Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos
Archaeologists delved over 100 silver and one gold coins, along with more a few hundred small items, ten thousands pottery fragments dating from the Roman occupation of Porolissum Ancient Camp, in Salaj County (northwestern Romania).
Ancient Roman archeology expert Coriolan Opreanu believes there was one of the local fairs where soldiers of the military strongholds located at the Roman Empire’s borders used to trade with the Barbarians.
The discoveries have been recently made, during the archeological digs part in an European project aimed at the capitalization of the Ancient Roman Camps situated in the Salaj County, and headed by deputy manager of the Romanian Academy’s Institute of Archeology and Art History, Cluj Napoca Prof. Coriolan Opreanu.
“We found 105 coins, one made of gold, about 30 fibulae, and many other items, over 700, in all, along with a huge quantity of pottery fragments, Ancient Roman, at the utmost, but also of other origin. I believe it was a contact point there, the Barbarians living beyond the Ancient Roman borders had permanently claimed trading points nearby the border Roman Camps, there are documents reading that. I think, we have found such a fair, a trading point, a place where the Barbarians were exchanging commodities and produce with the Romans”, said Prof. Opreanu
In Opreanu’s opinion, the fair worked for about 100 years, during the 2nd and the 3rd century, when the territory was under the Roman occupation.
The Porolissum Archeological Reserve nearby the above-mentioned digs and discoveries happened is one of the largest and best-preserved archeological sites in Romania. This border military stronghold was settled in the year 106 by Roman Emperor Trajan to defend the main passage of the Carpathians (Meses Mountains) to the Dacia Porolissensis. After dozens of years Porolissum became an important trade center, where the Romans and the Barbarians exchanged goods and it continued getting ever more prosperous for almost a millennium after the Romans withdrew from Dacia, in the year 271.