14 April 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

An ancient “fridge” have uncovered at the Roman legionary fortress of Novae, Bulgaria

Polish archaeologists, during excavations at the Roman legionnaires’ camp in Novae, discovered a container that could be described as an ancient “fridge” made of ceramic plates for storing food.

The legionary fortress of Novae is an archaeological site on the Danube in northern Bulgaria, near the town of Svishtov. It was founded in the middle of the first century AD.

The 1st Italian legion was based here for most of its existence and its presence is confirmed until the 30s of the 5th century AD. In the area of ​​the camp, which covers 17.99 ha, monumental buildings have been discovered, the most important of which is the headquarters building (principia), although the legionary hospital (valetudinarium) and baths (thermae legionis) are equally impressive.

Ancient fridge. Photo: P. Dyczek
Ancient fridge. Photo: P. Dyczek

There was a civil settlement (canabae) on the west side of the camp, and a necropolis on the south and east side. In late antiquity, the fortifications of Novae were reinforced, and an additional area (the so-called annex) was attached to the camp from the east, covering an area of ​​approximately 8 ha. At that time, both soldiers and civilians lived within the walls. Traces of the latest Roman activity date back to the end of the 6th century.

Researchers from Poland and Bulgaria have been excavating the fortress for several decades, with Professor Piotr Dyczek of the University of Warsaw currently in charge of the project.

During this season’s excavations, the team found a container made of ceramic plates recessed beneath the floor, which was used as a “fridge” by the fort’s inhabitants to store food. The container was discovered in a military barracks room.

Within the container, the team found pieces of ceramic vessels and small baked bone fragments, in addition to charcoal and a bowl which the team suggests may have been a censor for driving away insects.

Professor Piotr Dyczek said that the discoveries of such “fridges” are rare.

The partially restored ruins of the Roman city and military camp of Novae were unveiled in 2014. Photo: Svishtov Municipality
The partially restored ruins of the Roman city and military camp of Novae were unveiled in 2014. Photo: Svishtov Municipality

Another find this year is a collection of several dozen coins. Most come from strata covering the period from the incursion of the Goths in the Middle Ages. From the 3rd century to the beginning of the reign of Constantine the Great (early 4th century).

Archaeologists have also unearthed entire strings of walls and the remains of a Roman dwelling containing querns. Wells, weaving and fishing weights, reels, and vessel fragments were discovered.

Cover Photo:  P. Dyczek

PAP

Related Articles

The longest inscription in Saudi Arabia turned out to belong to the last king of Babylon

25 July 2021

25 July 2021

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has announced the discovery of a 2,550-year-old inscription etched on basalt stone...

Sicily: Archaeologists make striking discovery in Segesta

8 June 2021

8 June 2021

Archaeological excavations in the Segesta Archaeological Park, investigating a “monumental edifice” near the portico at the end of the old...

In China, 2700-Year-Old Face Cream Made from Moon Milk for Men was Found

14 February 2021

14 February 2021

At a Chinese excavation site with Chinese and German researchers, evidence of a 2,700-year-old male facial cream was found. In...

An important discovery in Haltern: Mini temples and sacrificial pit discovered in Roman military encampment

16 November 2023

16 November 2023

Archaeologists from the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association (LWL) have found remains of the foundations of two mini Roman temples and a...

Ancient Mesopotamians bred horse-like hybrids

17 January 2022

17 January 2022

New research finds that Mesopotamians were utilizing hybrids of domesticated donkeys and wild asses to drive their war wagons 4,300...

People may have been cooking curries in South-East Asia for at least 2000 years

22 July 2023

22 July 2023

Archaeologists have found remnants of eight spices on a sandstone slab from an archaeological site in Vietnam, showing the early...

New evidence suggests Indonesia’s Gunung Padang could be world’s oldest known pyramid

21 November 2023

21 November 2023

Gunung Padang, a  colossal megalithic structure nestled in the lush landscapes of West Java, Indonesia, could be the world’s oldest...

A mysterious lead tablet with an unknown 13th-14th-century script: Might be an old Lithuanian script?

26 February 2024

26 February 2024

In the Museum of the Palace of the Grand Dukes in Vilnius, Lithuania, a mysterious lead tablet dating back to...

Neanderthals used glue to make stone tools 40,000 years ago, a new study suggests “Earliest evidence of a multi-component adhesive in Europe”

22 February 2024

22 February 2024

More than 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals in what is now France used a multi-component adhesive to make handles for stone...

Archaeologists discover one of the largest Phallus Relief Carving of ancient Rome

28 August 2022

28 August 2022

According to an announcement by the region’s local history museum, a large Roman-era relief carving of a phallus has been...

A 1700-year-old Roman water tunnel dug into the mountain was discovered in Adıyaman province in southeastern Türkiye

13 September 2023

13 September 2023

It was revealed that in the Besni district of Adıyaman province, located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, the...

2600-year-old Med period artifacts found in Oluz Höyük, in Turkey

17 October 2022

17 October 2022

During the Oluz Höyük excavations in Amasya, artifacts dating back to the Med Kingdom period were found, dating back to...

History of 8,500 years waits for a museum

19 June 2023

19 June 2023

The conservation process of the Yenikapı shipwrecks, which were discovered during the Marmaray project and considered the largest collection of...

Ancient City Cistern Found Near Croatia’s Iconic Fountain

15 February 2024

15 February 2024

An island-speckled coastline and ancient walled towns place Croatia among the world’s best-beauty cities. But there’s even more to this...

The first analysis results confirm that the grave in Tiarp is one of the oldest stone burial chambers in Scandinavia

31 January 2024

31 January 2024

In Tiarp, close to Falköping, Sweden, archaeologists from Gothenburg University and Kiel University have discovered a dolmen that dates back...