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VETUS SALINA (Adony) Fejér, Hungary.

Roman camp and settlement on the E limes of Pannonia inferior, on the shore of the Danube. Its name is mentioned in Ptolemy (2.15.3), the Antonine Itinerary (245.4), and on inscriptions (CIL III, 10505). During excavations only the walls of the SW corner were unearthed, the rest was swept away by a tributary of the Danube. Several consecutive periods of construction can be traced.

The earliest wooden camp (I), built at the end of the 1st c. (probably between 88-92), was one of the first Roman fortifications in this area. A 70 m section on the S (longer) side of the wall remains and a 130 m section on the W (shorter) side. The rest of the walls disappeared completely during later changes. To judge from the relatively small valium in front of the walls, it is probable that this was a transitional camp surrounded by earthen ramparts. On the W wall are traces of two round towers 25 m apart. The post-holes discovered inside the towers indicate a storied, wooden-beamed building, the earliest Pannonian example of this type of tower. Among the findings some terra sigillata of the Po area and much-worn coins of Claudius I were discovered.

The settlement to the S of the camp belongs to this period. Only traces of foundations and post-holes were found.

The walls of the second wooden camp were built somewhat farther S. The vallum was deeper and wider than in the previous period but of the same shape. It was constructed probably in the era of Domitian and destroyed during the beginning of the Dacian wars of Trajan when the garrison of the first camp (cohors II Batavorum) left. Their place was taken by the cohors II Alpinorum, which built the third wooden camp. Built directly on the walls of the first, its S wall stretched about 50 m farther S. Of the walls 81 m on the S side and 151 m on the W side remain. The walls, constructed of double post rows, were reinforced by a third supporting wall. On the S side the foundation of a square tower, jutting halfway out of the waIl, was unearthed. Only a few traces of the inner buildings survive, one of them the remains of terrazzo-floored buildings. The road, leading through the porta decumana, led 88 m from the SW corner of the camp. From this it can be calculated that the shorter camp wall was 176 m long, as at Intercisa.

The cohors II Alpinorum, which built the camp, arrived most probably in 102, the first year of the Dacian wars, and stayed till 117-20, when the cohors III Batavorum took over.

The fourth camp was built over the first and third, but occupied a larger territory. Its walls were built over the filled-in vallum of the third camp, partially in front of it. The construction of the wall, built of three post-rows, was similar to that of the third camp. The walls were reinforced by stone-floored towers jutting out of the walls. Traces of the road inside the camp, crossing the porta decumana, coincide with the main road of the third camp. Probably this wooden camp too was rebuilt in stone during the great limes fortifications of Hadrian.

The first stone camp was also built by the Cohors III Batavorum, almost exactly on the spot of the fourth wooden camp. During the change-over they left the vallum intact and erected a stone wall 75-80 cm thick in front of the towers. They also used inner buildings of the previous camp. The first known tile stamps are from this period with the name of the cohors. (The earlier period could be identified through data from military diplomas.) The existence of this camp lasted from the reign of Hadrian—when the conversion to stone of all camps can be observed to the Marcomannic wars.

The second stone camp was built probably after the ravages of the Marcomannic wars; its stone walls were pilfered completely during Roman times. This camp had a double vallum, its first trench was unusually deep. Apart from this, the camp was only the rebuilding of the first stone camp. Its garrison remained the same.

The settlement, belonging to different periods of the camp, was destroyed through river floods and road building. Aside from primitive dwellings of the first wooden camp, the settlement may be said to have developed only after the construction of the third wooden camp. Traces of houses with beamed framework were discovered.

Among the finds apart from the terra sigillata, many fragments of the gray so-called Pannonia pots came to surface. These seal-decorated ceramic fragments are of the type frequently found in the Aquincum area, in the counties of Fejér and Veszprém, without, however, being connected with any definite workshop. On the basis of these pots it can be established that the inhabitants of the settlement were mostly natives of Pannonia.

Of the rather poor epigraphical legacy of the camp and settlement—beside the milliarium above (CIL III, 10631-3723)—an altar stone deserves special mention. This was consecrated to Den Vagdavercustis by one of the tribunes of the cohors III Batavorum. The name of this Batavian goddess is otherwise unknown in Pannonia.

A late Roman burial ground was discovered on the site of the camp, already destroyed during Roman times. Only six of the approximately 20-25 tombs could be unearthed. The findings of these show that the population of the area in the 4th c. already mixed with that of the area between the Danube and Tisza.


L. Barkóczi & É. Bónis, “Das frührömische Lager und die Wohnsiedlung von Adony (Vetus Salina),” Acta Archaeol. Acad. Scient. Hungaricae 4 (1954) 128-99; J. Fitz, “Fejér megye története I, 4,” A római kor fejér megyében (1970) 164-65=8-9.


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