The ITN-DCH project is an Initial Training Network under the FP7 - People Marie Curie Actions Programme

Case Study II Carnuntum

Carnuntum was an ancient Roman military encampment with attached civil town, once the capital of the Pannonia Superior province, now inLower Austria. Situated on the right bank of the Danube about halfway betweenVienna(formerly itself a Roman garrison, Vindobona) andBratislava,  it was an important defensive point along the Limes, the frontier of theRoman Empire. Founded in 6 CE as a winter encampment, it grew to over 10km² and once housed 50,000 people - more than 17 times the population of the nearby towns of Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg combined. Over the course of its 400-year Roman history, it served as a garrison town for the Legio XV (Apollinaris) and later the Legio XIV (Gemina). Among its many highlights are the remains of one of only four known gladiatorial schools.

Archaeologically, it is significant not only because of its historical importance, but because much of the site was never built on after the Roman occupation, meaning that much of the town's structure remains intact under today's fields and meadows. As a site this extensive could never be fully excavated - and the utility and wisdom of excavating everything remains debatable - it offers a perfect opportunity to use and compare non-invasive methods of data acquisition such as geophysical prospection.

The site also serves as a testing ground for different approaches to reconstruction, ranging from digital visualisations to actual physical re-building of selected houses on their original foundations inside theCarnuntumArchaeologicalPark. In parallel, the smaller object finds are being scanned and catalogued in an online database to make them accessible to researchers worldwide. Several nearby museums, guided tours, and signage throughout the park help to make the site's significance clear to the general public.

For more information:

For the ITN-DCH project, the value of Carnuntum is derived from several factors:

  1. A large volume of data that has been acquired in a professional and well-documented manner, and which can be compared to the methodology of over 100 years of archaeological work on the site.
  2. An opportunity to work on multiple scales - object, architectural, and landscape.
  3. Access to the site and experts who are willing to help the project, and equally appreciate our input.