Full Version: Roman battle sites and archaeology
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How many sites from the Roman era have produced archaeological evidence that convincingly supports their identification as known battle fields?

I can think of relatively few - Alesia and Gergovia, although both are disputed; Cremona in Italy, Kalkriese and Harzhorn in Germany (although the battles themselves are not so easy to identify!); Colchester in Britain, Masada and Dura Europos in the east. Additional evidence from various points along the limes attests to conflict, although I think only in a few cases can it be linked to a known war.

Are there more? If not, why might this be? It's probably significant that six of the eight I mentioned above were sieges, and a seventh featured a wall...

I remember there was a conference about Roman battlefield archaeology and proceedings of the conference were published:

Jobst, W. (ed.): Archäologie der Schlachtfelder - Militaria aus Zerstörungshorizonten. Akten der 14. Internationalen Roman Military Equipment Conference (ROMEC) Wien, 27.-31. August 2003. Carnuntum Jahrbuch 2005. Wien.

Quote:Battle of Baecula... Aegates Islands

Thanks. Aegates is a good one, although of course remains on the seabed will tend to remain undisturbed far more readily than those on land!

Was there anything particular about the Baecula site which might have helped the preservation of remains? Particularly dry environment, perhaps, or an area that remained undeveloped or otherwise unfrequented in subsequent centuries?
I remembered another short but very interesting article by Bosman published in JRMES, 1995, dedicated to the Roman defense against the Frisians at the Castellum Flevum (Velsen 1) in 28 CE (Tac. Ann., IV, 72-73). Based on the finds of more than 500 led sling shots, the directions of 3 subsequent Frisian attacks and Roman counterattacks could be clearly discerned. Based on the forms of the finds (including a likeness of a thumb) it has been concluded that the Romans casted the shots during the battle itself.

A.V.A.J. Bosman. Pouring lead in the pouring rain: Making lead slingshot under battle conditions. Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies. Vol. 6. 1995, pp. 99-103.

Fascinating! Thanks - I do recall reading about Velsen, but I'd never seen the images.

Slingshot and boot-nails seem to be among the most abiding traces, then... Actually I think there are slingshot from Mutina as well - the famous ones with the rude messages!