equipped, museum and the core of the Roman city was
protected as an archaeological reserve with a variety of signage and the consolidated remains of the amphi
theatre, temples, schola gladiatorum and the sanctuary of Aesculapius and Hygea the latter outside the
1
Dawson 1993; Diaconescu 2004.
76 Michael Dawson

city walls. Within the urban area was the reconstituted area described as the Palace of the Augustales and the
on-going excavations at Building 002.
This short review paper takes a brief look at the context of the excavation in the 1980s and evolving inter
pretations of extra mural development, now often referred to as peri-urban, to suggest a research framework
and to draw some conclusions from the investigation at EM23 and peri-urban development more generally.

Roman Sarmizegetusa in the 1980s


At the time of excavation EM 23 was one of several buildings and locations under excavation in the imme
diate hinterland of the Roman city of Sarmizegetusa. The majority of investigations, including those beyond
the walls, were part of a planned campaign of research excavation; others like EM23 were the result of chance
discovery. In 1984 shortly after the start of excavations at EM23 an extended guidebook was written by two
of the principal excavators at the city, Prof Hadrian Daicoviciu and Dr Dorin Alicu, and published by the
Ministry of Sport and Tourism. The guide Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta dacica Sarmizegetusa2 was more than
a tourist handbook and provided a contemporary interpretation which illustrated something of the underlying
epistemology of Roman period archaeological research.
Daicoviciu and Alicus essay is strongly predicated on an historical model derived from literary sources,
such as Cassius Dio and Eutropius, and from epigraphy. They were able to identify the territorium of the Roman
city, which from its location in the Retezat Mountains extended as far as Tibiscum, modern Caransebe, in
the south and Micia, modern Veel, in the west. It was an area, Ciobanu later estimated, that occupied some
25% of the provincial area3. In the mid1980s there was a lively debate as to whether the colonia originated
as a fortress of the legio III Flavia Felix, but Daicoviciu and Alicu identified a traditional colony founded
deducta for veterans of the legion, by Dec. Terentius Scaurianus in either AD 106/07 or 108. They charac
terised the hinterland of the colonia as a landscape subdivided by centuriation. Only in AD 118 was the name
Sarmizegetusa included in the title of this colonial settlement, which they argued, was a symbol of defeat.
The sense that Sarmizegetusa was a substantial Roman city was supported by a population estimate of some
25,00030,000, was based on the capacity of the amphitheatre. It was an indication, not only of the physical size
of the settlement, but of its stature and economic development in the Roman province. Nevertheless by the reign
of Severus Alexander the city had gained the epithet metropolis and had expanded beyond the walls to include
an extra mural area. Here production sites for lamps, glass and brick, together with villas, temples and public
buildings, such as the amphitheatre and a scholae gladiatorum, were further evidence of economic prosperity.
Daicoviciu and Alicu saw the economic rise of Sarmizegetusa occurring in two phases from its foundation until
the Marcomannic Wars of AD 1667 and into the mid2nd century. During the first period the donation by a
decurion of 80,000 sesterces to become ob honorem flamanii4 was interpreted as sign of the economic success of
the colonia. Later economic prosperity, after a period of reconstruction, was associated with the title metropolis.
It is perhaps hard to accept some of Daicoviciu and Alicus interpretations today. The population figure
for the colonia seems exceptionally high as the present village of Sarmizegetusa, which occupies an approxi
mately equivalent area, houses a community of only some 1388 according to the 2002 census. The economic
prosperity of the city too was unquantified and archaeological evidence is largely silent. Although there is
epigraphic evidence of trade, there was no indication of trading or settlement patterns. Despite arguing that
the city, no doubt, produced silverware, sheepskin, tailoring, shoes, for a local market contemporary debates
which focused on the dichotomy between economic intensification and economic prosperity, later summarised
in Green 19865, were not acknowledged. The underlying economic model of their analysis, though, is implicit.
The wealth generated by the Decurion Q Autrelius Tertius6, the honorary title of metropolis7 and the emphasis
on the monumental buildings of the city suggests a city which redistributed wealth created in the countryside,
typically characterised as the consumer city. It was a city whose character depended upon decisions by those
who controlled social and economic surpluses, to spend on the built environment.
The second significant aspect of Daicovicu and Alicus interpretation is that Sarmizegetusa was at the
cultural heart of the province. Administratively it had functioned as the principal city of the province until AD

2
DAICOVICIU/ALICU 1984.
3
CIOBANU 1998.
4
IDR III/2, 72.
5
GREEN 1986.
6
IDR III/2, 72.
7
IDR III/2, 89, 113.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 77

118 when the province was re-organised. It may have remained the official residence of the governor of Dacia
Superior, although after AD 118 it was the commander of the legio XIII Gemina who performed this role.
From AD 118 Sarmizegetusa was the residence of the procurator and its inhabitants enjoyed the legal rights of
Ius Italicum, but it was the palace of the Augustales which seemed to convey, explicitly, the cultural centrality
and religious role of the city. In 1984 the palace signified the importance of Sarmizegetusa in the spiritual life
of the province8. Citing the discoveries of temples, the forum, amphitheatre, numerous buildings, an aque
duct as well as mosaic floors and statuary, Daicoviciu and Alicu, further speculated that there may have been a
literary school centered on Sarmizegetusa implied from inscriptions to children at Micia and Germisara. The
underlying epistemology of the essay is most explicit in the concluding paragraph in which Sarmizegetusa
is portrayed as an important bastion of Romanitas, its population, following Eutropius, derived ex toto orbe
Romano9, capable of rapid Romanization with the autochthonous population engaged in the special condi
tions of the province. Religious life was cosmopolitan with the well attested imperial cult and divinities from
the Greco-Roman pantheon to Celtic, oriental and Egyptian deities, and there were dedications to abstrac
tions such as the Genus Dacicae Felicis. These were factors which gave Dacia and Sarmizegetusa the character
of a western imperial province10.
It is difficult not to see Daicoviciu and Alicu describing an almost ideal society, under a distant and
benevolent dictatorship, in which there is no hint of dissonance or resistance, at a time when the contempo
rary regime in Romania was increasingly repressive. The limitations of the evidence available to Daicoviciu and
Alicu though were apparent throughout the guidebooks essay and the history of Sarmizegetusa is character
ised by a series of imperial events, administrative changes and career advancement. Where economic activity
was described it was not supported by artefact assemblages or distribution patterns, and interpretation of
economic prosperity reflected the prevalence of epigraphy and the excavation of large public buildings, rather
than evidence of expanding productivity.
The investigation of EM 23 consequently raised many issues from site specific concerns of dating, char
acter, identity and temporal phasing to wider contextual problems. What were the characteristics of its connec
tions to the city behind the walls? Was this an example of a dirty industry obliged to work outside the ancient
enceinte? Was its relationship that of a pottery supplier to the city or was there a more complex relationship
to wider trade patterns? Some issues, it was recognised could not be resolved. The surrounding farmland and
absence of ditched boundaries and the inaccessibility of aerial photographs as a source of landscape evidence
precluded any estimation of the full extent or density of structures in the area. The site focussed objectives of
the small scale excavation reflected the contemporary pre-eminence of the culture history model then preva
lent. Today the investigation of a site beyond the walled perimeter of a Roman city raises issues concerning
the economic and social roles of peri-urban settlement; its relationship to processes of urban development
and character whilst engaging with such social issues as emulation, dissonance and competition amongst the
urban elite.

Changing Perceptions of Roman urbanism


Interpretation of the city as a bastion of Romanitas was not only a Romanian pre-occupation in the
1980s but was part of the orthodox view of Roman urbanism captured in the contemporary re-issue of Pierre
Grimals 1954 essay Roman Cities11. Roman cities were still recognised as instruments of imperial hegemony,
established in conquered territory and administered, at least initially, by an immigrant colonial elite. The city
was seen to have common features, such a street grids, baths, theatres, temples, and they were an essential
element of Roman hegemony associated with the process of Romanisation, as increasing civilisation spread
outwards from Rome. Cities brought the benefits of civilisation through Romanisation which the post-colo
nialists saw operating through a process of patronage and acculturation.
Yet the dynamics of Romanisation and the features of economic prosperity have been revised over the past
three decades. The idea that population size indicates economic growth was challenged recently by Morley
who found that not only was the evidence for population size generally poor, but that population size esti
mates were usually chronologically vague and bore little relationship to economic or developmental models.

8
PISO 2006; although the palace of the augustales had been an important part of the significance of Sarmizegetusa for some
60 years, in the late 1980s excavation revealed it was in fact the remains of the early forum.
9
Eutropius VIII 6, 2.
10
Diacoviciu/Alicu 1984, 56.
11
Woloch 1983.
78 Michael Dawson

Romanisation, as part of the process of acculturation of an elite led society, is now also seen to represent a
more dynamic expression of cultural change expressed by individuals who had contributed to development,
paid taxes, administered the law and reproduced Roman culture. The Roman city, therefore, is seen as a social
construct. It exhibits a symbiotic relationship between individual and space, adaptive and responsive to local
interpretation, and providing a focus for opportunity. Cities too acted as a reservoir for the military, an outlet
for political ambition and, through the market, as a means of enrichment12. Underlying this model, developed
by Laurence et al., in 2011, though, is the effect of urbanism which, by increasing population density, raised
the prevalence of disease and resulted in urban death rates which are higher than the birth rate. Consequently
to be sustainable and continue to drive acculturation a city needed to constantly attract new settlement. In
this respect, though, local elites bought into the idea of urbanism as an expression of power, the nature of that
power was constantly evolving.
Today the city, following its initial foundation, is still recognised as an essential part of Roman hegemony,
but interpretation has moved away from elite acculturation to recognise the city as a social institution which
was sustained by dynamic cultural change expressed by all individuals as they adopted and responded to local
opportunities. Laurence et al., see the city both as an instrument of Roman government which, operating
through the agency of control and acculturation, promoted urbanism amongst indigenous elites as well as
providing an environment which, through social emulation, dissonance and opportunism, might empower
individuals in new ways. These included the creation of a habitus for a variety of individuals who, through
patronage, might establish sustainable cities formed around a core of stable social elites. They might encourage
potentially transient groups such as veterans, indigenes, ex slaves to join councils, or collegia and promote the
agency of women as priestesses or by inheritance through female lineage. Initially the focus of Roman state
and local populations, cities were unsustainable without a social function.
The city which emerges is also economically dynamic. It is both consumer and producer and, as a centre
of population, as a space of social interaction, changes the location of demand giving rise to new forms of
building, behaviour, differentiation and integration. Although it may be mistaken, as Adams has noted, to see
the city as automatically an agent of change13; if the foundation and development of a city also leads to the
re-organisation of space, not only within the city itself, but within the hinterland as farms establish to serve
the urban market, small towns emerge and communication routes grow, it may act to promote social change.
Yet towns are potentially unstable, often reliant on imperial patronage and affected by the mobility of
elites and metropolitan capital held by senatorial families; ultimately the long term sustainability of cities has
been seen to rely on a facility to exploit new opportunities whether economic, social or religious in focus. Of
greatest relevance to this paper is the increasing emphasis on the relationship between urban core its peri-
urban periphery.

Extra Mural Development


The difficulties of applying such abstractions cannot be overstated when dealing with archaeological
evidence and, despite the importance of the city as a social unit and the economic implications for the
re-distribution of wealth, its growth does not necessarily imply an increase in productivity. Nevertheless as
Morley has suggested, quantifying social, economic and cultural change, may be achieved through the identi
fication of patterns within the urban environment. Such patterns include mapping concentration through the
establishment of new centres, their growth and decline, assessing crystallization as cities accrue and mediate
power through political, social, religious, cultural and economic institutions, identifying where individuals are
encouraged to adopt new customs, language, ideas and norms, and recognising differentiation, as individuals
develop group identities which separate elites from the masses through institutions, ideology or ritual.
The increasingly sophisticated understanding of urban development has led to a greater scrutiny of devel
opment beyond the urban core and, therefore, increased emphasis on relationships between the peri-urban
and urban area. In 2007 the nature of peri-urban areas was analysed by Goodman14 who rejected the modern
social connotations of suburban growth recognising it as an expression of economic expansion. In contrast
the Roman literary tradition of suburbanus, although often referring to areas of sanctuaries, tombs, funerary
pyres and small towns, was most often applied to private property in a landscape conceived as sophisticated. It
evoked a refined and privileged lifestyle where villas were located conveniently close to roads and access to the
12
Laurence ET ALII 2011.
13
Abrams 1978, 9 quoted by Morley 2011, 150151.
14
Goodman 2007.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 79

city, but remained some distance from urban areas. The law recognised the peri-urban, at least where habita
tion was continuous, the passus mille, but copious images of generic cities indicate that an urban periphery
was not usually essential to abstract conceptions of the Roman city, unless a specific point is to be made.
On Trajans column, for instance, where a peri-urban15 area was used to gather supplies and may have been
a symbol of a well-ordered society. In general, Goodman argued, the literary evidence suggests that for the
provincial elite, whose focus was class and status, peri-urban identity was subjective and contested: the country
morally virtuous in contrast to the amorality of the city. The only context in which specific exclusions seem
to prevail are those related to punishments and executions, burial and the some ceremonial events. The best
known of these are related to Rome, the mutatorium Caesaris, the place for the emperor to change dress and
horses before entering Rome and the pomerium the symbolic divide between civil and military.
Both literary and archaeological evidence, however, indicates that the peri-urban transcends the town/
country divide. Traces of the literary concept can be seen through the occurrence of villas in the hinterland
of Roman cities, in some cases, such as Constantines suburban villa estate some 90km from Constantinople,
a considerable distance from the urban core. The average maximum, though, was closer to 35km. In Gaul,
Goodman argued, peri-urban development reflected a variety of factors. Larger buildings, often related to
recreation like the circus or hippodrome, were situated outside urban cores due to pressures of space and,
therefore, indicative of land values. For some, such as potters, the peri-urban zone reflected easier access to
resources and markets, whilst in the case of cemeteries and tombs the reasons were ideological. In the case
of some temples, such as, the Imperial cult at Narbonne and Lyon, locating the principal buildings in the
peri-urban zone enhanced the status of the cult. A similar principal may underpin the location of peri-urban
temples which required a more open and dominant setting for their ritual away from the dense urban core.
Orientating a temple on a particular point or feature of the city, as well as separating it from the urban area,
may well have drawn attention to it and enhanced its status.
Each city had its own particular characterisation based on local circumstances and topography, but at a
provincial level peri-urban development was most likely to occur at well-connected cities with flourishing econo
mies or political significance. Some cities may have competed or emulated each other in the competition for status
and influence, betraying an underlying tradition. For instance, Goodman has argued, in Italian cities classical
theatres were often located in the urban centres, and amphitheatres were always on the periphery implying social
differentiation. In contrast the Celtic pattern in Gaul favoured local types of spectacle buildings which occupied
peri-urban locations whilst Gallic theatres were often used for a mixture of the spectacular and theatrical.
Such variety may have the potential to illuminate the social character of the Roman city, its social rela
tionship to the countryside and of the provincial elites to Rome. In the model developed by Goodman she
accepted that the city acted as a central place but argued that what distinguished the Roman city from its
Iron Age precursors was the development of a peri-urban zone as a mark of Romanitas. This functioned as the
setting for Roman style public monuments amphitheatres, baths, circuses, temples, and as an arena for local
architecture, driven by a self-conscious emulation of Rome. Less driven by elite ideology, though, was the
development of shops, workshops, warehouses, modest baths and houses. These seem to reflect local economic
forces, although, as Goodman argued, even this type of peri-urban development in some towns of Gaul, St
Roman-en-Gaul opposite Viennes and Trinquetaille opposite Arles for instance, reflected direct emulation of
Rome. Major festivals, which took place outside the urban area, could also reflect pre-Roman, Gallic poly-
nuclear settlement forms, whilst contributing to the peri-urban landscape.
Goodmans model places considerable reliance on literary and epigraphic evidence however, and her
conclusion that some forms of development were driven by local economic factors rather than emulation,
raised the potential value of spatial patterning. Although usually small scale and difficult to compare, produc
tion sites were often responsive to the proximity of raw materials, transport, market access and located close to
roads or recognised routes. Generally characterised by their location beyond the urban area there is no evidence
to suggest a formal separation of industry from residential areas. The shift outwards from the urban area prob
ably reflects land values and access to transport rather than civic policy. A similar principal, Goodman argued,
seems to have applied to poorer districts, which, although sometimes part of the peri-urban area, seem to relate
to economics rather than social exclusion.
The importance of poorer areas in the archaeological analysis of provincial development is largely over
looked. In a recent survey of districts and neighbourhoods, though Smith16 has identified factors which may

15
Cichorius IIIIV, quoted by Goodman 2007, 32.
16
Smith 2010.
80 Michael Dawson

be important. Neither neighbourhoods, nor districts constitute an undifferentiated locale, or state, and it is
evident that towns and peri-urban areas can be sub-divided into neighbourhoods and districts which are based
on diverse functional roles and enjoy the status of communities with social ties. The neighbourhood is the
smaller in which frequent face to face interaction is common, whilst districts are larger zones of administrative
or social significance.
The archaeological identification of neighbourhoods and districts relies upon the recognition of physical
factors and structural patterns of buildings, barriers or particular artefacts, such as bounded or discrete clusters
of building types. Such concentrations in pre-industrial societies frequently indicate heavy or exclusive concen
trations of single ethnic groups, religions or occupations. Although not uniform or homogenous, theyre often
supported by immigration as people settle amongst their own and established migrants help in finding homes
and jobs nearby. Unplanned urban residential zones provide clear spatial evidence for the operation of bottom-
up processes as communities make their own decisions regarding forecourts, squares, streets and cul de sacs.
Smith has argued that neighbourhoods and districts are rarely, though, an indication of class or status.
The identification of neighbourhoods in peri-urban development, though, must be distinguished from
wider geographical models of settlement development17 which can be used to order data and can reflect
different aspects of a wider and complex reality. The most commonly recognised model is core periphery in
which a town is established as a result of geo-political factors although, as a result of inherent advantages of
physical conditions, location also has the potential to engender economic growth or development. In turn
successful settlements determined the pattern of activity in what is often described in economics based analysis
as the urban hinterland. Here economic factors such as minimising the friction of distance, the economies
of scale, the hierarchical character of human relations and the tendency to settlement focii and inertia, create
the classic pattern of settlement dispersed within geophysical units often represented by Thiessen polygons.
Alternatively spatial patterns of diffusion can illustrate the movement of ideas such as those implicit in Roman
imperial expansion with its framework of hierarchy and dependency made explicit in epigraphy but also
discernible in the nature and distribution of city, small town, village, hamlet and farm. The identification of
such patterns is of analytical value in mapping social as well as economic trends and can be refined by the
imposition of topographical, administrative and hegemonic factors18. Such models go some way to illus
trating how urban development can change the pattern of economic demand and social activity.

Peri-urban settlement in Roman Dacia


In Dacia there is an increasing body of archaeological evidence and epigraphy which suggests peri-urban
development has the potential to reflect provincial character at a lower level as well as elite activity traditionally
associated with temples, high status buildings and ornate burial. Yet published analysis of Dacian peri-urban
or extra mural settlement remains characterised by juridical and historic narrative. In 1998 Ardevan systemati
cally reviewed the Dacian cities (Dierna, Drobeta, Tibiscum, Apulum, Sarmizegestusa, Napoca, Porolissum,
Romula, Ampelum, Potaissa, Malva and Sucidava) concluding that they did not reflect a Pre-Roman Dacian
pattern and, although influenced by the military dispositions of the new province, reflected the general policy
of the empire. Gradual urban development stemmed from the Trajanic foundation of Sarmizegetusa through
the Hadrianic promotions of Napoca, Drobeta and Romula, to a climax under Septimius Severus. At the start
of his analysis Ardevan concedes that in the late 1990s neither fieldwork nor synthetic study was well devel
oped and study tended to focus on individual cities and societies, yet the strength of his analysis is that he was
able to identify specific provincial characteristics. A theme running throughout is social mobility amongst the
municipal elite and the collegia which indicated, to him, an open but stratified society. Ardevan also concluded
that, with the exception of one individual at Napoca19, the role of the indigenous population was invisible
or absent. Peri-urban settlement does not form part of Ardevans thesis, however, and the implication of his
model is that the urban periphery was an integral part of urban development and reflects a western model.
In the same year, 1998, Ciobanu argued the developing juridical status of urban settlements was reflected
in their physical development. The towns, which Ciobanu was particularly interested in, were those which
developed in the vicinity of military forts. With the exception of Sarmizegetusa, urban development responded
to the draw of the military whilst each town or towns, Apulum, Micia, Tibiscum, Potaissa, developed away
from any Dacian settlement. Ciobanu attributes the apparent absence of Dacian influence to the destruction
17
Roberts 1996.
18
For instance in Morleys analysis of the hinterland of Rome in MORLEY 2002.
19
Ardevan 1998, 20.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 81

by the Romans of the Royal settlements of Decabalus, but concedes that the populations of canabae, vici or
castella, outside the fort gates were not those who created inscriptions or significant building20. It was only as
towns accrued the greater status of municipium, colonia or metropolis that the population developed a level
of affluence able to invest in this way.
A second aspect of Ciobanus analysis was the relationship between settlements within the wider territory
ascribed to a city. In this respect the dispersal of towns along the principal routes into the province created a
pattern in which the territorial hinterland of the cities reflected topographic and strategic factors. These factors
are evident in subordinate settlements, such as the pagus Daciae, at Micia, and pagus Aquensis, near Calan,
identified with the territorium of Sarmizegetusa only through epigraphy.
A similar approach was taken in a recent summary of research by Diaconescu who argued that the urban
isation of Dacia must be understood as part of a much wider regional phenomena. This he characterised as
a series of military and imperial initiatives originating with the development of towns along the Amber route
from Emona to Carnuntum, the disposition of troops around Surmium, and culminating in the Trajanic
establishment of colonies in Poetovio, Ratiaria, Oescus and Sarmizegetusa, and settlement of Greek colo
nists at Nicopolis ad Istrum, Marcianopolis, and Augusta Traiana. Turning to the principal cities of Dacia,
Sarmizegetusa, Apulum and Napoca, Diaconescu developed a detailed historical narrative in which military
influence is a key factor in their foundation and significant to their development. Turning to the role played by
local communities, in common with Diacoviciu and Alicu, Diaconescu was unable to find significant evidence
for their involvement in urban growth and noted that in the immediately post-conquest period there was a
lack of evidence for continuing occupation at any oppida or any purely native settlement21. In assessing the
role of the indigenous population therefore, Diaconescu, argued the highly centralised Dacian state, centered
on the Ortie Mountains, which was destroyed during the second Dacia War resulted in the annihilation of
the tribal elite and led to massive re-settlement as large numbers of natives were transferred from the moun
tainous regions they once inhabited to the plains where they were easier to control.
In the historic narrative that Diaconescu situates urban development, Extra Mural settlement contributed
to a wider interpretation of provincial history. At Sarmizegetusa Extra Mural structures, which had destruction
levels were interpreted as burnt during the Marcomannic Wars, but it is with respect to the end of the of the
Roman province that the Extra Mural settlement had the greatest contribution to make. At EM23 four prin
cipal phases were identified, from the earliest timber buildings destroyed in AD 168, through the two stone
houses of Severan date, to the mid3rd century when a domus was built in the character of a villa suburbanus.
The villa comprised a central building with porch flanked by two towers and was dated to c.AD 250/270. In
the final phase the domus was part demolished and rebuilt with a central hall flanked by smaller rooms, with
a large pottery kiln, to the south, dated by the discovery within of a poor 5th century copy of an Italic lamp.
Daiconescu saw EM23 as evidence of the shift of population away from the urban core of Sarmizegetusa
and the absence of destruction, principally by fire, he suggests, indicates a gradual decay of Roman lifestyles
by heirs to Roman culture rather than a barbarian group22. A similar interpretation is made of a building at
EM26 and the apparent defensive works at the amphitheatre, he suggests, may have been in response to uncer
tainty rather than a specific threat. At Napoca peri-urban villas indicated to Diaconescu a model of settlement
in which the local elite had lived in rich villas around the town, not inside the urban precinct whilst the
towns hinterland was also the location of cemeteries which were re-used in the 4th century.
The importance of the three recent papers, by Ardevan, Ciobanu and Diaconescu, is the emphasis placed
on a model of progressive development, Roman cities are founded as part of imperial policy, develop, suffer
due to the Marcommanic wars and revive reaching a climax in the Severan period before a long 3rd century
decline, followed by decay of the urban fabric after the end of the 3rd century. The creation of a titular hier
archy and promotion reflects intra-urban competition and imperial favour. Towns are seen as a desirable
habitus in which building projects link town to the hinterland and act as catalysts to further extra mural devel
opment. This model, however, is only applicable at very general level of interpretation, and where peri-urban
settlement has been analysed in Gaul, Spain, Britain and Italy local patterns have begun to illustrate regional
variations which provided the setting for Roman style public entertainments and spectacle, social inclusion
and religious engagement.
In Dacia, as this short survey illustrates, the range of evidence is varied. It focuses on those cities,
Sarmizegetusa, Apulum, Romula, Napoca, Dierna, Drobeta where it is possible to identify with some
20
CIOBANU 1998.
21
Diaconescu 2004, 122.
22
DIACONESCU 2004, 132133.
82 Michael Dawson

confidence the urban core which probably equated to the pomerium. At the cities of Tibiscum and Porolissum
which developed initially as a fort vici, the city of Potaissa which grew outside the legionary fortress of the legio
V Macedonica, and the small town of Ampelum (mod Zlatna) now largely destroyed by modern development
the range of activities which can be confidently ascribed to peri-urban development are limited by uncertainty
over the urban boundary. The location of Malva remains uncertain.
The most commonly investigated peri-urban structures have been cemeteries which are known from all
of the Roman cities, although the range and nature of the evidence is surprisingly variable. At Sarmizegetusa
the principal cemetery lies to the north-east beside the road to Apulum where it evident from inscriptions
and sarcophagi, although many of these have lost their original provenance23. Graves have been published,
including those from the circular mausoleum of the Aurelii24, indicating the burials fall into three groups,
brick lined25, stone sarcophagi and the wooden lined brick sarcophagi of the mausoleum in what might be
described as traditional Roman form. Burials are also known from Drobeta were cemeteries appear to extend
to east and west along the banks of the River Danube26. These are characterised by a variety of burial forms
which include the tombstone of Prim(us) Ael(ius) Ion(icus) neg(otiator) confirming the presence of traders
amongst the civilian population27. The cemeteries appear to contain a mix of both military and civilian and
attest the presence of military families amongst the towns population28 particularly when, in the late 3rd
century, veterans of the Leg V Macedonica may have settled in the town29. The cemeteries at Napoca lie to
the west, south and east of the city30; at Dierna, where the city is now submerged beneath the lake behind the
Iron Gates dam, cemeteries lay outside the urban area of the municipium Diernensium, extending along the
banks of the Danube, and on either side of the River Cerna. The burial form of the inhumations, in brick lined
tombs, lead and wooden coffins, are similar to those of Drobeta, Romula (see below) and Sarmizegetusa and
confirm an extensive civilian settlement which almost certainly included peri-urban settlement31.
At Apulum, the most complex of Dacias city sites32 two principal cities are known in addition, possibly,
to a small vicus outside the legionary fortress gates, cemeteries lie outside the civilian areas bounded by
turf ramparts at Parto the location of the early canabe, and beyond the, probably, ashlar walls around the
later municipium Septimium Apulense. The cemeteries are known from Dealul Furcilor (Podei) between the
legionary fortress, which occupies the plateau above the confluence of the Rivers Ampoi and Mure, and the
modern Parto Quarter33, and in the north at the veterinary hospital site34. A further cemetery was described
as impressive and was located to the north of the municipium Septimium Apulense on the road to Ampelum.
In 1989 Sommer argued that the location of cemeteries outside auxiliary forts indicated military planning
which constrained, or perhaps anticipated, the potential limit to urban growth35. At Apulum the early devel
opment of Parto seems to reflect the proximity of the river whilst the northern settlement which occupies
higher ground beyond the fortress may have been deliberately planned. The cemeteries represent peri-urban
development between civilian and military areas.
Cemeteries too characterised the peri-urban area of Romula (mod. Reca) with three locations investi
gated to north, west and south of the city36.
A considerable number of houses are known from the peri-urban area of Sarmizegetusa, situated in broad
crescent from the northwest to northeast of the colonia. Many were recorded as the result of 19th or early 20th
century investigation37. At least two of the buildings can be considered suburban villas, EM 2338 and EM2,
whilst others, such as EM1139, were of sufficiently high status to include mosaics. At least one, EM23, was
23
IDR III/2, 463.
24
Daicoviciu/Floca 1937.
25
Allen 1993.
26
Davidescu 1980.
27
IDR II, 47 & 22.
28
IDR II, 34 is the tombstone of Iulia Grata erected by her father, a centurion in the legio IIII FF.
29
IDR II 36, 38, 39, 40, 41.
30
Hica-Cmpeanu 1977, Fig.1.
31
IDR III/1, 42.
32
Petolescu 2011; for the location of the boundaries of Parto see Diaconescu 2004, 109111, Fig.4.14.
33
Location of the canabae: IDR III/5 240; Protase 1974; OTA 2009.
34
Protase 1959, 397400, Figs. 1 & 2.
35
Sommer 1989, 27.
36
Babe 1970, 172, Abb. 2.
37
Daicoviciu 1924.
38
Dawson 1994; Diaconescu 2004.
39
Daicoviciu/Alicu 1984, Planul general al Ulpiei Traiane.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 83

associated with manufacturing pottery. A particular concentration of housing appears to occupy the area
around the amphitheatre (EM303140, EM11, EM2) and the westwards extension of the defensive circuit in
the mid2nd century may indicate the inclusion of peri-urban settlement within the urban core. At Napoca the
Extra Mural area includes a stone masons workshop southwest of the town on the hill of Coasta Mnsturilui
which Pop considered may have been a localised centre for provincial art41. But the main area of peri-urban
settlement occurred to the north, east and west of the city walls described by Bodor as neither large nor small,
implying, perhaps, housing of modest proportions42. At Romula an extension of the walled circuit has been
identified which may also represent the inclusion of unplanned or informal peri-urban expansion. At Romula
a suburban villa is known north of the walled enceinte43 where a court yarded building was interpreted as the
centre of production for pottery, terracotta statuary and bricks.
Ceramics workshops are known at Sarmizegetusa where in addition to EM23 there are brick and tile
kilns 14, 15. A brick kiln is known at Micia and at Dierna glass workshops producing rubin de apru44 were
situated to the east of the late Roman fort45 and may have occupied an extra mural area of the Municipium
Diernensium. A glass manufactory is also known from Sarmizegetusa, EM21 and at Apulum imitation Samian
(terra sigillata) may have been produced in the area adjacent to the canabae of Parto46.
Recreational buildings are amongst the most characteristic peri-urban structures, amongst which the most
recognisable is the amphitheatre. These are known from Sarmizegetusa, Porolissum and Micia and one has
been proposed at Apulum. At Sarmizegetusa the amphitheatre is situated c.100m north of the city walls and
was excavated by Floca in 19346. He was unable to confirm a foundation date, although later commentaries
have assumed it was built in the first years of the province47. Amongst the structure were tiles of the Legio
IIII Flavia Felix, suggesting military involvement in its construction48. It was repaired in AD 15849. Next to
the amphitheatre was a large building, initially identified as a schola gladiatorum, but later proposed as a large
private house of two phases including a large mosaic50. The location of the amphitheatre at Apulum remains
uncertain, although Moga has suggested several possible sites including one within the legionary fortress with
alternatives to north51. At Porolissium and Micia the amphitheatres are almost certainly of military origin.
Military origins are also often cited for the construction of bath houses but at Apulum a bathhouse,
discovered in the late 19th century, Tudor interpreted as lying within the vicus of the legionary fortress52,
whilst baths identified by the Apulum Project, close to the location of the temple to Liber Pater, were prob
ably not military53. The baths, EM26, at Sarmizegetusa, were excavated to the north of the colonia, close to
the amphitheatre in the 1883, and have been described as public baths. Baths required a water supply and at
Apulum an aqueduct built by the army provided water in AD 158, whilst Sarmizegetusa water may have been
provided in part by a small stream which today runs through the western part of the city. Baths at Micia are
almost certainly military in origin.
Temples form one of the most characteristic groups of Roman buildings and there is considerable
epigraphic and structural evidence for temples at the towns of Roman Dacia, yet in many cases it is difficult to
determine whether these are located within the urban area or on its periphery. At Sarmizegetusa there is a little
doubt that a temple quarter developed north of the city. Early discoveries include the temple to Celestis Virgo
and there are known temples to Liber Pater (EM14) and Silvanus (EM19), with a sanctuary to Aesculapius
and Hygeia north of which was a temple of unknown attribution (EM24)54. Isolated temples to Mithras
(EM26), and possibly Malgbel (EM27) were located to the south and west of the city respectively. At Apulum
temples have been proposed to Aesculapius at the canabae at Parto55, and to Dolichenus, adjacent to the
40
Alicu et alii 1994, 461475.
41
Pop 1968, 479489.
42
Bodor 1986, 188.
43
Popilian 1976, 221225, Figs. 2, 4, 5.
44
Stoicovici 1978.
45
Gudea 1982, 93111.
46
Isac ET ALII 1979, Fig.1.
47
Alicu 1997.
48
IDR III/2.
49
OpreanU 1986.
50
Alicu 1977.
51
Moga 1983.
52
Tudor 1968.
53
Haynes 2014, 89, Fig.11.
54
DAICOVICIU ET ALII 1994, Pl.II.
55
IDR III/5, 32.
84 Michael Dawson

legionary fortress56. Another temple to an eastern deity has been proposed at Romula following the discovery
of a dedication to Dardania57.

Parameters and models


The range of peri-urban activity suggests that it is possible to refine the model of Dacian urban develop
ment by reference to communities which make the urban population and who were responsible for activities
beyond the urban core. The final element, therefore, in the developing model of Dacian peri-urban settle
ment is the role of both indigenous and immigrant communities. It is an issue which was a principal factor in
Daicoviciu and Alicus 1984 essay and is a constant in Goodmans analysis. Dacia is a province rich in epig
raphy and it has long been a concern of both historian and archaeologists to establish the character, role and
influence of the two communities.
Immigration has a special significance in the light of Eutropius description of the nature and potential
scale of post-conquest settlement. The material cited in support of Eutropius is largely epigraphic and has
provided evidence for veteran settlement as well as settlement by established citizens. Amongst the communi
ties who were to inhabit the cities there are collegia Asiani at Napoca, Syrian negotiatores from Sarmizegetusa
and Apulum, and amongst the miners at Alburnus Maior and in the Roia Montan area there are individuals
from Dalmatian, amongst whom there are Illyrian personal names58. At Sarmizegetusa the temples to Liber
Pater and Aesculapius, have been associated with Greek practice and a wide range of migrant communities
have been associated with religious practice including Balkan or eastern Greek, Illyrian, Celtic, Semites from
Syria as well as German, Asian, and African in addition to Thraco-Dacian59.
The visibility of these groups through epigraphy is important in characterising high status and elite prac
tice within periurban areas, but identifying those groups which may have characterised the poorer areas has
proved more problematic. The Dacian population, in particular, has seen extensive study and the adoption
of a range of theoretical and interpretative positions many of them associated with issues of continuity. This
short review is not the place to examine in detail the complexities of continuity, which has been addressed
elsewhere60. However, it is important to recognise that earlier politicised concerns with continuity and the
Dacian population have influenced archaeological interpretations. Today perceptions of pre-Roman and
Roman period settlement and society are evolving as the results of aerial photography and geophysical survey,
and development led archaeology, increase the evidence base. Such developments have allowed analysis to
deepen understanding of the underlying processes of conquest and assimilation61. Recently Oltean has identi
fied transformations in the settlement hierarchy from the fortified sites of upland areas, which are now begin
ning to emerge in lowland areas, to villages in both upland and lowland topographies and an intermediate class
of tower houses, often associated with traces of open settlement all of which suggest a basis for acculturation
in rural communities of varying status62.
Immigrant groups arriving with perceptions of practice elsewhere with potential to influence the spatial
disposition of archaeological evidence has long been a focus of interest. Daiconescu argued that urban devel
opment should be seen in terms of regional practice which may be evident in the conquest landscape of the
middle and lower Danube. In 2002 Poulter, describing the history and development of the Trajanic city of
Nicopolis Ad Istrum, explicitly linked the development of the extra mural areas with the rapid influx of
eastern provincials. Latin speaking veterans occupied villas within the hinterland of the Nicopolis Ad Istrum,
and immigrants probably a majority of whom came from the western coast of Asia Minoraccount for the
astonishing rapidity with which the city developed a fully Roman agricultural economy during the first half
of the 2nd century63. The development of Nicopolis, Poulter argued, was comparable to the veteran colony
at Oescus which also benefitted from the presence of eastern settlers. If this reflected a more widely applied
Trajanic policy of settlement from the highly competitive cities of Ephesus, Pergamum, and Smyrna in Asia
Minor, Poulter suggested, it might explain the surprisingly rapid influx of eastern provincials into the newly

56
IDR III/5, 221.
57
Tudor/Vldescu 1972.
58
Hirt 2010, 335 FN18.
59
Byros 2011.
60
Oltean 2007, 47
61
For example see Negru 2003, 3739.
62
Oltean 2007, 6088, 208209.
63
Poulter 2002.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 85

conquered Roman Dacia64. By the Severan period Nicopolis Ad Istrum had, though, established a highly
specific form of peri-urban settlement in which a series of large town houses, partly constructed of mortared
stone and part pis, decorated with architectural frescoes and fine stucco moulded cornices, were built in a
gridded pattern outside the Trajanic city. The layout, dating to about AD 200, suggests a planned layout of
insulas, which may have extended the pattern of land apportionment within the 2nd century city walls65.
Eastern experience of Rome saw the city exploited as a tool of imperialism. The Empire created a new
degree of hierarchy in the system, partly by overtly ranking urban settlements and distributing government
functions between them for resources, material and human, which came to generate consistent winners and
consistent losers66. It exploited competition between settlements and promoted development through archi
tecture and the creation of new spaces in which Romes urban functions took place. The imposition of Roman
hegemony, therefore, physically extended the area of urban settlement and led to the re-configuration of the
urban environment.
In Roman Palestine many of the 1st century cities were built on pre-existing Hellenistic cities and Roman
planning, Schwartz has argued, relied heavily on visual impact. Local topography was often profoundly influ
ential and in the Roman period the walls of cities may have reflected the military spirit of the conquerors even
if the walls were not primarily military in function. Walls acted as a boundary separating intra- from extra-
mural, ensuring institutions such as cemeteries and amphitheatres and some industries remained outside the
urban area. Suburbs though, in the successful cities, which began to develop outside the city walls, may even
tually have been included within the urban area. Some cities did not have walls67, and importantly walls may
not have been primarily military in character as some had a large number of gates. Tiberias had gates detached,
almost certainly an indication of a municipal boundary rather than military defence work. Walls also had
economic significance as shops and markets were attracted to gate areas. Temples were much in evidence in
literary sources, and often located within the city boundaries, even at Tel a-Ras (Neapolis), a Roman period
temple some distance from the city on Mount Gerizim, built under Antoninus Pius, was considered an inte
gral part of the city cult68. The location of public buildings in Palestine, such as baths, theatres, amphitheatres,
hippodromes, stadia, taverns and brothels, Schwartz argued, appeared to relate largely to the availability of
space, where overcrowding may have led to some building outside the city. It is a situation which, as Goodman
noted, is an expression of land values. Similarly much of urban industry was relegated to locations outside
the walls of the city. Whether this represented incipient sensitivity to matters of urban ecology or just plain
common sense is difficult to determine69.
In 1st century Syria Roman hegemony is characterised by the colocation of legionary bases with existing
cities, particularly those with Hellenistic military associations. From Augustus to the mid3rd century troops
were generally billeted within cities, or garrisoned cities, as means of controlling access to road and river routes
with little evidence of impact by veteran settlement. Much of the evidence is epigraphic but at Zeugma which
controlled a crossing point of the Euphrates the legionary fortress of the legio III Scythia may have been
outside the city walls, at Rapanaea a legionary base in the 1st century, the military may have stimulated the
growth of a formal city in the 2nd century70.
The implications for Dacia of central European and eastern settlement are mixed. Typically buildings such
as baths, theatres, amphitheatres, hippodromes, stadia, taverns and brothels may be found outside the urban
core, as well as temples and industry. The communities which supported them may have lived almost entirely
within the urban boundary or walled enceinte as the city developed. At Sarmizegetusa an area of expansion
may have been formally laid out and subsequently included within the walled circuit, a practice familiar from
Nicopolis Ad Istrum, but there is also evidence of a less formal expansion as houses were built in the peri-
urban zone outside the limits of cities such as Napoca and Sarmizegetusa. At Romula such expansion may have
been included in a further extension of the walled circuit, but it is in these areas, in particular, that evidence
of Smiths neighbourhoods should be sought.

64
Poulter 2002,16.
65
Poulter 2002, Fig.5.
66
Woolf 1997.
67
Schwartz 1998.
68
Cited by Schwartz 1998, 162, N81.
69
Schwartz 1998, 170.
70
Pollard 2000, 3864.
86 Michael Dawson

Conclusion
The model of peri-urban settlement in Dacia which has emerged from this rapid review is complex, and
will, no doubt, be tested by analysis and benefit from further evidence. In contemporary theory the Roman
city and its periphery is seen as a construct of society, a reflection of factors such as dissonance and resistance,
emulation and competition as much as they are representative of formal provincial administration or the role
of the military. Peri-urban settlement, too, is a specific construct of Roman conquest and an integral part of
the process of urban development. Although often assumed to be analogous to modern suburban expansion
this has been shown to be erroneous. This is not to deny the role of economic expansion but to emphasise that
peri-urban areas of Roman cities have a polyfocal character which might encapsulate a diversity of perceptions
from sophisticated social space, traditional areas of exclusion, recreational and religious practice to the location
of residential neighbourhoods possibly based on ethnically homogenous communities. Peri-urban develop
ment when seen in this light has the potential to illuminate some of the characteristics of urbanism which are
often overlooked in areas of ideology, economic and social practice.
Analysis by Goodman and others has shown how peri-urban development is both constitutive of and
reflects provincial characteristics. To be of analytical value the model also has significant parameters which
must be weighted in any assessment. It cannot be assumed that urban growth and peri-urban development
automatically represents economic growth and it may well indicate a re-ordering of demand away from the
countryside rather than increasing prosperity. Similarly the city and peri-urban activity are not necessarily
agents of social change; any such agency must be demonstrated, as Morley has argued, through patterns of
concentration, crystallization, identity and differentiation.
In Dacia epigraphic evidence has illustrated how emerging elite groups sought to distinguish themselves
from the masses through architecture, ritual, display and separation. In terms of archaeological patterning
these processes are visible in temple zones, cemeteries and by the construction of villa rustica or suburban
villas (to use the current terminology). At Sarmizegetusa, and perhaps Apulum, oriental religions were estab
lished in temple quarters beyond the city walls, in prominent locations possibly echoing practice in the east.
At Sarmizegetusa it is noticeable, too, that the exclusive cult of Mithras was established outside the city in an
apparently isolated location to the south west71. Although this rudimentary list is not exhaustive, it serves to
illustrate the clear absence of theatres and hippodromes in the province, both buildings types which might be
expected in a province which not only received immigrants from all over, but amongst whom there was a large
number of eastern settlers.
How peri-urban settlement may have been interpreted by contemporary populations in Dacia is unknown
due to the lack of provincial literary sources, but the recognition of suburban villas and those further afield,
such as Chinteni 15km north east of Napoca and the villa rustica at Valea Lupului within the hinterland of
Sarmizegetusa provide evidence for the development of a network of villa based estates72 which may have
provoked similar attitudes to those directed at the hinterland of Rome.
Of considerable interest too, is the development of residential and industrial areas beyond the urban core.
This is sometimes dismissed as a function of available space, undifferentiated expansion, or the exclusion of
industry from residential zones. Comparative research suggests that there is no formal civic policy of exclusion,
however, and that such developments reflect the competition for land within the urban core. Smiths 2011
survey of neighbourhoods suggest that such areas may represent cohesive ethnic communities, attracted to the
peri-urban area by their separate identity and perhaps by common purpose rooted in craft production.
How ethnically homogenous groups might have developed is at present unclear. The development of
poorer districts may be evident from areas of heterogeneous structural elements rather than structurally
homogenous zones analogous to modern concepts of housing estates and suburbia. It suggests the potential
for quantitative and spatial analysis. At Sarmizegetusa EM23 hints at the growth of a community around
pottery production.
Formal planning, however, should not be dismissed. At Sarmizegetusa and probably Napoca, city devel
opment is based on a characteristic rectangular urban form, established with appropriate ritual and imbued
with secular and religious authority. At Sarmizegetusa the westwards expansion of the citys rectangular walled
enceinte may indicate the inclusion of insulas mapped out by the city authorities, and which may be analogous
to the development seen at Nicopolis Ad Istrum, c.200 AD.

71
Daicoviciu/Alicu 1984, EM 26.
72
See Oltean 2007, 120143.
Peri-urban settlement and Roman Dacia 87

At those locations, where the origin of cities lie with extra mural settlement adjacent to legionary or auxil
iary forts, and where city status was achieved by promotion of settlement attracted by the military, a different
range of factors may have obtained. Epigraphy confirms that in term of status and organisation this pattern
of development was western in character, yet in the evolution of initially peri-urban areas lies the potential to
identify a more complex relationship between imperial hegemony and the provincial population. At these sites
the early military focus probably provided the basis for a range of services provided by the civil population.
Peri-urban development may have reflected military forms of ritual and religion, as well as the more prosaic
military pursuits such as bars and brothels in the vicus. It no doubt included shops and accommodation for
families of soldiers serving in the fort. Official buildings such as a mansio may have been located within what
became the boundaries of the urban area, but as Porolissum illustrates there is great potential to identify a
range of buildings excluded from the urban core.
If the pattern of urban development suggests a duality between western style organisation and hierarchy
and eastern practice, the community of miners in the Ampelum and Roia Montan areas indicate yet another
layer of immigrant stimulus. Recent research has begun to refine the nature and character of indigenous settle
ment and although it is too early to construct spatial models of rural settlement Oltean has begun to identify
a settlement hierarchy which suggests the potential for integration and acculturation at a level below elite
exchange.
In the cities and their peri-urban areas the identification of neighbourhoods has the potential to give
spatial expression to Eutropius observation that the settlement in Dacia occurred ex toto orbe 73, illuminate
how such migrants might have influenced Romanisation of the autochthonous population and to find the
voice of the colonised amongst the discourse of the conquerors.

Dr. Michael Dawson FSA MICfA


Director CgMs Consulting Limited
Mike.Dawson@CgMs.co.uk

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