Economic Transformations in Novae (Moesia Secunda) in the Late Antiquity
Elena Klenina, Andrzej B. Biernacki
Roman camp and Early-Byzantine city of Novae (Moesia Inferior / Moesia Secunda) on the southern bank of the Danube River was the most important centre on the border of the empire and has been among the most well-studied objects of this type in the area of the Lower Danube. The excavations in the central part of Novae were undertaken within the framework of Polish-Bulgarian scientific research projects. Studies carried out during previous science and research projects related to uncovering the large legionary baths and the bishopric complex in Novae led to the discovery of a monumental armamentarium. After the destruction of the arsenal, a horreum was built on this site in the 4th century AD. The intensification of construction activities in this region was likely associated with the rise to the power of Emperor Constantius II (337– 361), in Constantinople. In the 4th century AD, similar types of horrea appeared in Capidava, Histria (Scythia), Serdica (Dacia Mediterranea). The horreum in Novae, in terms of its architecture and size, is close to the building uncovered in Capidava (Scythia). The design features of these structures indicated that they were intended for storing goods transported in amphorae rather than grain. The emergence of structures of this type in the Roman military fortresses was caused by their new functions.
Most of the amphorae fragments found in the horreum were manufactured in the region of the Aegean Sea. One of the rare types uncovered in the building belongs to Сylindrical Aegean 1/Athenian Agora P 8164 amphorae type. The vessel with a complete profile has not been discovered in Novae. A. Opait suggests that the dimensions and capacity decrease from the early to the late Roman period. Due to a few analogies, we can restore the full vessel form of the 3rd-4th centuries AD. The amphorae have a body that narrows into a more cylindrical shape and ends in a tubular spike with a flat tip. During the 4th century AD, these cylindrical amphorae were still exported. The body continues to be cylindrical with wheel traces. The later examples were slimmer and dated to the end of the 4th century or even the beginning of the 5th century AD. Another rare type belongs to Cretan amphorae of the st to 4th century AD used for the transport of wine.