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Presenting the Romans Presenting the Romans
Interpreting the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site

6 - Vindonissa: Changing Presentations of a Roman Legionary Fortress

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2013

Jürgen Trumm
Affiliation:
Universities of Freiburg im Breisgau
Nigel Mills
Affiliation:
Director, World Heritage and Access, The Hadrian's Wall Trust
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Summary

Introduction

The protection and presentation of archaeological structures is a century-long tradition in Vindonissa. Whereas older models and reconstructions tried to recreate the ancient situation as closely as possible, current approaches to presentation work consciously with abstraction and schematising. They invite the viewer to experience the process and methods of presentation and do not presume to offer definitive solutions. They attempt, rather, to entice the viewer into antiquity for a moment, to stimulate the imagination. Knowing the subjectivity of all history writing, the viewer is allowed, to a large extent, to create his own history of Roman Vindonissa.

The Via et Porta Praetgria Archaeological Site

At Vindonissa, a legionary fort in northern Switzerland, systematic field research began at the end of the 19th century when, in 1897, the amphitheatre was rediscovered and, shortly after, restored and presented to the public (Frei-Stolba et al 2011). The amphitheatre marks not only the beginning of systematic excavation, but also the beginning of preservation and presentation of roman ruins at this important site on the roman frontier. It is interesting to note that since the beginning of field archaeology at Vindonissa, the restored roman remains have been used for different purposes including theatrical performances and even church services.

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Presenting the Romans
Interpreting the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site
, pp. 55 - 64
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2013

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