Project Leader(s): Prof Ian Haynes, Doru Bogdan (University of Cluj, Romania), Prof Iuli Paul (University of Alba Iulia, Romania)
Sponsors: The British Academy
The Apulum Hinterland Survey investigates prehistoric, Roman and early medieval settlement in the environs of Alba Iulia, Romania through field-walking and excavation. Its particular focus is on the transformations that resulted from the region’s incorporation into the Roman Empire. The city of Alba Iulia (Roman Apulum) lies at the geographical and political heart of Transylvania. Over the centuries it has served as the seat of Roman governors, Gepid bands, Transylvanian princes and Austro-Hungarian garrisons. County records attest the existence of a rich archaeological hinterland, but they include map data of uneven quality and reflect some striking gaps in our knowledge of the region’s settlement history. To achieve the project goals the team undertook extensive field-walking survey and liaised closely with the Mureº Valley aerial photographic survey undertaken by Professor W. S. Hanson (Glasgow) and Dr Ioana Oltean (formerly of Glasgow, now at Exeter). The combined results were then examined to develop a programme of selective geophysical survey. This was then followed by excavations at two important rural sites, the ‘villa’ at Oarda and the Roman and Iron Age settlement of Vinþu de Jos.