A new chapter in the research into the Roman metropolis on the Danube has been opened up with the extensive surveying scheme carried out in Carnuntum during the last two decades. Meanwhile, it has been possible to supplement the comprehensive aerial archaeological and geophysical investigations with a series of surface surveys in the border regions of the suburban camp (Canabae Legionis) as well as of the civil town (Municipium Aelium, Colonia Septimia).
The large areas that can be investigated today via archaeological survey offer new opportunities, above all with regard to the contextualisation both of individual objects as well as of entire settlement zones. In this manner, the constraints of traditional methods, that at best offer small-scale insights into settlement structures, can be overcome. By means of combining a variety of survey methods, and via the joint evaluation of excavation and survey data, new interpretive approaches can be gained which should be worked out in the framework of this project with the following emphases:
The discovery of the Castra singularium sheds completely new light on the governor's seat of Carnuntum, which can now be very well reconstructed thanks to the survey results. For this reason, Carnuntum meanwhile is one of the clearest examples for the appearance of a governor's seat in the border provinces of the Roman empire.
Settlement boundaries and the hinterland of Carnuntum
The extent of the ancient settlement as well as the structure of the hinterland can only be understood archaeologically with the aid of aerial photography or with geophysical large-scale surveys. The latter have been particularly successful in Carnuntum in reconstructing the concrete borders of settlement regions. Due to the open landscape, the region around Carnuntum is exceptionally favourable for large-scale investigations of the peri-urban and rural space. The particular attraction at Carnuntum, however, also lies in the surviving epigraphic monuments, in particular the recorded inscriptions with the mentioning of a »league border«, which suggests the social and administrative-legal organisation of the inhabitants.
The following dissertations are connected with the project:
Benedikt Grammer: »Roman Settlement Patterns in Western Pannonia«, University of Vienna, Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology (Supervisors: M. Doneus, C. Gugl)
Mario Wallner: »Spatio-temporal analysis of the western ›suburbs‹ of the Roman town of Carnuntum, based on GIS based multi method integrated interpretation of prospection data«, University of Vienna, Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology (Supervisors: W. Neubauer, C. Gugl)