Romanian Graniţa romană în estul Provinciei Dacia

Although the Limes of Dacia has been studied for over 100 years, the Province's Eastern border never benefited from substantial research comprising the subject's multitude of problems. In Romania, an institution such as Germany's "Reichs- Limeskommission" or Austria's "Österreichische Limeskommission", which would coordinate the Limes' systematic research, never existed. Considering this fact, the National Museum of Eastern Carpathians (MNCR) aims to fill, at least partially, such functions of coordination.

The projects' subject is the 150km long segment of the eastern border of the Roman province of Dacia, located west of the Eastern Carpathians, in present Covasna, Harghita, Mures and Bistrita-Nasaud counties.

The project aims to generate new scientific knowledge on structure, chronology and functions of the eastern border segment of the Roman province of Dacia. The border defence system of Roman Dacia was formed not by a single pulse but - like in many other Roman provinces - over several stages, which are to be followed in the project. We make reference, for example, of the so-called phase of the „earth" Castra in the area, which is often only inferred, without any known certain archaeological remains. This early stage could become one of the main challenges of the project. We wonder if we could track the boundary in its "earliest" forms - that is, consisting of a road watched over by a series of observation and signalling towers – such as those known in the provinces of Germania Superior and Raetia.

Another scientific challenge for the project members is seeking an answer to the question of the territorial-administrative belonging of the Castra found in south-eastern Transylvania: for how long can we admit they were subordinated to the leadership of Moesia Inferior Province and when does the subordination of Dacia Province authorities start? Which of these Castra were built before Emperor Hadrian’s territorial reform and which emerged only later? Can we find traces of reconstruction and repairs that took place in several Castra at the same time (for e.g. caused by main political and military events) or can we accept the theory sustaining the lack of a "master plan" for construction works on the border of Dacia Province? A detailed discussion of these challenges and postulates of previous research will be an important part of the current project.

Worth mentioning is the role of inter-regional comparisons which could be made based on the results of this project. We expect to generate new knowledge not only about the border's security management system, but also about the history of relations with neighbouring tribes, which populated the territories on the other side of the border of this sole Roman Province situated north of the Danube.

The project's subject resides in a region where science and research development in the area was long neglected by the authorities. Therefore, the project aims to help transfer the scientific know-how from Germany, from where the project's manager comes, and, simultaneously, to build a performing Roman Age research team in Sfântu Gheorghe.