In AD 378, the Goths slaughtered the Romans at the battle of Adrianople, not far from Bulgaria but in modern-day Turkey. This combat represents one of the great disasters in the decline of the Roman Empire. What were the Romans to do? After 20 years of mulling, they decided that the only way to deal with upstarts was to try to win them over. Over the past 25 years, Professor Andrew Poulter has been working out the complex story of the transition from the Roman period into Late Antiquity in what is now Bulgaria. And as part of his massive field-work project, he came across Dichin, a site with some surprising evidence: it appears to have been a Roman fort established to contain a band of Gothic Foederati – confederate troupes – with whom the Romans aimed to forge a collaboration. Here we get the full fire and brimstone story of Bulgaria’s Gothic rise – and subsequent fall.
Despite spring’s dappling sun, blossoming trees, and burgeoning life, this issue offers a raft of features on forts, fighting, and destruction: the very stuff of good archaeology. Thus, we follow the epic destruction of the newly excavated crusaders’ fort, Jacob’s Ford in Jordan.
We also report on Rohtas Fort in North Pakistan, visited as part of CWA’s recent Herculean tour. Rohtas is one of the largest, most magnificent, and yet least well known, forts in the Indian sub-continent. Perplexingly, the mid-16th century fort was built in just 20 years only to be promptly abandoned. After a swift look at Moghal India to shed light on Rohtas’ peculiar history, we join the current archaeological excavations at Rohtas to investigate how it might have worked. After all, if this was a fort, then where is its accommodation?
The ambitious Alexander the Great conquered territories as far east as Pakistan back in the 4th century BC. In our Cover Story, archaeologist and documentary-maker Peter Sommer follows 2000 miles of Alexander’s journey starting at Troy. Peter travels by foot, just like the great man; although without his penchant for war.
Archaeologists Ole Gr