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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Ms Emily Hanscam

Hanscam, E.R. (2017). Frontiers of Romania: Nationalism and the Ideological Space of the Roman Limes. Ex Novo Journal of Archaeology 2: 63-83.

Author(s) from Durham


Modern Romania is a nation-state containing space which has long been considered
marginal - first as part of the Roman Empire and now within the European Union. The
national narrative of Romania highlights this liminality, focusing on the interactions
between the Romans and the local Dacians on the northeastern border regions of the
Empire. Romania still contains significant material remnants of the Iron Age, including
the Roman Limes, a series of fortifications on the Danube River meant to protect the
Roman borders. As such, the archaeological tradition of this geographic space is heavily
entangled with Romania’s identity as a frontier region. This paper outlines the formation
of Romanian national space, focusing on the period between the seventeenth century
and 1918. It considers the relationship between the materiality of the Roman Limes and
ideological frontiers in Romania, examining the role of archaeology in the sustainment
of the Romanian nation space.