Vala Lui Traian

You will search in vain for a reference to the Vatu tui Traian in any modern book on Roman frontiers.

Yet slicing through eastern Romania are three separate but interlinked linear fortifications.Two show distinctly Roman characteristics, as Bill Hanson and Ioana Oltean reveal.

Three separate lines of fortification - two of earth and one, at least nominally, of stone - cut across Dobrogea in eastern Romania, a relatively narrow zone of raised tablel and on the western shore of the Black Sea. Running from just south of Cernavoda, they follow a steep scarp on the south side of the Carasu valley before continuing across the flatter terrain to the coast near Constanta, a distance of about 60km (38 miles). They are the most easterly example of a man-made barrier in the Roman Empire. So why has this well-preserved and, as we shall see, multi-period system of frontier walls effectively disappeared from archaeological study?

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Authors: Bill Hanson and Ioana Oltean

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Bill Hanson and Ioana Oltean

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