Roman Age

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The political history of central Europe during the Roman Age is characterized by a permanent alternation of peace and war between Romans with the Dacians, Sarmatians and the Germanic tribes. The barbarians used to attack during times of political instability, when the Roman army was poorly organized, but there were also periods when the barbarians were pushed forward by other Germanic tribes arrived from northern Europe. The Romans often used the principle of “divide et impera,” setting the tribes against each other and promising them money and land inside the provinces.
    The first Roman archaeological finds originating in Satu Mare county were retrieved from Apa and Boineşti at the end of the 19th century. They were inventories of the incineration graves: swords, shield-umbos, lance points, belonging to the Germanic tribes of the Vandals. The first scientific research on a Roman settlement was carried out in Ciumeşti–Malomháta within the excavation coordinated by the Institute of Archaeology of the Romanian Academy, focused on the Celtic settlement. The archaeological activity of the specialists from Satu Mare increased at the beginning of the 1960’s. The settlement and the incineration cemetery from Medieşu Aurit–Şuculeu and La Leşu, and the settlement from Lazuri–Râtul lui Bela have been intensely researched. Smaller sized excavations were carried out in Bolda, Culciu Mare, Moftinu Mic, Lazuri, Oraşul Nou, Satu Mare, Căpleni, Foieni.
    After the political changes in 1989, the research of the Roman period in Satu Mare county continued with the systematic research of the site from Lazuri–Lubi tag, based on the cooperation between the County Museum of Satu Mare and the archaeological institutions of the Romanian Academy. The archaeological activities in the county were mostly focused on rescue excavations generated by great investments: the customs office from Petea, Urziceni, Halmeu, the gas pipes from Halmeu–Apa–Tăşnad, the wires of Romtelecom, and the road from Petea–Supur etc.
    The present state of the research left doubt on the consequences of the great wars between the Romans and the Dacians, and their effect upon the territory of our county. It’s almost sure that Roman troops, while heading towards the Dacian fortresses of the Upper Tisa Basin, built marching camps of earth on the territory of Satu Mare county. In advance of the limes Porolissensis, a Roman demarcation line was detected. It could serve, perhaps, as the first borderline of the Dacian territory under Traianus. A section of 6 km of this line was recently researched in Supuru de Sus.
    After settling the peace in the province of Dacia by the emperor Hadrianus, the territory of Satu Mare county was inhabited by several tribes called “barbarians” by the Romans. It is assumed that the Romans destroyed only the fortresses and the sacred places of the Dacians, but common people, especially the farmers who provided the troops with food, continued their living during the Roman period. Archaeological research confirm this continuous life, revealing the Roman fibulae with prominent profiles in the settlements of Medieşu Aurit–Şuculeu and Acâş–Râtul lui Maitini and Podul Crasnei.
    Between 160 and 180 B.C., during the Marcomanic wars, the Danube limes was broken by the frequent attacks of the barbarians, aroused by the migration of the Gothic tribe from the far North towards the Black Sea. During this period, the territory of Satu Mare county is penetrated by Germanic populations from the Vandal tribes of the Hasdingi and of the Victovals. Incineration graves of Germanic warriors were found with curved swords, with shield umbos, spurs and sword points in Apa, Boineşti–Bélavéra, and the Dacian cemetery from Medieşu Aurit–La Leşu. It’s almost certain that it was a peaceful penetration, the first to arrive here were small groups of warriors settling beside the local Dacian population.
    After the Marcomanic wars, the evolution of the material culture from the territory of Satu Mare county is closely connected to the archaeological phenomena of Central Europe. A mixed Germanic–Dacian material culture emerged. In settlements, the Dacian cups (Supuru de Sus–Togul lui Cosmi, Medieşu Aurit-Şuculeu) and vessels decorated with alveolar waist of Dacian tradition, were found together with a great number of objects of Germanic origin, belonging to the Pržeworsk culture (Petea–Vama).Archaic, handmade vessels of Germanic tradition, with biconical shapes or made of dark fine paste are found in all settlements of the Satu Mare Plain. There are the typical buildings like the underground dwellings having three or four piles on the short sides, or piles in a row, found together with rectangular pits with fired walls. The settlement from Medieşu Aurit –Şuculeu is special because it has Dacian archaeological material and it was demonstrated here the existence of a pottery-production center, specialized in making storage vessels, with old, traditional pottery kilns.
    The barbarian material culture from the Central Europe in this period is characterized by acculturation, adopting elements from the Roman material culture. In addition to the imports, like terra sigillata vessels found at Corund–Pe Izvoare, Roman fibulae from Acâş–Râtul lui Maitini, Lazuri–Lubi tag, and Petea-Vama, or bronze vessels from Berveni–Holmoş, the barbarians adopted the technology of making fine, stamped pottery and rough pottery during the second half of the 3rd century. Real industrial quarters were formed on the limits of the settlements. In addition to the Roman influence, a new material culture, specific to Germanic people, penetrated from north. This is attested by new forms of vessels and by a new architectural style, characterized by long buildings, with foundation ditches like the building found at Berveni–Holmoş.
    During the 4th century, the settlements continue their development. The hand-decorated pottery was almost entirely eliminated, and the shapes were borrowed from the Romans. Some archaic forms, though, were kept and made at the wheel. During this century, in the settlement from Lazuri–Râtul lui Bela elements of Gothic material culture appeared (Sântana de Mureş–Cerneahov archaeological culture), that predict the early stage of the migrations era.
    Based on the archaeological finds, it is difficult to make accurate statements on the lifestyle of the communities in the territory of Satu Mare county, of the Roman Age. The sickles and the scythes found in Lazuri–Râtul lui Bela indicate the cultivation of grains, while the smith’s pincers from Apa–Moşia Brazilor and Petea–Vama show the presence of the smiths. Beside the agriculture and crafts, the warlike character of the society is demonstrated by several lance points found in settlements beside objects of every day use.
    The fall of the Roman Empire is conventionally called the early stage of the migrations period, called by the antique authors as the age of restless. The sources depict in detail the bloody invasions of the Huns and of other migrating people to Roman towns. The archaeological finds from the last decades prove the existence of a settlement network in the Carpathian Basin with a sedentary population probably continuing to live under the political domination of the Huns. A settlement of this type was researched in Pişcolt–Lutărie, revealing storage pits for grains and a “street” made of several subterranean dwellings. The pottery resembles the archaeological material of the Sarmathians from the Carpathian Basin, but the bone comb may also indicate a Germanic influence in the settlement. Influences from the East are represented by a double inhumation grave within the settlement, where, beside the 22–24 years old man, laid straight, together with the characteristic reflexive-bow, was buried his wife/slave (?), a young woman of 14–16 years old, laid by his side in a crouched, inferior position.
    After Attila’s death in 456, the political power in the Carpathian Basin, was taken over by the Germanic tribes. An aristocratic woman was buried in Dindeşti, during the second half of the 5th century. Her vestments, with two oversized silver fibulas, reflect the fashion of the time, which proves to be homogenous on a surprisingly wide territory, extending from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
    The early stage of migrations closed the fascinating period of the Antiquity. During the next centuries, the material culture of the Central Europe gradually changed, turning into the civilization of the Middle Ages.

Batarci - Archaeological sites

A bronze deposit and a few golden ornaments, all laid in a vessel were found at the border of the forest from the south-eastern part of the locality.

County Museum of Satu Mare
Bd. Vasile Lucaciu, Nr. 21
440031, Satu Mare
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