By means of the FWF-Project on the Roman settlement near Leithaprodersdorf, a comprehensive analysis of a rural settlement in north-west Pannonia will be possible for the first time. The project encompasses the chronological, typological, archaeozoological and functional investigation of this rural settlement, as well as an inventory of the burial site belonging to it.

Archaeological research in the hinterland of the Roman Danubian border

For a long time, scientific examination of Roman remains of the rural hinterland of north-west Pannonia occupied only a secondary role in contrast to the study of the Roman Danubian border. Grave stones record that numerous settlers of Celtic and German origin must have lived in the rural areas of the province. We know very little, however, about their settlement structures and how, or from what time, an adaptation to a Roman lifestyle took place here.

The excavations of the settlement at Leithaprodersdorf

The investigation of the Leithaprodersdorf settlement is particularly well suited for gaining information about the settlement and population structures of the Roman hinterland. At Leithaprodersdorf, a multi-phase Roman settlement site has been archaeologically examined between 2005–2015. Its cemetery is also known, and the necropolis has already been scientifically evaluated. During this evaluation it became clear that the burial site at the beginning was very ›un-Roman‹ in character, a fact which raises questions in turn about the autochthonous nature of the settlement.

New insights into rural settlement structures

By means of the analysis of the settlement, a comparison with the burial field can now take place in segments. Thereby, questions regarding the house and settlement structures, as well as their transformations from the 1st to the 4th century A.D., can be clarified. The investigation of the burial field revealed that typically Roman tomb monuments were first erected after the burial site had existed for approximately 50 years. Furthermore, other decidedly ›Roman‹ objects (Terra Sigillata) were first used relatively late in the burial site. These noticeable issues should also be pursued in the settlement on the basis of socio-cultural, contextual and history-of-trade aspects.

Scientific methods for the evaluation of the settlement

In addition, the total extent of the settlement should be understood via the evaluation of aerial photographs. The coin finds from the settlement will be assessed in the research group of Numismatics of the OeAI. The analysis of animal bones is exceptionally significant for the project. Since the spectrum of animal breeds and the size of growth of particular animals were often influenced by Roman practice after the conquest of a province, here, too, a transformation from indigenous to ›imported‹ animal breeds is assumed. For the first time, a comprehensive chronological, typological, archaeozoological and functional analysis of a rural settlement in north-west Pannonia will be feasible in the framework of the FWF-Project.

Principal Investigator