Exciting archaeological finds unearthed in Mikháza

Exciting archaeological finds are being unearthed in Mikháza (Călugăreni), the Székelyhon news portal reports. In the Maros (Mureş) County village, an international team of archaeologists is currently working on the site of the former Roman fort (castrum in Latin). The excavation is part of a larger European research project focused on identifying the border defense system of the Roman Empire, called limes in Latin. Recently, a wing of the former command building was found, and there are ongoing excavations to unearth the former Roman waterworks and the baths.

The archaeological site of Mikháza was part of the extensive border protection system (limes) of the Roman Empire, and it had a strategic role in the protection of the Nyárád River region. The former fortress is known in local tradition as the Fairy Castle. The first archaeological excavations took place in the last third of the 19th century and identified the location of the former castrum. The CPAI inscription on the stamped Roman bricks proved that an auxiliary team, the c(ohors) p(rima) A(ugusta) I(turaeorum) was stationed in the fort.

The Maros County Museum restarted the archaeological research in 2011. Furthermore, geophysical measurements and intensive field trips in recent years clarified the topography of the site. Excavations so far have taken place in the area of the command building and the baths, as well as in some parts of the civilian settlement. In addition to the staff of the Maros County Museum, archaeologists from Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), Budapest, Leiden, Berlin and Cologne as well as several students of archaeology are currently working on the site.

As archaeologist-historian Szilamér Pánczél, team leader from the Maros County Museum, told Székelyhon, a new wing of the command center building has been found; up until now, they had only aerial and geophysical data on this section of the command center. Based on the findings of similar research projects, the team expects to soon unearth military equipment, weapons and everyday tools, as well as by-products of everyday consumption: pots, bones, etc. These are all items that hold lots of information on how the soldiers and the civilians who served them lived in this 3rd century facility.

The research of the Roman command center building could be finished within a year or two, the archaeologist told Székelyhon. The museum plans to build a roof above the remains to protect them from the weather, and they would like to exhibit the findings. Some 80 percent of the Roman baths have been excavated, but the civil settlement has not yet been researched, so there is still a lot of work left to be done.

In 2015, an Archaeological Park was established in Mikháza, which functions under the auspices of the Maros County Museum’s Görgényi Castle and Lime Research Center. The park covers an area of five hectares and is meant to protect, promote and present the site.

Recently, an archaeological camp and thematic days have been organized for children aged 6 to 12 by the Maros County Museum in Mikháza. The children visited the site, got acquainted with the equipment of Roman soldiers, and even cooked cheese cream according to an original Roman recipe.

The ancient Roman frontier and its defense, communication and commercial facilities established in the 2nd and 3rd centuries are the subject of intensive research in several countries. The “limes” has a total length of about 5,000 kilometers on three continents and is the largest man-made defense system besides the Great Wall of China.

Title image: Recently, a new wing of the former Roman command center building has been found at the archaeological site of Mikháza

Source: nepujsag.ro/Szilamér Pánczél

Author: Éva Zay