Carnuntum (Καρνους) Archaeological Park

Carnuntum Archeological Park


Description of Carnuntum Archaeological Park

Location: Lower Austria  Map

Area: 10 km2

Info: Petronell Carnuntum Hauptstrasse 296 (02163) 3370

Open: 21 Mar- 15 Nov: 9am- 5pm daily

Museum Carnuntum

Bad Deutsch Altenburg, Badgasse 42

Tel. (02165) 62480

Open: Mar- Nov: 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun

noon- 5pm Mon

Nov- Mar: 11am- 5pm Sat- Sun

Carnuntum Archaeological Park is an open air museum situated in the Lower Austria.


Carnuntum is the name of a multi-period legionary camp, an auxiliary fort and a camp town that served to protect the Upper Pannonian Limes. From the 2nd century AD, the civilian town of Carnuntum was also the administrative center of the Roman province of (Upper) Pannonia. It is the most important and most extensively researched ancient archaeological site in Austria and is located in the municipal areas of Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Lower Austria. It is also the only legionary camp between Regensburg and Belgrade that has not been built over in a modern way, making it one of the most important archaeological monuments on the Danube Limes, parts of which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

The region around a Celtic settlement and power center that has not yet been localized and that the historian Velleius Paterculus described as "Carnunto, qui locus regni Norici" (located in the kingdom of Noricum) became a gathering point for the 1st century AD Expansion of the Romans into free Germania (Barbaricum). There, an important connection to the south branched off from the Limes Road. One of the most important settlement and defense centers in the northern provinces of the empire soon developed at the foothills of the Little Carpathians. Together with the auxiliary camp of Győr, the legionary camp in Carnuntum is one of the oldest Roman fortifications on the Pannonian Limes. Carnuntum owed its rapid rise, among other things, to its favorable location at the crossing point of two old transcontinental trade routes and the legionary and auxiliary camps, in which up to 6,500 men were stationed at times. The juxtaposition of legions and auxiliary troops in particular emphasized the military-political rank of this location for the Romans. The castles of Carnuntum were repeatedly at the center of important political and military events during the Roman rule over Pannonia.

The oldest archaeological evidence from Roman times dates to the middle of the 1st century AD. After the establishment of a temporary winter camp under the then general and later emperor Tiberius (14-37), solid wood emerged during the reign of Claudius (41-54). -Earth storage and two civilian settlements. Around 50,000 people were already living there at the beginning of the 2nd century. The legionary camp was rebuilt in stone around 100 AD. In the middle of the 2nd century a cavalry fort was also built. During the Marcomannic Wars, Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180) led his campaigns from Carnuntum into the tribal areas north of the Danube. At the end of the 2nd century the governor of Upper Pannonia, Septimius Severus (193-211), was proclaimed emperor by the Danube legions; This resulted in another massive economic upswing for Pannonia. In late antiquity, a base for the Danube fleet was set up in Carnuntum. In 308 AD the Tetrarchs held the Imperial Conference of Carnuntum there. In the middle of the 4th century a severe earthquake devastated the region. This natural disaster, combined with the steady reduction in border troops and the disastrous effects of mass migration, finally initiated their economic and demographic decline. In the late 4th century, Emperor Valentinian I (364-375) used the already very run-down place as an army camp for a campaign against Transdanubian tribal associations. In the course of the 5th century, the legionary camp was given up and abandoned by its Roman inhabitants. Between Limesstrasse and Bernsteinstrasse lies the so-called Heidentor, a partially preserved triumphal monument from the 4th century, today the symbol of the Carnuntum region.



The name Carnuntum/Karnuntum was taken from the Celtic predecessor settlement and would thus point to the Celtic deity Cernunnos in one of its name forms, since the common root of the names carn means horn. It could also be derived from an Illyrian idiom and mean 'stone wall, stone building, stone city, settlement on the rock or on the stone', but this is now assumed to be obsolete.

for the first time by the chronicler Velleius Paterculus,
later also in two places in Pliny,
with the geographer Claudius Ptolemy,
in the self-reflections of Mark Aurel (the second book of this work was written by the emperor in Carnuntum),
in the Historia Augusta,
in the Notitia Dignitatum,
by the late antique chronicler Ammianus Marcellinus,
in the Codex Theodosianus,
in the Annales regni Francorum,

and in the main geographic sources,
in the Itinerary Antonini
and in the Tabula Peutingeriana



The village of Petronell-Carnuntum is located between Vienna (Vindobona) and Bratislava on the rivers Danube and Leitha. Ancient Carnuntum was about 40 kilometers east of Vienna, directly on the south bank of the Danube (Danuvius) at the Danube breakthrough through the Small Carpathians, past which the river flows through the Hainburg Gate (Porta Hungarica) near the mouth of the March. The steep bank of the Danube is interrupted at the Pfaffenberg near Deutsch-Altenburg by the valley of a small stream, which offered easy access to the Danube. The Braunsberg, the 480 meter high Hundsheimer Berg and its foothills, the Pfaffenberg, offered an excellent all-round view of the Marchfeld, the Donauauen and the mouth of the March. At Carnuntum, the Amber Road, which came from the north through the March Valley, also crossed the Danube.

The ancient, ten square kilometer settled area stretched in the west from Petronell-Carnuntum to the Pfaffenberg near Bad Deutsch-Altenburg in the east. In the north they encountered dense alluvial forests. In the south, the settlement area extended to about the route of today's federal highway 9. Due to the natural terrain edge in this section, the camp was about 40 meters above the southern bank of the Danube. The topography and hydrology of the banks of the Danube have changed steadily since ancient times. The area at Carnuntum was also subject to constant changes. The reason for this is that the river has always sought new ways through the country and has influenced the flora and fauna with its bed load and flood waters by forming new river bends. At that time, the main stream probably ran a little further north.

Carnuntum initially belonged to the territory of neighboring Noricum. However, it was annexed to Pannonia under Tiberius because of the constant danger of barbarian raids in its sector. After the province was divided into Pannonia superior (Upper Pannonia) and Pannonia inferior (Lower Pannonia) under Trajan (98-117), the place first came to Pannonia Superior and from the imperial reform of Diocletian (284-305) belonged to the newly founded Pannonia Prima (Diocese of Illyria).



The possession of Carnuntum as the crossroads of two busy transcontinental trade and transport routes was extremely important for the Romans. At that time, the Danube was the fastest connection between the west and the east of the Roman Empire. From the legionary camp, in addition to controlling the river, its crossings (Stopfenreuth, Burgberg von Devin) and the mouth of the March to the north, traffic on the Amber Road leading from the north (Baltic Sea) to the south (Italy) could also be monitored. In addition to the customs revenue, import bans, export embargoes, etc. could also influence the economy. The other tasks of the crew included border security and signal transmission at the Danube Limes. From the camp plateau you also had a good view of the Marchfeld.


Road connections

The legionary fort as the center of the greater Carnuntum area played an important role in the development of the road network. Like the camps in Vindobona and Arrabona, it stood at the end of important trunk roads, two of which met at the Colonia Claudia Savaria and from there continued to Italy.

The Amber Road was a major trade route connecting what was then inhospitable, underdeveloped northern Europe (the Baltic States) with the ancient centers of trade and crafts in Italy on the Adriatic and the rest of the Mediterranean. It probably crossed the Danube near the Pfaffenberg near Stopfenreuth and reached the city limits in the south-west. From there it was identical to the so-called grave road, since graves were preferably laid there outside the settlement area since the early imperial period. It then ran along the western shore of Lake Neusiedl and connected Carnuntum with the nearest town of Scarbantia (Sopron), as finds of milestones near Oslip and Bruck an der Leitha testify.

The Limes road (via iuxta Danuvium) connected Gaul and the Rhine provinces with the middle and lower Danube and subsequently with the Greek east of the empire. There are different assumptions about their course. In the direction of Vienna, she probably followed the banks of the Danube. It is unclear whether a road down the Danube, leading in the direction of Kastell Gerulata/Rusovce, also belonged to the main line of the Limes road, or whether it led directly out of the southern gate and then continued in a southeasterly direction. About 150 meters south of the railway line, a branch off the Limes road was uncovered. It led through the valley of the Altenburger Bach to Prellenkirchen and from there to the forts of Gerulata and Ad Flexum (Mosonmagyaróvár). A second led at right angles to Gräberstrasse and then to Hundsheim and Edelstal. Plot and field boundaries are still based on its route today. It probably existed since the 1st century AD.

Ceramic finds in Slovakia suggest that Carnuntum was also directly connected to the Váh valley area by a road. Their route probably led over the eastern slopes of the Little Carpathians from the Danube crossing near Bratislava to Trnava.

The west-east camp road is largely identical to the course of federal road 9. Its north-south counterpart continued outside the camp, with the exception of its north side. To the east it runs parallel to today's federal highway to the outskirts of Deutsch-Altenburg. There, however, their traces are lost due to the dense development. It probably led over the Kirchberg to the foot of the Pfaffenberg and from there to the mouth of the March.


Research history

The remains of the legionary camp may have been clearly visible until the 15th century. In 1668, the court librarian of Emperor Leopold I, Peter Lambeck (1628-1680), reported on "... old walls that still stand out quite high above ground, the collapsed vault, vulgo the old cellar, the four gates and crossways." The areas of the camp, which stood directly on the steep banks of the Danube have fallen into the river over the centuries due to erosion. Due to the regulation of the river at the end of the 19th century, these landslides have largely come to a standstill. In contrast to most other legion sites on the Rhine and Danube Limes, the Carnuntine camp is a completely undeveloped archaeological site. Its area was used exclusively for agriculture and offers the ideal conditions for large-scale archaeological prospecting projects such as geophysical measurements and, in particular, aerial archaeological investigations. Since the 1960s, the aerial photo archive of the Institute for Prehistory and Early History at the University of Vienna has held more than 1,500 vertical and oblique photographs from the Carnuntum region. Their evaluation provided a large amount of information on the ancient buildings and infrastructure of the camp town. If you bring together all the excavation and prospecting results, you get a very detailed overall plan of the legionary camp and the adjacent canabae legionis. The barracks, the central building, the principia (staff building), the praetorium (accommodation for the legionary legate), the valetudinarium (camp hospital), three of the six tribune houses (officers' accommodation) and three larger farm buildings in the eastern half of the camp were almost completely excavated.

18th century
Until the late 18th century, the ruins of the "heydnic town" were removed by the peasants because they made it difficult to work in the fields. The stones were reused as building material, the marble burned to lime. In 1726, the officer and scholar Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1658–1730) drew up a rough sketch of the legionary camp for his work Danubius pannonico-Mysicus. At this time there were obviously still large connected remains of the camp walls, which were popularly referred to as "The Old Castle". The east gate in particular was probably relatively well preserved at the time. On the occasion of a Danube trip in the years 1736-1737, the English educational travelers Jeremiah Milles (1714-1784) and Richard Pococke (1704-1765) also paid a visit to Carnuntum and mentioned it in their travelogue "A description of the east and some other countries". Among other things, also reported numerous remains of walls, grassy mounds of bricks in the interior, and a larger ruin in the center of the camp.

19th century
As late as 1821, the Prague magazine Hespererus reported on farmers from Deutsch-Altenburg who were digging up and breaking out old bricks as a lucrative sideline and selling them "by the chunk". In the same year, the numismatist and archaeologist Anton von Steinbüchel (1790-1883) initiated the first targeted excavations, but this was only an individual undertaking. Interest in further research into Carnuntum awoke with a report by the art historian Eduard von Sacken (1825-1883), with which he informed the Imperial and Royal Central Commission about the discovery of Mithraeum I during blasting work on the Pfaffenberg. Sacken had the finds recovered with the greatest possible care and taken to the antique cabinet in Vienna. When Roman inscriptions were found in the Deutsch-Altenburg quarry in 1852, the first excavations began, but these were still mainly limited to collecting ancient finds. The walls of the military baths that were exposed in the process were then filled in again. In the same year Sacken reported that now not a single remnant of the wall of the legionary camp was visible above ground. From 1877, systematic archaeological investigations began under the ancient historian Otto Hirschfeld (1843–1922), which initially focused on the legionary camp and, to a lesser extent, on the canabae legionis and lasted (with brief interruptions) until the outbreak of the First World War. 4/5 of the camp could be uncovered. In 1884, under the patronage of Crown Prince Rudolf von Habsburg, the Carnuntum association was founded with the aim of promoting the scientific investigation of the local ancient archaeological sites. In 1885 the monument conservator Alois Hauser (1841-1896) and in 1908 the archaeologist Maximilian von Groller-Mildensee (1838-1920) dug in the legionary camp and on the Pfaffenberg. In 1888 the amphitheater of the camp town (Amphitheater I) was discovered in a depression next to the legionary camp. It was uncovered by Hauser by 1896. Archaeological exploration of the Roman aqueduct on the Sola Field south of the Canabae began in the 1890s. Between 1885 and 1894 the burial ground on the Amber Road west of the Groller-Mildensee legionary camp was uncovered. Eugen Bormann entered the positions of the individual graves on a cadastral map. In August 1894, the building researcher Josef Dell (1859-1945) and Carl Tragau († 1908) examined Mithraeum III. In the same year the K.K. Archaeological Institute was launched. From then on, this and the Limes Commission, which was affiliated with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, were in charge of researching Carnuntum.


20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century, Groller-Mildensee examined the area south of the theater, whose buildings were based on the Limes road. The Carnuntinum Museum was opened in 1904 to present the ever increasing number of finds in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. In the subsequent excavation campaigns, the archaeologist Eduard Novotny (1862-1935) was able to uncover a large part of the legionary camp until 1914, so that it was possible to reconstruct its structure and structure. Between 1913 and 1914, the then director of the Carnuntinum Museum, Josef Bortlik, organized another large-scale excavation campaign along the street of graves in order to protect the finds from the last unplundered graves from treasure diggers. Since the 1950s, land consolidation, the expansion of infrastructure, large-scale mining, the industrialization of agriculture, etc. have led to the destruction of large areas of archaeological finds. All of these circumstances made rescue excavations necessary, but they were under great time pressure. The last excavations in the legionary camp were carried out between 1968 and 1977 by the Austrian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Austrian Archaeological Institute. They enabled the (still valid) periodization of the legionary camp and provided essential insights into the wood-earth camp and the late antique stone camp. The eastern part of the praetentura (northern part) of the camp has remained largely unexplored to this day. In 1977, on the eastern outskirts of Petronell-Carnuntum, the ditch of the cavalry camp was cut during the construction of a housing estate (the so-called Schneidersiedlung). Archaeological excavations began in 1978 under the direction of Herma Stiglitz. However, some sections of the fort were irretrievably lost as a result of the building over. To save the rest of the fort, the Austrian Federal Monuments Office placed the fort under monument protection. By 1988, it was possible to examine the western half of the area in particular, partly with search cuts, but also on a large scale. The function, the four construction periods and the dimensions of the cavalry camp could be determined. In addition to the fortifications, a number of the interior buildings from the different construction periods were also examined. After Stiglitz retired in 1989, Manfred Kandler was entrusted with continuing the excavation work. He also included the southern apron of the fort in his investigations. Mainly tools, weapon parts as well as cooking and eating utensils were discovered in the cavalry fort. Among the most notable finds are the face mask of an equestrian helmet and a parade helmet used in tournaments. The stone monuments from this excavation area can be viewed in the lapidarium of the cultural center in the municipality of Petronell-Carnuntum. The ruins and finds from the temple area on the Pfaffenberg were documented by rescue excavations by the University of Vienna between 1970 and 1985 before they were finally destroyed and thus secured for posterity.

21st century
Until 2004, the Austrian Archaeological Institute was able to examine large sections of the equestrian fort before the modern development was completed and save it from final destruction by conducting rescue excavations. In 2012, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archeology, in cooperation with other partner organizations, started the "ArchPro Carnuntum" project, which was commissioned by the state of Lower Austria. Through the systematic use of non-invasive archaeological prospecting methods (remote sensing and geophysics), the researchers mapped most of Carnuntum with high-resolution measurements. Within three years, they were able to examine an area covering a total of approx. 10 km². A preliminary overall plan of the ancient remains hidden in the ground was drawn up by 2013 with the help of aerial photographs. The archaeological structures extend over several square kilometers and show, among other things, a dense development on the area of ​​the canabae and also structures of the water supply. With the help of the results of the old excavations and a re-evaluation of the previous state of research, a true-to-scale model of Roman Carnuntum was produced. The research in the legionary camp has come to a complete standstill due to the current negative attitude of the landowner.



The development of the two forts and the camp town was closely related to the constant defensive battles against the Germanic tribes living on the other side of the Danube, which made it necessary to permanently station a large number of soldiers. Due to this circumstance, the border section near Carnuntum repeatedly became the focus of imperial politics, which can be seen in the frequency of the presence of important Roman emperors and generals in the city.

1st century BC.
In the 1st 40s B.C. The Boii were subdued by their eastern neighbors, the Dacians under Burebista, who also burned down their large oppidum near today's Bratislava. After this defeat, the now largely deserted Boian territory (deserta Boiorum, roughly what is now the Vienna Basin and Burgenland) fell to the Noriker. Their settlement areas were also part of the kingdom of Noricum (regnum Noricum) at the end of the first century BC around 15 B.C. The kingdom of Noricum was integrated into the Roman Empire as one of the few new areas of the empire without a violent conquest.

1st century AD
In the Roman written sources, Carnuntum was first mentioned in connection with war events before the Pannonian-Dalmatian Rebellion (bellum dalmaticum), a revolt of the indigenous tribes against Roman rule of 6-9 AD. According to the chronicler Velleius Paterculus, a Roman army of around 40,000 men under their general Tiberius set up a temporary winter camp (castra hiberna) in order to be able to e.g. to subdue the Marcomanni under their king Marbod, who north of the Danube u. a. settled in what is now Bohemia and Moravia. The location of this camp has not yet been located; either it was near Hainburg an der Donau, on the castle hill of Bratislava or at the mouth of the Morava. Pliny wrote of the camp being located in the "Germanic border area"; so Carnuntum did not officially belong to the Roman Empire at that time.

The consolidation of Roman rule encountered much greater difficulties in Pannonia than in neighboring Noricum. Marbod endangered the Roman expansion into Central Germany, as he had a 70,000-strong army (including 4,000 horsemen) drilled according to the Roman model. Emperor Augustus therefore assembled twelve legions (80,000 men) on the Rhine and Danube and placed them under his stepson Tiberius. He was to cross the Danube at Carnuntum with six legions and advance further north along the March. At the same time, the second army group, led by Sentius Saturninus, marched east from Mogontiacum/Mainz to pinch the Marcomanni. The Pannonian rebellion, presumably instigated by Marbod, finally thwarted further advances by Rome into free Germania. Tiberius, who had already reached far north, as far as what is now the Weinviertel, had to turn back immediately, not only to put down the uprising, but also to prevent being cut off from his supplies from Italy. Despite the high number of troops, the Pannonians could only be subdued after three years. After the loss of three legions in the Varus Battle, Augustus finally gave up further conquests in the Germanic tribal areas and fixed the imperial border on the rivers Rhine and Danube.


By 8 AD at the latest, the region around Carnuntum should have been incorporated into the Roman Empire. After the death of Augustus, in the summer of 14 AD, there was unrest in the joint summer camp (castra aestiva) of the legions (Legio VIIII Hispana, Legio XV Apollinaris and Legio VIII Augusta) stationed in Pannonia at the time. However, Drusus the Younger was able to calm down the angry soldiers quickly, after which they retreated to their winter quarters as ordered. In the year 19, inner-German conflicts prompted Marbod, defeated by Arminius, and his entourage to ask for asylum in the Roman Empire. He was followed a little later by his opponents Catualda and the Quaden ruler Vannius (regnum Vanianum), who were settled on the Leithagebirge. Under Emperor Nero (54 to 68 AD), the province of Pannonia was formed from northern Illyria, to which Carnuntum was now added. Initially, Roman troops were stationed only at particularly vulnerable points on the new border line. The main defenses in Upper Pannonia were opposite the mouth of the March and on the border between Vindobona (Vienna) and Brigetio (Komarom). At no other frontier of the Roman Empire was there such a strong concentration of troops. According to the historian Tacitus, the reign of Claudius began the establishment of permanent military camps and watchtowers along the Danube to secure the new frontier. The oldest traces of Roman settlements have been proven for the period between 40 and 50 AD (finds from Upper Italian Terra Sigillata), when the Legio XV was permanently stationed on the Danube in connection with the expulsion of Vannius and their second camp after Vindobona in Carnuntum on the Pannonian Limes (corridor on Burgfeld). In this period the old Celtic oppida were also abandoned; the subdued indigenous population (dedictii) was settled in the plain around the new legionary camp for better control. The earliest inscription known from Carnuntum (AD 53 or 54) reports on construction work in the legionary camp. At the same time, a settlement (canabae legionis) consisting of irregularly laid out simple dwellings developed around the camp, leaving a free area for the assembly of the army. A funerary stele made around the middle of the 1st century depicts a Roman soldier supervising a Celtic carter. This suggests that the local population was also increasingly involved in the numerous construction measures at this time.

Since Augustus's policy of conquest was rejected by his successors, the Flavian emperors began to set up a border security organization. Under Vespasian (69-79) the wood-earth storehouse was replaced by a stone building. The western flank of Carnuntum was protected by the legionary camp at Vindobona. Under his successor, Domitian, a fort for a 500-strong cavalry unit was built about 1.2 kilometers south-west of the camp. It should ensure greater mobility of troops in border surveillance. In the years 85-86 the Romans suffered a defeat against the Dacians. The fighting subsequently spread to the region around Carnuntum. Domitian therefore felt compelled to appear in person in Pannonia in order to coordinate defensive measures. During a campaign against the Marcomanni and Quadi in the years 89 and 90, the emperor was probably also in Carnuntum. On his orders, more troops were transferred to Pannonia to reinforce the Danube army, for which new forts also had to be built. The cavalry camp may also have belonged to this. In 97 the war, the so-called Bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum, ended with a Roman victory.

2nd century
In 106 or 117 one of the Rhine legions, the Legio XIIII Gemina, was transferred from Vindobona to Carnuntum by order of Trajan, where it remained stationed until the end of Roman rule over Upper Pannonia. The expansion of the legionary camp was completed under Trajan. Between 110 and 120 there were also fundamental innovations in the area of ​​the cavalry fort. The changes there are also likely to have been related to a change in crew. After demolishing the old wood-earth fort, the Thracian cavalry unit set up a stone camp in the same place. Carnuntum continued to grow steadily over the course of the 2nd century due to increased immigration, encouraged by the presence of the legion, which guaranteed maximum security and stable economic growth. An additional driving force behind the rapid development of the military town was the extremely lucrative long-distance trade with free Germania.


After the province was divided into Upper Pannonia and Lower Pannonia under Trajan, Carnuntum became the official seat of the consular governor (Legatus Augusti per praetore provinciae Pannoniae) between 103 and 107, to which all Upper Pannonia legions were subordinate from then on. In order to be able to better fend off attacks by the Germans, outposts were set up north of the Danube, opposite Carnuntum, as part of an early warning system on the Marchtalstraße in Stampfen and Theben. The Marcomannic Wars in the 160s and 170s, which were devastating for the Roman Empire, abruptly ended Carnuntum's steady upward development. The invasion of 6,000 warriors from a coalition of Lombards, Marcomanni and Ubians was repelled by the Upper Pannonian governor. In 167, however, a campaign against some transdanubian Germanic tribes (Marcomanni, Quadi, Narists and other small peoples) failed. They then stormed and breached the Limes. Up to 20,000 Roman soldiers and the governor are said to have died trying to repel them. This disaster was aggravated by the outbreak of the Antonine plague, brought in by a Roman army returning from the east, which severely decimated the soldiers and civilian population along the Limes. The Germanic invaders advanced as far as Aquileia in northern Italy. However, when they returned to the Limes with their booty, the Roman forces were already waiting for them there. After bitter fighting, most of the looted goods were taken from the invaders and they were pushed back across the Danube. In the course of the Roman counter-offensive to devastate the Germanic tribal areas north of the Danube, Emperor Mark Aurel set up his headquarters in Carnuntum for three years (171-173) and wrote a few chapters of his self-reflections there before his death in 180. The reliefs of the Marcus Aurelius Column in Rome show some details of the Carnuntum of that time. During this campaign, the Romans penetrated far into free Germania, e.g. Evidence of brick stamps of Legio XIIII found near Staré Město and Hradischt, 120 km north of Carnuntum. The legionnaires had probably set up a checkpoint there on the Amber Road.

Surprisingly, archaeological excavations in Carnuntum did not reveal any greater horizon of destruction for this period of time. The legionary camp or cavalry fort was also continuously occupied in the second half of the 2nd century and was by no means destroyed in the fighting, as was initially assumed. At that time, the cavalry camp served as an advanced replenishment and supply camp for the front and was additionally equipped with workshops and warehouses for this purpose. Mark Aurel's successor, Emperor Commodus (180-192), finally concluded a peace treaty with the Germans and was probably also in Carnuntum for this purpose. The peace agreement was followed by a new period of stability and reconstruction in the Pannonian provinces. On April 9, 193, the most important historical event for Carnuntum took place. The incumbent Upper Pannonian governor Septimius Severus (193-211) was proclaimed by the Danube legions as anti-emperor to Didius Julianus and later confirmed by the Senate in Rome. He founded the Severan dynasty, which gave the empire another massive military and political boost.

3rd century
Septimius Severus proved to be a generous patron of Pannonia and raised the civilian city to the rank of Colonia (Colonia Septimia Aurelia Antoniniana Karnuntum). It was thus the most important city in Pannonia superior. The result was another intensive building activity that lasted for several decades. Under the Severans (193-235) the site reached its economic/cultural heyday and maximum expansion. In the auxiliary troops camp, only riders were stationed again.


The last decades of the 3rd century were characterized by internal unrest, constant defensive struggles against invaders and rapidly changing rulers on the imperial throne (the so-called imperial crisis of the 3rd century). However, Carnuntum continued to be an important base on the middle Danube Limes. In 260, during the reign of Gallienus (253–268), the Carnuntian troops proclaimed the governor of Pannonia superior, Regalianus, as anti-emperor; but he was not recognized by the Senate in Rome. His influence never grew beyond the Limes strip between Carnuntum and Brigetio. During his brief reign he minted coins in his own image and that of his wife Sulpicia Dryantilla, some of which have been found in Carnuntum. Just six months later, both were murdered by their own soldiers. Towards the end of the 3rd century the cavalry fort was abandoned, probably as a result of the military reforms carried out under Gallienus. The legionary riders formerly stationed at the Limes were brought together to form a powerful cavalry army near Mediolanum (Milan). In the event of a crisis, it was intended to operate as a rapid reaction force reporting directly to the emperor. It was a forerunner of the later mobile comitatenses (mobile field armies) and initially consisted primarily of Illyrian (Pannonia, Moesia and Dacia) and Moorish (North Africa) units. The riders of the Carnuntian Legion were probably also assigned to her. With Diocletian's rise to power in 284, the long period of instability among the soldier emperors ended. In 288 he stayed at the Danube Limes and had the fortifications strengthened by building new camps, small forts and Ländeburgi, and had the old fortifications modernized. Upper and Lower Pannonia were now split into four administrative units. In 295 Carnuntum was the starting point of Caesar Galerius' campaign against the Marcomanni.

4th century
The political conflicts between his successors after his abdication prompted Diocletian, who wanted to prevent the collapse of his system of rule, to convene a meeting of all disputing parties in Carnuntum in 308 in order to settle the conflicts peacefully and revive the tetrarchy. With this conference within its walls, Carnuntum once again became the focus of imperial politics. The city was probably chosen as the venue because of its location near the border between the western and eastern parts of the empire and also because of its representative buildings and well-developed infrastructure for the appropriate accommodation of the delegates. In this historically significant meeting, the Augusti Diocletian, Galerius, Licinius and Maximinus Daia succeeded in putting the distribution of power in the Roman Empire on a new, stable basis (the so-called fourth tetrarchy). On the occasion of the restoration of a Mithraic sanctuary (Mithraeum III), the participants donated an altar that is now kept in the Museum Carnuntinum.

During this time, however, more and more soldiers were withdrawn from their old garrison locations on the Limes and assigned to newly formed mobile field armies (comitatenses) to protect the heartland of the Western Roman Empire. The stationary border troops (limitanei) of Ufernorikum and Pannonia I were now under the command of a dux limites. 350 Carnuntum was shaken by a severe earthquake, which caused considerable damage to the infrastructure and is archaeologically (especially in the Canabae) provable by layers of destruction on the large public buildings. Presumably, a large part of the civilian population migrated as a result of this catastrophe and because of the onset of a deterioration in the climate at the end of the 4th century. The progressive impoverishment of the provincial population and the continuous withdrawal of soldiers also severely affected trade and money circulation. With the beginning of the migration of peoples, there were more and more raids and plunderings on the Limes by nomadic tribes pushing from the east, who in turn had to flee from the Huns, who were expanding further and further to the west, and therefore wanted to force their settlement in the Roman Empire.


In 374 Carnuntum was once again the starting point for Valentinian I's campaign of revenge against the Quadi and Jazygen. He probably also had the last verifiable modifications made to the legionary camp. Among other things, a useless sewer in the northern part of the camp was quickly filled with spolia. On the orders of this ruler, extensive construction work also took place on the rest of the Danube Limes, which was intended to modernize the already largely dilapidated fortification system and thus compensate for the endemic lack of soldiers. A passage in the writings of Ammianus Marcellinus gives an idea of ​​how urgently the forts on the Limes needed such revitalization measures. Although it was still of great strategic importance, the emperor found the city to be a "unkempt, filthy place" and already largely deserted when he arrived. In the last decades of the 4th century, however, extensive building activities can still be proven both in the civilian town and in the legionary camp, which was no longer used exclusively for military purposes. For the greatly reduced garrison, two small fortifications (rest forts or burgi) were probably built, as was often observed on the Danube Limes. Large parts of the former settlement area were abandoned and only used as a cemetery.

After the catastrophic defeat of the Eastern Roman army against a barbarian coalition in the Battle of Adrianople in 378, Hun, Alan and Goth tribes moved unhindered through the empire and finally had to be recognized by Rome as foederates or granted them the right to settle in Thrace. By 380 the Ostrogoths and Alans under Alatheus and Safrac also reached Pannonia and were enlisted there in the provincial army. In 395 the Pannonian Limes collapsed across the board; the unfortified civilian settlements were largely abandoned. The residents who were still living in Carnuntum at that time either withdrew to the legionary camp, to the Forum thermal baths (palace ruins) or to areas of the civilian town that were still inhabitable. Legio XIIII's patrol ships and liburnari were moved to neighboring Vindobona. In the same year, the Marcomanni, Quaden Goths, Alans and Vandals invaded Pannonia without encountering any resistance worth mentioning, but presumably spared the city. In the following year, 396, the Marcomanni were settled at the instigation of the regent in the west, Stilicho, to defend the Limes between Carnuntum and Klosterneuburg. These Marcomannic auxiliaries appear in the Notitia dignitatum under the command of a tribunus gentis Marcomannorum. They were probably also involved in the last major construction work in the legionary camp.

5th to 11th centuries
Until the early 5th century, Western Rome managed with great effort to hold its upper and middle Danube borders. According to the Notitia Dignitatum, a praefectus still resided there around the middle of the 5th century, who had a cohort of the Legio XIIII and some naval soldiers under his command. The last traces of Roman settlement could be observed in Carnuntum until the first half of the 5th century. They concentrated in the legionary camp, where the remaining Roman civilian population had meanwhile withdrawn. 433 AD the Pannonian provinces of Valentinian III. left to the Huns under Attila to administer. However, the greater Carnuntum area remained populated throughout the migration period. Two years after Attila's death, Emperor Avitus tried to bring Pannonia back into the empire, but failed due to the resistance of the Goths, who now ruled the province. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the settlement in the former legionary camp was finally abandoned. Between 546 and 568 Lombards and Avars occupied the country. Remarkably, there is no find material from the interior of the camp either from the Lombard period or from the period of Avar rule. In the early 9th century, Carnuntum marked the northernmost terminus of an Avar khaganate. Carnuntum was last mentioned in 805 in the Annales regni Francorum. After that it was forgotten. At the same time as a large early medieval ramparts on the Kirchenberg near Bad Deutsch-Altenburg existed during the 9th/10th. Century inside the legionary camp for a short time again a smaller settlement. Since the Carolingian period, some farming families have probably settled in the core of the former camp town. Around the turn of the millennium there was a small village whose name is unknown. The center of settlement finally shifted eastwards to Hainburg on the Danube around the middle of the 11th century. The legionary camp and the civilian settlements were destroyed in the following centuries by systematic stone robbery.


Legion camp

The legionary camp (castra legionis) was on the outskirts of Petronell, on the area between federal highway 9 and the banks of the Danube. The construction history of the camp can essentially be narrowed down to a wood-earth and two stone construction phases. During the excavations, however, a total of up to eight layers of finds could be distinguished from one another. The stone fort from the middle imperial period was built on the same site as the earlier wood-earth store. Its diamond-like, irregular plan was a result of the topographical features of the plateau. Ribs of rock in the steep slope of the Danube made it possible for the camp to be built very close to the banks of the Danube. From here you had a good view of the Marchfeld. While the camp in nearby Brigetio had to be relocated somewhat away from the Danube bank in Hadrianic times due to erosion, the north side of the Carnuntine camp seems to have remained stable throughout its entire phase of use. Hollows and depressions appeared in places on the other three sides, to which the course of the wall had to be adapted. The west side buckled slightly inwards in the goal area. In contrast, the eastern wall bulged far outwards and receded sharply inwards in the gate area.

The camp could accommodate up to 6000 men (miles legionis). Its interior buildings included the staff quarters (principia), the living quarters of the camp commander (praetorium), the hospital (valetudinarium), the camp baths (thermae), barracks (contubernia), workshop buildings (fabrica) and storage buildings (horrea). Based on the discovery of countless pieces of broken glass, at least these buildings may have been equipped with glazed windows. The archaeologists also uncovered a powerful layer of destruction that could be dated to the end of the 4th century. After the excavations, it was filled in again because its area is used for agriculture. Its remains still stand out from its surroundings as a clearly recognizable plateau with the surrounding indentations of the fortification ditches. Above ground, only small remnants of the wall of the defense at the east gate and the foundations of its southern flank tower, which are heavily overgrown with vegetation, can be seen.

Wood-soil storage
Little is known of the early wood-earth camp (period I). Its traces could only be found in a few places of the fully excavated successor building from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was probably built between 40 or 50 AD and measured 195 × 178 meters including the moat. The fortifications consisted of an inner wall of earth about five meters wide that served as a battlement and an outer wooden plank wall with beams embedded vertically in the ground and wooden towers standing on four posts. A double V-shaped ditch six meters wide ran around the camp. The inner walls were built up with the excavation of the ditches and served as a battlements. Not much is known of its interior either. Most of the camp buildings were probably still built using half-timbering. Since the oldest findings were not extensively uncovered and the ancient buildings left behind severe damage, it was impossible to reconstruct coherent floor plans. Traces of a barracks barracks, about four meters wide and running from north to south, could only be detected in the northern area. A few traces of obstruction were also observed in the southern camp area. It is assumed that by the reign of Vespasian the principia, the praetorium and the camp baths, which were probably east of the via Praetoria, were already built in stone.

Steinlager I
From the 1970s, the Stein camp was gradually converted (period II). These building measures are confirmed by several building inscriptions uncovered in the center of the camp. Although it stood in the same place as its predecessor, its floor plan was slightly shifted to the north-east. Two major construction periods and several smaller construction phases could be identified for the Steinlager. The fort measured 207 × 177 meters and covered an area of ​​approximately 17.5 hectares. At the time of Trajan, the wall of wood and earth was replaced by a stone wall to the east and west. Numerous centurion stones were also built into the camp wall. These were inscribed building blocks, which marked the building lots assigned to the individual centuries and gave the name of the officer responsible for it and the legion. The camp was then renovated several times, but its basic features remained intact until the beginning of the rule of the Severan imperial dynasty. Around the year 200, extensive changes were made to the site plan, but these were probably limited to the praetentura (front). The newly built barracks were no longer based on the floor plans of the wooden predecessor buildings. Between 260 and 270 the camp was severely damaged by barbarian raids.

Steinlager II
Under Valentinian I, from 375, significant changes were again made to the building structure of the legionary fortress, as evidenced by a late antique building inscription from the western raetentura and the excavation finds. On the west side of the raetentura, next to the hospital or prison, a small or residual fort was built after 380, into which the guard soldiers who remained in the camp withdrew. A similar weir system (burgus) was probably also built at the end of the Danube. Furthermore, there was a striking number of spoils in the masonry of this construction phase. The rest of the camp area was left to the civilian population. In the eastern praetentura, three- to four-room dwellings could be erected in dry construction and with hose heaters. Significant structural changes were also made to some of the tribune buildings.

Baking ovens, pottery kilns, some building structures that can probably be interpreted as cisterns, and other findings that can no longer be interpreted were uncovered throughout the camp. In the majority of cases, these were probably late antique fixtures. The excavations in the praetentura (eastern part) also revealed a large early medieval oven, which was built in the last settlement phase, in the 9th or 10th century.

The very simply designed new buildings of the post-military settlement phase, which began at the beginning of the 5th century, consisted only of wood, earth and clay and were no longer based on the old building regulations that corresponded to military requirements. With the departure of the last regular soldiers, presumably around the middle of the 5th century, the camp finally lost its original function. In the early Middle Ages, a group of Slavs settled within its walls. Judging by the pottery finds, its area was inhabited until the 9th or 10th century. After that it was abandoned and demolished by stone robbery over the centuries until it almost completely disappeared.

Rampart and ditch
As already mentioned, the wall was drawn in a little in the west towards the camp gate and in the east it swung in wide arches on both sides in front of the camp gate there. The only straight line was the southern wall running from the acute-angled southern corner. The course of the north wall is largely unknown.


In phase 1, the wall was 1.10 to 1.20 meters thick, in phase 2 it was 1.90 to 3.40 meters with much deeper and more massive foundations. The rising masonry was still up to 1.25 meters high in some places. Its core consisted of mortared quarry stones, the outer sides were faced with carefully hewn stone blocks. In phase 2, it was later widened in places on the outside or completely rebuilt in some places. It was most likely finished with a battlement at the top. An approx. 25 meter wide strip of the northern front of the camp slipped into the Danube or subsided. At the north-east corner there was still a remnant of the wall supported by a buttress. There the fort wall was two meters wide and abutted directly on the barracks. The fort was protected on its north, east and west sides by a 20 meter wide moat and on the south by two moats with different profiles. The exterior was rather flat, 12.50 meters wide, the interior narrow with a steep embankment and measured only 5.40 meters. The width of the berm was 0.90 to 4.50 meters. The inner ditch may have been filled in again later. The appearance of the defenses in the late antique building period has not been sufficiently clarified. During this time, however, the imperial wall on the NE was apparently additionally strengthened by an extension attached to the outside. The only thing that is certain is that the double ditch system was still being maintained at that time, which is indicated by the filling of the outer ditch with a coin from 310–311, which can be dated to the middle third of the 4th century.

Intermediate towers
The wall was reinforced with square intermediate towers set at irregular intervals on the inside, six of which have been archaeologically proven in the south. Five are known in the east, but only one has been found in the west. One of the corner towers was excavated in the southeast. Presumably, however, there was also such a tower in the south-west corner. Wall thickness and side length were measured differently in some specimens.



The legionary fortress could be entered through four gates of different sizes in the north, south, west and east. Three of the four camp gates were excavated. The east and west gates were built at the deepest cuts in the terrain of the plateau. All were flanked by two slightly projecting towers and had double passageways. The facades of the gates may have been richly decorated with architectural elements.

Porta praetoria: Nothing remains of the north gate, as it fell into the Danube due to the centuries-long undermining of the bank area.
Porta decumana: The two-phase south gate was eight meters wide, in the middle there was a pillar (spina) about one meter wide. The eastern, two-story flank tower measured 6.8 × 6.6 meters. The foundations of the western one were still preserved. The two passages were each 3.75 meters wide. In phase 2, the gate towers were slightly enlarged, the support pillar was lengthened to five meters.
Porta principalis dextra: Probably the main gate of the legionary camp. It could be well defended by the camp wall projecting far on both sides. The foundation of the southern flank tower (7 × 9 meters) was uncovered from this 13 meter wide gateway in 1898. He jumped about 2.80 meters in front of the camp wall. Evidence of a central pillar showed that the gate could be passed through two passages.
Porta principalis sinistra: Its last remains were destroyed in the early 18th century by road construction and subsequent stone robbery. The rising masonry consisted of rectangular blocks that were hewn together and connected by iron brackets cast in lead. One of the blocks had an oversized phallic symbol carved on the outside to ward off demons. The façade decoration consisted of, among other things, capitals and cornices in the Corinthian style. In 1898, only the southern flank tower of the multi-phase western gate could be located. He measured 8.8 × 7.5 meters and jumped 1.37 meters inwards or 2.50 meters in front of the camp wall. In 1899 the northern flank tower was discovered. The Phase 1 north tower measured 7.40 × 9 meters in circumference. In phase 2 it was no longer rectangular, but rounded at the south-west corner. The floors inside consisted of brick slabs. Large amounts of broken crockery were found in the corners between the flanking towers and the camp wall. Although no central pillar could be found, it is believed that the gate system also had two passages. The total width of the gate was 15.40 meters. A building inscription from the time of Emperor Valentinian I testifies to the last construction work in the camp, a fragment of which was found near the gate.
Sally gate: Not far north of the west gate, excavations uncovered an underground vault with several access shafts in front of the barracks. Archaeologists initially thought it was a canal. As you continued to follow its course, you came to a cross passage that ended immediately behind the foundation of the camp wall. From there a passage under the wall led to the glacis. It probably served as a kind of hatch for the crew's failures during sieges. When it was found, the gate was barricaded with cast iron blocks and spolia. However, the stones had only been carefully piled up and not mortared together.


Interior constructions

Command building
In the center of the camp, south of the via principalis, was the command or staff building (60 × 90 meters), the Principia, with the flag sanctuary (aedes) and various administrative and assembly rooms (officia), which has only been superficially explored. It was modeled on a forum around a 42 × 38 meter square paved with sandstone slabs. Around it ran a colonnade (porticus), which was provided with a gutter for rainwater to run off. In one of the corners of the yard there was a round brick well and a stone relief depicting an archer. Numerous chambers could be entered from the colonnade, which were probably used as administrative rooms and armouries (armamenta) or similar.

South of it was the 16-meter-wide transverse hall (basilica), whose facade was set in front of 12 pilasters. What its southern facade looked like can no longer be reconstructed exactly. It probably consisted of several arched passageways lined up next to each other, flanked by columns. The three-quarter columns may once have been up to 11 meters high and were 1.30 meters apart. The distance between the two central pillars was 3 meters. Here there was probably also a slightly higher arch or the main entrance to the transverse hall. It was exactly on the axis of the courtyard entrance that led out to via Pricipales. The remains of five specimens of the central pillars that supported the roof construction were found during the excavations.

The 10 × 10 meter, heated camp sanctuary (sacellum) lay exactly in the central axis of the basilica. Carnuntum's best-known ancient stone sculptures were found between the hypocaust pillars. One of the consecration altars was dedicated to the protective god (Genius) of the camp. The sculptures mostly represented gods or emperors. Some of the rooms were also decorated with wall paintings. The excavators were able to uncover two more rooms to the west and east of the Sacellum. The eastern one contained the statue of Hercules, believed to have been made at Virunum. The second room, to the west and slightly lower from the ground level, was still preserved up to the window attachments. The wall painting depicted, among other things, a sacrificial servant dressed in a white tunic and contained an altar for Jupiter and one for the camp genius. A statue fragment from the 3rd century was also found in the vestibule of the camp sanctuary, probably depicting a ruling couple. Maybe Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mamaea.

The representative 70 × 58 meter residential building (peristyle house) of the legionary legate (praetorium) adjoined the principia to the south. Presumably, the high representatives of the empire were also housed there when they were in the camp. This building too has only been superficially explored. The rooms are grouped around a 48.70 × 27.60 meter courtyard. The living quarters and a bathing facility were probably in the east wing. The other rooms probably housed the legate's offices or representative rooms. No further details could be determined due to the high degree of destruction of the building.

Tribune houses
North of the via principalis, near the west gate, were the three sprawling peristyle houses of the tribunes (staff officers), the highest-ranking officers in the legion after the camp commander and his deputy, the praefectus castrorum. This section of the camp area was called the scamnun tribunorum. He has been little examined. Possibly there were three more such officers' quarters there. The buildings were built like the praetorium but slightly smaller in size (40 × 40 meters, about 1200-1300 square meters). The courtyards were paved with stone slabs. One of them was covered with a 1.5 meter layer of mortar in late antiquity. The buildings were used until the 5th century and have been modified several times since then. Apparently, they were all similarly equipped (façade decorations, mosaic floors, marble slabs, wall paintings, bathrooms, etc.). One of the most beautiful ancient sculptures of Carnuntum was discovered in one of these houses in 1886, the marble figure of the so-called dancing Maenad, probably an import from Italy in the 2nd century. The tribune houses each had their own well, up to 6 m deep. Between two of the officers' houses was a gently sloping brick-concrete pavement. Along its longitudinal axis, three cisterns with beveled edges caught the rainwater running down from the roofs.


House S directly on the western wall reached up to the street front. It went through four construction periods and had a three-nave columned hall and a bathing facility instead of an inner courtyard. The portico was divided into small chambers with half-timbered walls in the late 4th century. The two eastern houses, R and T, were set back a little to the north and shielded from traffic by a series of tabernae chambers. In the late 4th century, House T was demolished and never rebuilt.

The camp had a total of 30 double barracks for accommodating its teams, each of which could accommodate 160-220 soldiers. The barracks of the first cohort were lined up to the right and left of the Principia, the other cohorts were quartered at the front (praetentura) of the camp on the Danube bank and at its rear (raetendura). Some of the barracks on the north wall had already slipped into the Danube. The mid-imperial period crew quarters (period 2) consisted of double barracks that were built together with their rear walls. They offered space for five or six parlor communities (contubernia, eight men each) of the common legionnaires, the milites gregarii. The living quarters consisted of a 13.50 square meter bedroom (papilio) and an anteroom with 7.50 square meters (arma). Simple hearths (domed ovens) were used for cooking and heating. On the street front of the building was a covered walkway, two meters wide, standing on wooden posts. Between the buildings there was a five meter wide courtyard with a gravel surface. The barracks of the first cohort were 6 meters wide on the east; further west, because of the triple room division, 8 meters. They covered an area of ​​120 × 100 meters. On the head sides there were larger buildings, consisting of five to six rooms, which served as quarters for the centurions. The centurion houses of the barracks of the first cohort were equipped with twice as many rooms. The special forces of the legion (immunes) were probably quartered in the rooms at the opposite end of the barrack blocks. During excavations in 1885, a 1.80 × 2.50 meter cellar with a staircase was discovered under one of the barracks.

In the eastern part of the praetentura, the barracks were renovated as part of the last major construction work in the camp. The external appearance of the barracks remained largely unchanged. The structural changes affected only the interior structure. The division of the contubernia into an accommodation area and an antechamber was abandoned. Instead, three rooms were created by inserting approximately 1.20 m wide corridors in the anterooms. The area was used as a location for barracks until the early 4th century. At the end of the 4th century, some of them were demolished and replaced by three- to four-room houses with wall and floor heating, which were no longer based on the old floor plans.

Camp hospital and animal hospital
The multi-phase, 83.50 × 79.50 meter large military hospital (valetudinarium) was located west of the praetorium and was by far the largest building within the legionary fort. Three rows of chambers were arranged around the inner courtyard, which served as sick rooms, bathrooms, toilets, etc. It could be entered via a staircase with heavily worn steps. The rows of chambers were separated from each other by corridors 3.30 to 4.50 meters wide. In addition, short transverse corridors in between ensure sufficient ventilation and lighting of the individual rooms. Some of the sick rooms were heated. The hospital kitchen was in the east wing. In the center of the building stood a small sanctuary, presumably for the healing gods Hygieia or Aesculapius, donated by the capsarii (medics) of Legio XIIII, and in the center of its west front was a podium with a staircase. Column fragments and richly articulated cornice pieces testify to the elaborately designed facade of the building.

The rooms of a 56 × 27 meter building to the west of the hospital were arranged around a 39 × 19 meter courtyard. Perhaps the animal hospital (veterinarium) was housed there.


camp tavern
In the northern part of the camp, the excavators came across a building whose only room was paved with bricks. The room was slightly lower than street level and could be entered from the south via two steps. The east wall was still preserved in several layers of stone and had a small, vaulted opening in the middle, in front of which a stone slab was embedded in the floor. The passage led to a basement one meter below, the floor of which was made of rammed earth. Large quantities of wall painting fragments and fragments of drinking vessels were found in the rubble of the main room. South of the opening were four square bases. Two of them still had consecration altars for Liber/Libera and Mercury/Fortuna. They were once donated by two freed Greeks, Dionysius and Archelaus. Both were assistants (subadiuuam) to the senior centurion in the camp (primus pilus), who was also in charge of the industrial operations of the fort. Two dice made of bone were also found in the rubble. The excavators therefore interpreted the building as a camp tavern. The opening probably served as a hatch through which full wine jugs got from the cellar into the taproom.

functional buildings
The camp also had some functional buildings east of the praetorium with farm buildings such as food and weapon magazines (horreum, armamentaria) and workshops (fabrica). Two multi-phase courtyard buildings right next to the praetorium have been identified as workshops.

The western one, Building C, with 65.70 × 56.20 meters probably served as a kind of building yard and also for storing and repairing weapons of all kinds and their accessories. Among other things, 54 slingshots and uninscribed consecration altars were discovered there. The pillars of the gateway were badly worn down by cart wheels. Large stacks of roof tiles, a wicker basket filled with hardened mortar and loose heaps of sand for building projects were also found here.

In the eastern building D, with a floor plan of 66.30 × 49 meters, mainly metals and bone were processed. There were probably numerous other such workshops in the tabernae along the main streets of the camp. The grain stores and weapons of the late antique garrison (5th century) were probably housed in a massively built warehouse on the western wall. Certainly there was also a separate bath building (therme or balineum), which was probably located between the barracks in the northern part of the area.



A considerable number of weapon fragments were uncovered during excavations in four chambers of a warehouse, which was probably under the command of the armorer of the fort (custos armorum). It was a well stocked assortment
Shield Bosses and Arrowheads (Chamber 1),
Lance Tips (Chamber 2),
rail armor (lorica segmentata) and helmets (chamber 3) and
Scale armor (lorica squamata) (chamber 4).

The post impressions of the wooden shelves on which the tanks had been stored had been preserved in the floor of the latter. Most of these weapons had been smashed or broken in ancient times. In addition to the usual team helmets, the remains of cavalry helmets richly decorated with gold, silver or bronze were also found there. In one of the chambers, in a corner, the remains of a larger stock of leather were found, probably cowhide, some of which had been dyed dull pink or cobalt blue. The armory also had a heated administrative or lounge room, lit with a coupled window with a stone pillar in the center. It was the only surviving window found in the camp. All chambers were plastered, in the plaster fragments scratched numbers or figures could be seen.

Tank sheds were also unearthed in other areas of the camp. In some cases they were agglomerated into large lumps of conglomerate when they were found. Remains of the leather or linen undergarment could still be found on some of them. Artillery ammunition such as fist- or head-sized slingshots made of stone or clay could be salvaged from several places in the camp (north bastion at the east gate). One of these depots contained up to 34 specimens. Some were provided with a plug hole. The slingshots at the east gate had been hand-formed into egg-sized pieces, flattened on two sides, drilled with two holes, and then fired. Iron snares consisting of four spikes forged together were found several times outside or inside the camp (see amphitheater).


Camp bakery with pantry
This functional building (clibanae) was directly connected to the armory. Its carefully crafted, extraordinarily wide walls were preserved two meters high when they were uncovered. A passage led from the bakery to the grain store, which still contained the remains of barley, peas and millet. The bakery was equipped with six vaulted ovens heated with charcoal. The rods of a broom still lay in one. Two stone troughs, a hand mill and the iron bands surrounding a baking trough, probably a hollowed-out tree trunk, were found from the inventory.

The sprawling warehouse/horreum (Building E) stood near the east gate, measured 86 × 38.50 meters and had a long rectangular plan. Its walls were up to 1 meter wide.

Shield factory
In contrast to the early and middle imperial period, the camp area was used more for workshops in the first half of the 4th century, which were built especially along the south-eastern battlement retaining wall, directly on the via sagularis. Among other things, these facilities consisted of at least eight round pools made of air-dried clay bricks and sealed with crushed brick mortar, which were lined up closely together and each had a roof. They were uncovered between 1968 and 1977 and may only have been in use for a short time - around the first half of the 4th century. They were later filled up again. Two comparable, better-preserved basins on the southern front of the camp had already come to light during the old excavations. They were probably used to tan leather, which was needed as a covering for a fabricae scutariae (shield factory) mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum for Carnuntum. It was probably set up in Carnuntum from the time of Diocletian (284–305 AD) in order to ensure the central need for such protective equipment for the province of Pannonia. Carnuntum is one of the few places where archaeological evidence of such facilities could be found. Since the need for leather must have increased enormously due to the establishment of the shield factory in the Tetrarchic period, one was dependent on further production facilities for the required raw materials. It was probably northeast of the praetorium. The buildings there were interpreted by the first excavators as storage and workshop buildings, mainly because of their floor plans. The material waste discovered there also supported this assumption. In Building D in particular, which was characterized by numerous small rooms grouped around a large courtyard with a central water basin, evidence of workshops was found during the first excavations. In two rooms to the north, numerous scraps of bronze sheet, rivets and pieces of wire and over a hundred smaller and larger pieces of sawed deer antlers were unearthed.

Camp prison
Four sacramental altars were found in a building south-east of the hospital, and a fifth lay smashed on the ground. Two were dedicated to Mercury and Nemesis. The latter had been donated by the prison administrator Caius Pupilius Censorinus (ex optione custodiarium, clavicularii) in the early 3rd century. The building was therefore interpreted by the excavators as a prison (carcer castrorum). Its screed floors had been renewed twice over the centuries. The room served as the manager's office and a lounge for the guards. The dungeon could be entered through a narrow door.

Warehouse streets
The camp's axial street system was laid out in such a way that the main streets led directly to the most important buildings (e.g. principia, praetorium, camp thermal baths). The starting points for the two main roads in the camp were the gates on Limesstrasse and Bernsteinstrasse. The via principalis formed the cardo and the via praetoria, which was called decumana at the back, the decumanus. The via principalis, running from northeast to southwest and 334 meters long, roughly below today's federal highway 9, ran through the narrow side of the camp. Judging by the remains of the foundations on the side of the road, it was accompanied by colonnades on both sides. It is striking that it deviates from the east-west direction by about 36 degrees to the northeast. This deviation was not caused by the topographical conditions, but is probably a result of the orientation of the road to the point at which the sun rose on the day of the summer solstice. The second main street of the camp, the via decumana, running from north to south, was interrupted by two buildings (principa and praetorium). The via vicinariae laid out in the southern section of the camp ran parallel to the via principalis. Along the camp walls there was also a rampart road, the via sagularis, which established a connection to all sections of the camp and enabled the crew to quickly reach the battlements in the event of an alarm. At the same time, it served as a buffer zone against projectiles fired by besiegers. In many places, the excavators found cauldron-shaped indentations in the streets, which probably served as camouflaged pitfalls to stop attackers who had entered the camp. Most of the camp's streets were lined with bricked-in sewers. The main sewer came out on the east side of the fort and had a barrier to prevent the faeces from backing up during high water.


Water supply/sewer system

The camp was supplied with fresh water from wells, cisterns and draw wells on the main roads. But traces of underground water pipes and canal systems (cloaca) could also be found on the camp site. Pipes made of wood or lead were laid at the individual extraction points. The remains of what appeared to be a technically very sophisticated water supply and disposal system were found on the praetorium, on the principia and the tribune houses. The remains of the main sewers could be observed especially at the camp gates. The main canal began at the south gate and ran around the entire camp area in two separate strands under Wallstrasse. It was accessible through several manholes. The main entrance was also provided with a stone staircase and a working platform. It drained directly into the Danube, as was established in 1899. Numerous secondary canals that ran under the camp alleys and received the sewage from the house canals and rivulets also flowed into the main canal. Remarkably, one of them had been reinforced with thick iron plates on all sides in one section.


Auxiliary fort (cavalry camp)

This fort is one of the best researched camps on the Noric-Pannonian Limes. The auxiliary troops camp on the western edge of the camp town could accommodate a 500-strong cavalry unit (ala quinquenaria). The pre-Roman period of the fort area is documented by a few settlement pits that may have been created around the birth of Christ. Some tombs, also located under the fort, mark the oldest Roman horizon. This includes a tombstone for an unknown member of the legio XV Apollinaris, which was destroyed during the construction of the first camp. He stood on the extensive burial ground that ran along the Limes road leading to the legionary camp for several kilometers. A cupola furnace with a rectangular charging pit in the fort area also dates from the time of its origin. Perhaps it served as an oven for the soldiers involved in the construction. A total of four construction phases could be distinguished during the excavations. The entire fort was not destroyed during the construction of the housing estate. In the area of ​​the fort baths and in two sections of the southern and eastern wall, modern construction could be prevented.

Castle I
The early camp was built almost entirely of wood. The front was aimed at the legionary camp northeast of it. Three sides of the fort could be examined by excavations. The course of the rest of the fort wall is only known from aerial photographs. The full extent of the fort was 178 × 225 meters, covering a total area of ​​around four hectares.

Defense: The fortification consisted of a double ditch. His excavated material was piled up to form an earth wall, on the crown of which there was probably a wooden palisade as a parapet. The gate, intermediate and corner towers, which are almost certainly made of wood, have not yet been archaeologically proven.

Interior buildings: The only known interior buildings are the crew barracks lined up at the back (raetendura) of the camp, the living quarters of the camp commandant (praetorium) and some sections of the command building (principia). At the rear of the courtyard in the principia, which was probably paved with stone slabs, five adjacent rooms were arranged, the middle one probably serving as a flag sanctuary (aedes). A few iron spear shoes for the military standards (signum, vexilla) that had once been placed there were still in the ground. A shallow pit, presumably for storing the troop cash register, was also preserved.

Water supply/sewerage: The water supply for the fort crew was probably provided by wells. The horses may have been watered outside the camp. Some cisterns were also built to collect rainwater. One of them was found in the yard of the commander's house. The rainwater running off the roofs of the buildings was drained away in flat, trough-shaped channels that ran 0.40 meters from the house walls. More such gutters were located at the back of the barracks. The sewage then flowed into the main sewer under the via sagularis (wall road). It led to the outside through one of the camp gates and probably consisted of a simple wooden gutter, which was also bordered by architectural pieces in secondary use.

Castle II
The camp had the shape of a playing card and was rotated by about 90° when it was rebuilt. The praetorial front was now oriented towards the bank of the Danube and aligned in the same way as the legionary camp. The storage area was reduced to 178 × 205 meters (3.65 hectares).

Defense: The stone wall was 0.90 meters wide, reinforced with rectangular intermediate and corner towers and also surrounded by a moat. Of the four trapezoidal corner towers, only the one in the southeast corner could be examined. Corner and intermediate towers did not protrude beyond the line of the wall. Only the rectangular flanking towers of the camp gates clearly set themselves apart from the fence. The crest of the wall could be walked on a battlements heaped up from earth. The south-east corner was fortified with wooden planks resting on pillars attached to the fort wall.

Interior buildings: Barracks, the hospital, the officers' residences and the command building are known as interior buildings. Even in this period they were still made entirely of wood. However, partially air-dried clay bricks were also used as building material. Some of the buildings had pillar structures (portikus) in front of them. Their wooden supports rested on foundations made of quarry stone. The crew barracks had a long rectangular floor plan and consisted of two adjacent rows of rooms. Two rooms formed the accommodation for a parlor community (contubernia). In some of the barracks, the front rooms were used as horse stables and offered space for a maximum of three mounts. Presumably part of the cavalry unit had to fulfill the task of a rapid reaction force, for which they had to be available to the soldiers as quickly as possible.

Therme: The bath on the western front of the fort was the only building built entirely of quarry stone masonry. The camp bath was equipped with a cold water basin, heated rooms and two hot water tubs.

Water supply/sewerage: The water used to clean the bathrooms was channeled through a drainage hole into one of the numerous channels that were used to transport the waste water to the outside. They flowed into the main canal running along the western front of the fort. The water needed for the bath came from a higher cistern, of which only the substructure was preserved. It was on the south side of the building next to the heating system (praefurnium). Rainwater was stored in it, but it may also have been supplied from a well that has not yet been found. Carefully laid canals were built in the middle of the main streets for the disposal of sewage. At the top they were obviously covered with wooden boards. One of these drainage channels had its exit at the southern fort gate and flushed a latrine, which was housed in the south-eastern corner tower in a long rectangular building. Before reaching the north-east corner of the camp, he picked up another channel coming from the north gate of the fort and then left the camp area under the wall. The faeces from the latrine were disposed of in a septic tank, for the drainage of which a drainage channel had broken through the fort wall, which drained the sewage into the camp ditch.

Castle III
The third construction period began in the 1960s and lasted until the end. During this time the fort was used as a supply depot. The numerous structural changes can be broken down into at least five sub-phases according to the previous analyses.

The crew barracks in the northern part of the fort were preserved and continued to be used as such. Some of the horse stables were also converted into living quarters. All buildings in the center of the camp were demolished and replaced by new buildings. Some of the barracks head buildings in this area were now made of stone, including the commander's house. The workshops mainly produced pottery products. Some forge furnaces indicate the processing of iron. They were supplied with fresh water through wooden pipes (drawbar lines). Plants for metal processing were also discovered in the area to the east of the principia. To the south and north of this there are traces of wooden storage buildings (horrea), in which food and animal feed were probably stored. Two fountains can also be assigned to this period. In one, the remains of the well formwork, which was composed of wooden barrels inserted into one another, were still preserved. They were probably made of fir wood, which was mainly used to make wine barrels. After the well was abandoned, it was used as a latrine.

Castle IV
In the period around 200 AD, the last major conversions took place in the camp, as it was now used exclusively as a cavalry camp. It is no longer possible to say whether the fort was still occupied by the military from the middle of the 3rd century. When a buried well was found in the courtyard of the Praetorium, coins from the time of the emperors Aurelian (AD 270-275) and Probus (AD 276-282) were found in the filling. Until the first half of the 18th century some parts of the enclosing wall, the bath and the command building should have been visible. They then fell victim to stone robbery.


Interior: The principia was rebuilt in stone. The rooms surrounded a rectangular courtyard bordered on three sides by a covered open corridor. Administrative offices were located on the narrow sides, and a transverse hall (basilica) was attached on the side opposite the entrance. Rooms on the south side opened into these, in the middle of which was the flag sanctuary. New barracks were built in the northern half of the fort, filling the entire area between via sagularis and via principalis. From them only the foundations remained. Urine pits prove that some of them were also used again for horse stables. Between the barracks there were still well-preserved paved courtyards, for which spoils were also used.

Therme: The fort baths were also rebuilt again. The individual rooms have been reorganized. The exterior of the building was also changed. The cold water bath was moved to an apse on the south side next to the heating system. As a result, water could be discharged from the cistern into the bathing pool via a shorter route. The walls of the fort's bath probably stood upright until the middle of the 4th century. Inside, loose earth was found on the floors, which had probably been blown in through the window openings. The roof later collapsed. The walls then collapsed onto the rubble of the roof tiles during the earthquake that can be assumed to be around the middle of the 4th century. Even the up to 40 cm thick terrazzo floors burst and fell into the cavities of the underfloor heating underneath.

Water supply/sewerage: A cut brick drinking water pipe running north of the camp could have been supplemented further west by a basin or a cistern. The water was probably lifted into a higher basin by means of a scoop, where it flowed through distribution pipes (made of wood?). The wooden pipes were connected to each other with iron drawbar joints at five Roman feet (150 cm) intervals. The outer diameter could no longer be determined, nor whether the tree trunks were completely unprocessed. The pipes led the water to other cisterns or consumers. The dirty water was channeled through a lead pipe in the north wall into a north-bound canal, which left the bath under the north wall and then emptied into the collection canal on the western via sagularis. In the middle of the barracks courtyard ran a narrow channel for the drainage of the waste water, which first flowed into the via principalis and from there was disposed of outside through the camp gate.

At the time of their existence, the Carnuntian forts were occupied by several legions and auxiliary units of the Pannonian provincial army (exercitus Pannoniae). However, not all of them have epigraphic or archaeological evidence of a longer presence in Carnuntum. So it is possible that the Legio X Gemina was briefly replaced by the Legio VII Gemina around 69 AD. The Legio XXII Primigenia could also have stayed there in the late 1st century. Grave inscriptions from members of various auxiliary units suggest deployments or short stays in or near Carnuntum. For the battles in the year of the Four Emperors, units of Vespasian's Orient Army were also relocated to Pannonia to protect the Danube Limes, including the cohors II Italica from Syria, which was probably based in Carnuntum between 69/70. The epitaph of a tuba player (tubicen) of the cohors I Montanorum from Carnuntum indicates a presence of this troupe in the middle of the 1st century. The cohors I Alpinorum could also have reached Carnuntum in the course of the Pannonian uprising as support for the Legio XV. The Spanish ala I Hispanorum Aravacorum had been defending against the Germanic Quadi in Pannonia since pre-Flavian times, where they had set up quarters in the Arrabona fort. A vexillation of this unit probably stood in Carnuntum at that time. Members of the cohors XVIII Voluntariorum are said to have stayed in Carnuntum in addition to Cirpi in the first half of the 2nd century. The partially mounted cohors I Ulpia Pannoniorum could also have been in the Solva fort and in Carnuntum under Trajan around 123.

The following units are assigned as crews for the legionary camp and the cavalry fort:


Infantry units stationed here

1st to 2nd century AD (40-50-117/118 AD)
Legio XV Apollinaris (the Fifteenth Legion of Apollo)
The Legion was raised by Gaius Iulius Caesar during the Gallic Wars. From 16 to 8 B.C. It was used in the Pannonian-Dalmatian wars and was also involved in the suppression of the Pannonian uprising. A grave inscription is considered an indication that one of her vexillations was stationed, at least for a short time, in Vindobona (Vienna).
The legion was transferred to Carnuntum in 50 AD at the earliest and set up the early wood-earth camp there. Their presence is evidenced by 120 tombstones found there. Accordingly, their relatives mostly came from Northern Italy, Gaul and Greece. Many of their brick stamps could be found not only in Carnuntum, but also in the neighboring forts (e.g. Vindobona, Brigetio) and even north of the Danube. A Victoria altar donated by the soldier Valerius bore the oldest known inscription of the temple area on Pfaffenberg. A Mithra altar donated by one of their centurions is the earliest evidence of this cult at the Danube Limes.

In 62/63 it was replaced by the Legio X and sent to Armenia and later to Egypt for a campaign against the Parthians. During the Jewish War, she took part in the siege of Jerusalem under Titus. Between 70/71 she returned to Carnuntum.

Their losses were mainly replaced with recruits from Syrian cities, as the inscriptions on some tombstones from Carnuntum suggest (Berytus, Antioch on Orontes, Cyhrrus, Chalcis, Hierapolis). The legion replaced the original wood and earth camp with a stone structure in AD 73. Their soldiers also took part in the construction of the cavalry fort. The legion was then used in the Danube campaigns of Domitian (89-92) and Trajan's Dacian wars.

114 they are said to have been assigned first to Trajan's Parthian campaign and then placed in the camp of Satala as an occupying force. Their traces are lost there in the early 5th century. However, more recent research on the brick stamps suggests that they were finally withdrawn from Carnuntum later under Hadrian - in the years 118/119.

1st century AD (63–68)
Legio X Gemina pia fidelis (the tenth twin legion, the dutiful and loyal)
It was first mentioned in 58 BC. Mentioned in the Gallic Wars as Caesar's elite legion. Around the year 63 AD she was assigned to Carnuntum to temporarily replace Legio XV there. After numerous operations in the Rhine provinces, Legion 103 returned to Pannonia and moved into the camp of Aquincum (Budapest). 114 she was transferred to Vindobona. In 193 the legion declared itself for Septimius Severus. Some members of this unit were later accepted into the Imperial Guard. The Legion stood in Vindobona until its dissolution in the 5th century.


2nd to 5th centuries AD (114 – 430?)
Legio XIIII Gemina Martia victrix (the fourteenth twin legion of Mars, the victorious), cohortis quintae (the fifth cohort)

The Legion may have been founded as early as 57 BC. erected by Iulius Caesar in northern Italy. In 114 AD it was moved to Carnuntum to replace Legio XV there. It stood there for more than three hundred years, although sections of it were also deployed elsewhere. A vexillation moved to Rome with Septimius Severus' army in 193 to assist him in asserting his claim to the imperial throne. She later took part in Severus' Parthian campaign[74], which ended in 198 with the capture of the capital Ctesiphon, and returned to the Danube frontier in 202. In 260, she joined the revolt of the usurper Regalianus. In the 4th century it was one of the Limitanei, now also had Liburnarians (naval soldiers) of the Danube fleet in its ranks and was under the command of the Dux Pannoniae Primae et Norici Ripensis. Despite the lack of literary sources, it is likely that the legion also took part in Valentinian I's campaign against Quaden and Jazygen in the late 4th century. When the Western Roman magister militum Flavius ​​Felix under Valentinian III. 427 AD fought the Huns, it was probably also used. It seems to have held its position until the dissolution of the Danube border. According to the Notitia dignitatum, only their fifth cohort was left in late antique Carnunto, which was supposed to secure the upper section (partis superior) of the Noric-Pannonian Limes. Carnuntum was probably the seat of the legionary and naval prefect until around 430. Nothing is known about her further fate, she may have been taken over by the Eastern Roman army.

4th century AD
Foederati (Allies)
Ceramic finds of so-called foederate or Hun period goods from the barracks of construction period V indicate that in the late 4th century barbarian mercenaries under Roman command also garrisoned the legionary camp. Perhaps they were members of the Gothic-Alanic group under Alatheus and Saphrax, to whom Gratian had to grant the right to settle in the Roman Empire in 379 (after their defeat at the Battle of Adrianople).

5th century AD
Legionis quartae decimae geminae milites liburnari (Marines of the Fourteenth Legion), Classis Histricae (the Danube Fleet)
The presence of naval soldiers (liburnari) can also be assumed in Carnuntum due to its strategically important location on the Danube. The tombstone of a certain Augustiana Cassia Marcia is kept in the Carnuntinum Museum. Her husband, Marcus Antonius Basilides, was frumentarius (paymaster) of the Xth Legion and as such assigned to the classis Histricae. For late antiquity, in addition to a prefect of a Danube flotilla, marines of the Legio XIIII, under the command of the Dux Pannoniae Primae et Norici Ripensis, are also listed in the Notitia dignitatum. The classis Histricae was transferred from Carnuntum to Vindobona in the 4th century. Where the naval port of Carnuntum was located (perhaps north of the Pfaffenberg or on the east side of Petronell) can no longer be determined, since the course of the Danube has changed several times since antiquity.



1st century AD (80–90 AD)
Ala I Tungrorum Frontoniana (the first Tungrian cavalry squadron of the Fronto)
The troops originally came from the Lower Rhine and were transferred from Dalmatia to Aquincum around 73, where they set up their first camp in Pannonia. In 80 she was stationed in Carnuntum, where she built the equestrian fort I. After ten years she moved to Lower Pannonia and participated in the construction of the Campona Castle. Perhaps they were mainly used for construction projects, as they only stayed briefly in their respective garrison types. Their stay in Carnuntum is documented by a tombstone and a golden clasp with the inscription "felices Tun(gri)". Indigenous Boii were also recruited as new recruits during this period, as the epitaph and two military diplomas from the year 114 suggest.


1st century AD
Ala I Hispanorum Aravacorum (the first Arevacian Hispanic cavalry regiment)
This approximately 500-strong unit, originally from Hispania (Moncloa-Aravaca is today a district of Madrid), has always been in the Upper Pannonian border area since pre-Flavian times.[80] Their first Pannonian bases were probably Carnuntum and then Arrabona (Győr). A grave inscription of one of their soldiers came to light at both fort locations. After the end of the Marcomannic Wars, the cavalry troop could have provided the first garrison in Iža-Leányvár Castle.

1st to 2nd century AD (85 to 101/102)
Ala I Pannoniorum Tampiana milliaria victrix (Tampius' first Pannonian cavalry squadron, 1000 strong, the victorious one)
This unit was probably recruited under Augustus from members of the Pannonian tribes. The name Tampiana was probably originally derived from one of their commanders. Around 85 it was moved from Britain to Dacia and then back to Pannonia on the occasion of the Batavian uprising in 70/71. In 89 it was in Carnuntum, from where it was used against the Marcomanni and Quadi. At the beginning of the 2nd century it was moved back to Britain. The presence of the Pannonians is only known from grave inscriptions.

2nd century AD (102 to 118/119)
Ala III Augusta Thracum (the third Augustan horse archers of the Thracians)
This cavalry force was transferred from Syria to Pannonia in 101. They probably moved into their first camp in this province in Carnuntum. Between 118 and 119 they withdrew again and built Almásfüzitő Castle near Brigetio, where they were stationed until late antiquity. Their stay is documented by the tombstone of Ulpius Prosostus, who died there at the age of 30.

2nd century
Cohors I Ulpia Pannoniorum milliaria equitata civium Romanorum (the first partially mounted double cohort of the Pannonians, Roman citizens)
The approximately 1,000-strong unit took part in the Dacian wars of Emperor Trajan and was awarded Roman citizenship there. Following this, the troops were first possibly transferred to Carnuntum and around 118 to Esztergom Castle.

2nd to 3rd centuries AD
Ala I Thracum Victrix (the first squadron of Thracian cavalry, the victorious)
The troops were transferred to Carnuntum between 118 and 119 and built the cavalry fort II. The Thracians were stationed there until the fort was abandoned in the second half of the 3rd century. Their presence is attested by a military diploma of 126 and some petroleum brick stamps. Some tombstones from Mattersdorf and Mannersdorf/Leithagebirge suggest that their veterans Ulpius Titius and Titus Claudius Vanamiu[…] were Celtic Boii and had settled in the Carnuntum region after their release from military service.


Camp town

The civil Carnuntum extended over today's municipal areas of Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. A particular stroke of luck in contrast to most other Roman sites in Austria is that, apart from a brief period in the early Middle Ages, it was not built over again in the centuries that followed. The settlement area consisted of the military town and the civilian town. The nucleus of urban development was the area around the legionary camp. The military settlement stretched across Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. It was inhabited from around the turn of the century until the end of Roman rule in the 5th century.

In the immediate vicinity of the legionary camp (intra leugam; within a Gallic leuga, corresponding to 2.2 km), a multi-phase camp town (Canabae legionis illius) developed in the second half of the 1st century. At the latest since the 2nd century it had an urban character. Intra leugnam referred to a strategic protection zone, the glacis of the camp, which had a special constitutional and religious status. Mainly business people, traders and craftsmen and the relatives of the soldiers (canabenses/canabarii) lived there. But also active soldiers, such as specialists, had their quarters there. It served primarily to supply the garrison with everyday goods and was administratively subordinate to the camp commandant. The living quarters were kept simple, the streets relatively narrow. Mainly people from the lower classes lived within the Leuga. It extended from the cavalry camp on the outskirts of Petronell to the western edge of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. South of the B9 federal road, it reached the Vienna–Wolfsthal railway line and 100 meters west of the legionary camp. Your area had a length of 2.3 kilometers, the width varied between 500 and 1000 meters. From the beginning to the middle of the 3rd century, its area covered 120 hectares, which was significantly larger than that of the civilian city. The establishment of the seat of the governor under Emperor Traian (98–117 AD) led to major interventions in the settlement structure of the camp suburb. Thanks to the most recent ground radar measurements, it was possible to document that the quarters of the governor's guard overlapped the grave street, one of the main arterial roads in the canabae. With the construction of the castra singularis, this main road had to be relocated. Since then, traffic has probably been diverted past the western front of the guard barracks in the direction of Limesstraße.

Thanks to the prospecting results, the development of the suburbs to the west and south of the legionary fort is well known. The canabae was built up increasingly densely from the outskirts of the settlement towards the legionary camp, which can also be seen in the change in the building forms. In the outskirts there were mainly simple strip houses, long rectangular residential and commercial buildings with the narrow side facing the street and a continuous roof construction. Around the legionary camp there were somewhat more complex, urban-style houses that were probably very similar to those in the civilian town. The most densely built-up areas were around the legionary camp and the amphitheater. The first houses were along Limesstrasse, Gräberstrasse and the road to Kastell Gerulata. To the east of the camp was Amphitheater I, to the west was a little-explored central campus, and to the north was the governor's representative villa. The houses of the upper class probably stood in front of the eastern bulge of the camp wall or on the access road to the western gate of the amphitheater. Whether the canabae was also completely surrounded by a wall and ditch system is uncertain. Remains of such a fortification, two parallel V-shaped ditches, could be observed at the Danube break-off in the north. Finally, Septimius Severus also granted the camp city the status of a municipium. Its inhabitants were therefore considered Roman citizens (civitas Romana). Numerous traces of fire layers, replanning and overbuilding testify that the canabae was destroyed several times or at least badly damaged.


Residential and farm buildings

The first residential buildings of the canabae consisted mainly of wood and were soon replaced by half-timbered buildings on stone foundations. At the beginning of the 2nd century they were gradually replaced by solid stone buildings, partly decorated with stucco molding, mural paintings and mosaic floors, which were used until the 4th century. In general, the building type of the mid-corridor house prevailed there, with an average of four rooms, courtyards, walled gardens, street halls and porches. Two very comfortable houses (nos. 48 and 49, early 3rd century) in the vicinity of the amphitheater, in which non-commissioned officers (optio) of the legion probably lived with their families, and ten somewhat more modestly furnished buildings on an insula south of the main road have been archaeologically examined in more detail 9, arguably characteristic of most of the dwellings in the canabae (nos. 56–65). In these houses, one usually reached the living quarters via a long corridor with two entrances. But rectangular buildings without a corridor could also be observed there. They probably housed workshops.

To the east of the legionary camp, isolated farmsteads with enclosing walls were observed, in which mainly handicraft businesses (forges, potteries, glassworks, etc.) were housed. Farms were certainly also integrated into the canabae. A large pottery (house no. 1 or castellum figlinarum) with an enclosing wall was located on the western edge of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. It stood on a flat hilltop and consisted of a courtyard with a fountain, three circular kilns with diameters of 3.50, 5 and 5.80 meters and two functional buildings. The enclosing wall formed a right angle to the west and south, which ended in a semi-arch to the north and east.



The center of the canabae was a multi-phase campus a hundred yards southwest of the legionary camp. All that remains of him are scattered bricks and rubble. During the excavations, two construction phases that were clearly separate from one another in terms of building history could be observed. The older, smaller campus had a 139 × 115 meter courtyard surrounded by 5.80 or 7.30 meter deep porticoes. Later, a new facility, this time 225.60 × 182 meters in size, was erected above the previous building, shifted slightly further to the west in the floor plan. It consisted of two courtyards, one in the north measuring 128 × 137.50 meters and one in the south measuring 137.50 × 34.50 meters. The campus was bordered on three sides by elongated porticoes and enclosed halls. On the long sides in the west and east they had two naves and probably carried an upper floor. Statue bases and the lower leg of a life-size statue were found in the porticoes. Perhaps the bronze statue of Emperor Severus Alexander, whose head is on display in the Carnuntinum Museum, once stood there. On the north side was a pillared hall 6.20 meters deep. In the south-east, the campus was closed off by a 27-meter-wide hall building, to which apses were subsequently added on the east and west sides, which delimited the narrow sides of the building at a distance of around 150 meters. Since they were aligned exactly in the central axis, it was believed that this building was probably a market hall (basilica). But it is much more likely that it served as a training hall (basilica exercitatoria) where the garrison could carry out their military training program even in rainy weather or in winter. Later, the interior of the hall was divided into two long rectangular rooms by a dividing wall with pilasters. In the post-Roman period, a blacksmith workshop was set up in the eastern part of the hall. The campus axes were aligned with the governor's villa. The campus probably served the civilian population as a central market and for the garrison as a roll call and training ground. It is one of the largest structures of this type known to date on the territory of the former Roman Empire.


Governor's Mansion

At the end of the 2nd century the villa of the governor and legionary legate (praetorium) was built, which was 400 m west of the camp, north of the Limes road and directly on the steep bank of the Danube. Due to landslides caused by erosion, only small remains of it (foundation walls of two 20 meter long, hall-like rooms and one room) have survived. The rooms were equipped with wall paintings and floor heating. An altar found there, donated to the goddess Aequitas/Eudikia between 246 and 248, is now in the Museum Carnuntinum. It was commissioned by the governor Titus Pomponius Protomachus and enabled the building to be identified. Excavations in this area are still difficult and dangerous, as the steep bank is in acute danger of falling.


Castra singularis
Carnuntum is one of the few Roman residential cities where the quarters of the governor's bodyguard (castra singularis) could also be located. In 2015, a building complex surrounded by a wall was discovered between the Praetorium (south) and the campus using ground radar. It was aligned to the east, towards the legionary camp and not, as is usual with most of the Limes forts, to the north towards the Danube. The fort bordered on other buildings to the south and west at a distance of only about 4-6 meters, while the Limes road probably ran right past the northern front. Its area covered an area of ​​about 183 × 99 meters, about 1.8 hectares. Immediately outside the southern wall was a group of buildings, some of which were hypocausted, perhaps a thermal bath. Judging by its location and structure, this complex could only have been occupied by the Guards (equites and pedites singularis). The camp had a long rectangular plan with rounded corners and had at least three entrance gates (north, east and south). However, two of them (north and south gates) were not central, but positioned in the eastern part of the fortification. At the south gate, a tower-like extension could be recognized during the image analysis. At least this gate was probably flanked by one or two towers, as was usual in mid-imperial forts. However, the intermediate towers and defensive moats customary in Roman forts were missing. In contrast to the other military camps in Carnuntum, it was not particularly strongly fortified, but only separated from the camp town by a 1.8-2.0 meter wide wall.

There were at least six other buildings in the eastern half of the site, the function of which has not yet been specified. The approximately 21 × 28 meter camp headquarters (principia), the commandant's house (praetorium) and the armory (armamentarium) and a crew barracks were probably there. In the western part there were four more crew barracks, 8 meters long, lined up closely together, which suggests a crew strength of 400 to 500 men. All had a slightly broader head building at their north end - where the officers were housed - and were laid out in pairs, back to back. The scan evaluations showed that a living unit consisted of two chambers (contubernia) and was probably much larger and better equipped than those in the barracks of the legionary camp.


Therme on the Mühläckern

One of the largest building complexes of the canabae was located on its south-eastern periphery. The remains were discovered in the late 19th or early 20th century in the south of the Mühläcker area, near the railway line. Among other things, numerous altars, reliefs and statues were recovered from him. The votive monuments and statues found there, e.g. However, B. von Iuppiter Dolichenus and Minerva did not favor a specific deity and its cult. Since the floor plan differed significantly from the Roman thermal baths known at the time, the excavators interpreted it as a medicinal or legionary bath and filled it up again after the investigations were completed.

There was no internal opening up or subdivision through side streets or alleys. The orientation of the building was also not based on the street network of the Canabae. Apparently, the bath was built later on the south-eastern periphery of the settlement. Aerial photos taken later showed that it was much larger than the first excavations initially suggested. The building, measuring 200 × 220 meters in total, was apparently divided into several functional areas due to its spatial structure and the orientation of the building lines. It consisted of up to 60 nested rooms. On the north side was a hall oriented west to east. The majority of the rooms are also based on this orientation. The actual bathing facilities were located in the eastern part. There the excavators found several apses, circular rooms, water basins, heating ducts in the walls and floors as well as a widely ramified system of ducts. The rooms had marble or brick floors and were decorated with locally made statues, imported marble slabs and wall paintings. To the north and west were encountered more halls and long corridors and courtyards surrounded by porticoes. Only a few of the rooms could be heated.


The dating of the building complex is uncertain. During the excavations, a consecration altar of Licius Vitalis, stable master (strator legati) of a commander of the Legio XIIII from the period between 222 and 235, was discovered in one of the walls. The building must have been built on a large scale in these years. Whether it was created at that time cannot be said. Its cornerstone could also have been laid in the 1st or 2nd century. While ceramics and military equipment were still represented until the second half of the 4th century, their use in the 5th century can no longer be clearly identified. Despite its peripheral location, the area may not have been used as a burial ground in the late period. Even later investigations did not find any solid hydrogeological or archaeological evidence that would have supported an interpretation as a thermal bath. Perhaps in reality it was just a representative magnate's villa or a palatial building that had a lavishly equipped bathroom.

road system
The road network of the canabae was irregular; However, in some sections of the investigations, streets arranged at right angles were also recognizable. The camp town was mainly developed through three streets:

the Limesstraße, which as the via principalis crossed the legionary camp and then continued westwards, always along the banks of the Danube, to the civilian town,
the via praetoria/decumana, which left the legionary camp through the southern gate and continued south-east to the castle of Gerulata (Rusovce, Slovakia), as well as
the Amber Road, which ran south-west from the western gate of the legionary camp and which led to Italy via Scarbantia, Savaria and Poetovio.



Amphitheater I is the only canabae excavation site that can be visited in its entirety. It served primarily as a weapons training ground for the legionnaires. Gladiator fights (munera) and exhibition hunts (venationes) also took place there, presumably also games specially arranged for the troops. The amphitheater was initially a largely free-standing structure that cut far less into the terrain than previously assumed. Residential and commercial buildings have been built around the theater since the 3rd century, spreading towards the cavea wall. Some were fitted with hose heaters. As a result, mixed development prevailed, with residential and commercial buildings overlapping. Two cupola furnaces and a pit in which lime was burned were also found. An extremely rare coin depicting Dryantilla, wife of the usurper Regalianus, was discovered in one of the furnaces.

The early theater building was built in the second half of the 1st century and was made entirely of wood apart from the substructures. After this wooden structure burned down (perhaps as planned), it was rebuilt in stone. Researchers have long associated this with a fragmented building inscription from the second half of the 2nd century, according to which a certain Gaius Domitius Zmaragdus from Antioch on the Orontes had donated an amphitheater. However, the analysis of numerous newly found fragments of another building inscription in 2013 showed that the stone phase of the amphitheater dates back to the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79). The building inscription of the Zmaragdus, on the other hand, probably refers to the amphitheater of the civilian town of Carnuntum, which was not even known when this inscription was found. The stone construction phase of the amphitheater was still in use until around 300 and was repeatedly repaired up to then (masonry in herringbone technique), but finally demolished to obtain building material for the renovation of the legionary camp under Valentinian. The wall structures visible today are all reconstructions that were not built until the beginning of the 20th century.


The 97.55 × 76.40 meter multi-phase building was about 110 meters away from the north-east side of the legionary camp, just off Limesstrasse in a natural depression in the ground. It was about 14 meters lower than the legionary camp and therefore did not restrict the view of the apron. The building had an elliptical floor plan oriented from east to west, the arena (cavea) measured 72 × 44 meters, the surrounding rows of seats offered space for 8000 spectators. As the square sloped towards the north towards the Danube, the outer wall there had to be built a little higher and reinforced with buttresses. The 1.5 meter wide arena wall, which essentially consists of quarry stone, was covered with hand-worked blocks and originally painted red. It was connected to the outer wall by the supporting walls arranged in a spoke-like manner and to the inner cavea wall by radial or spoke-like walls, which carried the wooden benches of the spectator stands. The bottom row of seats was directly on a mound of earth. The higher ranks on a wooden structure could be reached via stairs. In front of her was a wall made of ashlars, the so-called podium wall, which delimited the arena. Their blocks, connected with metal dovetail clamps, were originally covered with a light whitewash and colored borders. In addition to incrustation painting (imitation gemstones), which could be detected on the remains of plaster, battle scenes were probably also depicted on it.

The floor of the arena was made of rammed earth; only a small section had been paved with stone slabs, probably only later. In the middle was a rectangular water basin which, equipped with an overflow, could be drained via a canal through the north gate if necessary and was probably also used to clean the battlefield. The pool, which is covered today for safety reasons, is fed by a still functional ring collector, which also drains the rainwater. The drainage canal consisted of clay pipes that led the sewage directly into the Danube. During performances it was covered with wood. Along the arena wall was another channel that was also intended to drain the arena.

In the center of the southern spectator stand was the elaborately designed "Emperor's or Governor's Lodge" (pulpitum). It could be entered via a separate entrance. The two columns were only brought there from the legionary camp when the theater was renovated in the 19th century. The box was probably only intended for particularly high-ranking guests of honor at the games. Opposite her, directly above the north gate, was the one for the town magistrate of the civil town with stone benches. The inscription honoring the four councilors has been reconstructed. The north gate also served as a mortuary, for the removal of animal carcasses and for the passage of the drainage canal.

The main entrances were to the east and west of the building. It was a tripartite, lockable gate system that tapered in a funnel shape from the outside to the inside. They were designed in elaborate stone architecture, with a block weighing up to 750 kg. The spectators entered the amphitheater from outside via so-called vomitoriums. Traces of these steps were found, among other things, north of the east gate.


Animal kennels

In the west gate there was a small niche for a statue of a god and on its north side a later added U-shaped “animal kennel” (vivarium) consisting of twelve stone pillars with conical inlet grooves for lattices that are still visible today. The square around the kennel was paved. Inside was a paved middle path. At the entrance to the arena, the stone threshold and a latch and a door pan hole were still there. The shape of this alleged kennel, missing supports or those that were not found in the findings, as well as the extremely massive pillars, the grooves of which are said to have accommodated wooden scissor lattices, are partly free interpretations of the traces in the original building findings.


Nemesis Sanctuary

Next to the west gate of the amphitheater there was a three-room small temple of Nemesis (nemeseum). A wooden predecessor building stood there before the middle of the 1st century. The wooden temple was probably succeeded by two separate buildings built in stone in the last quarter of the 1st century. It consisted of a cella with a southern apse for the erection of the statue of the gods. The apse was decorated at the top with rosettes made of fired clay and stone coffers painted white. The cult room was somewhat lower due to the sloping terrain and could be entered via three steps on the south-east side. When it was discovered in situ, the fragments of the Nemesis statue and nine altars and statue bases were still there. Next to the apse, a stone bench with a step back ran along the wall, which served to place votive offerings. Towards the end of the 3rd century the cella was extended by a vestibule and a vestibule with further stone benches and in the south by a small, single-room sacellum. In the porch stood a water basin carved from the foliate cup of a column capital. The antechambers were red, the cella painted in several colors. The remains of statues of Diana-Nemesis, Hercules holding his son Telephos and nine consecration altars were found in the temple. Most of the inscriptions were dedicated to the goddess Nemesis, others to the emperor Commodus and the god of war Mars. The statue in the apse was donated in 184 by the highest-ranking centurion of the legionary camp (Primus Pilus) of Legio XIIII, Quintus Ref[…] Mansuetus. One of the Nemesis altars was commissioned in 187 by the administrator of the Nemeseum (curam agens Nemesei). During the excavations in the rubble of the temple, numerous slingshots from a Roman torsion gun (balistae) were also discovered. In the ground between Amphitheater I and the legionary camp there was a large number of iron crutches. Perhaps the attackers had taken cover there during a siege of the camp, after which the Nemeseum was heavily shelled by the defenders.

Water supply
Ambiguities and conclusions
How the water supply of the military camps was managed has not yet been fully clarified. During the excavations, numerous brick water pipes, sewers, running wells, fountains, distributors, wooden and lead pipes, but also scoop and draw wells and cisterns were found. Although we now know in great detail about the settlement structure of the Carnuntian Canabae and thanks to the old excavations the plan of the legionary camp is almost completely available, the water supply of the eastern half of the settlement of Carnuntum can only be reconstructed insufficiently. A major reason for this was the lack of large-scale investigations in this area. No further related projects have been initiated since the research activities of Josef Dell on the Solafeld in the 1890s. Differently developed pipe systems led to the settlements from the south, west and apparently also from the east. In addition to the Solafeld line or the Roman water line in the western Canabae, two other supply lines are likely: a line coming from the western slope of the Pfaffenberg, which was routed over an aqueduct bridge in the direction of Canabae, and one running from the south to the cavalry fort.

In 1928, miners discovered a Roman water pipe, one meter high and two meters wide, in Lange Gasse. Other sections had previously been observed at the old schoolhouse and in the parish garden. It ended in a "covered outflow" at the so-called Pfaffenbründl, about 200 meters east of the parish church of Petronell and still supplies fresh drinking water today.


Water pipe solar field

At the end of the 19th century, Josef Dell examined a 1,070 m long brick fresh water pipeline running from north to south, about 1.5 to 2.5 km south of the legionary camp. The beginning and end of the line had already been destroyed. The source was probably in the Black Earth soils. The approx. 60 cm wide line, whose walls consisted of quarry stone walls, was covered with stone slabs laid horizontally and roof-shaped. It reached a height of between 1.20 and 1.50 m and was accessible throughout. In the northern third of the aqueduct, a side arm coming from the south-west discharged, which could still be traced for a length of about 200 m. Josef Dell counted nine manholes on both line sections. There were probably many more. They were laid out at intervals of about 33 to 55 m. At manhole VII, Dell discovered another side arm branching off to the north, which was walled off after about 1.20 m and could not be followed any further. At least three linear growth marks can be seen on aerial photographs north of the excavated water pipeline, the southern end of which is oriented towards the Solafeld pipeline, while they drift apart radially to the north. They converge on different areas of the southwest canabae. These structures can be interpreted with a fair degree of certainty as a continuation of the aqueduct that crossed the depression between the Solafeld and the Burgfeld, i.e. the settlement area of ​​the Canabae and the legionary camp.

Water Pipe Canabae West
In the western area of ​​the canabae, the main sewer of the cavalry fort and a vaulted water pipe were found at the end of the 1970s, which crossed each other there. While the sewer was routed under the drinking water not far from the north-east corner of the forum, it was decided to lay the water pipe under the sewer near the cavalry fort. The direction of flow of the water pipe, which was interrupted by a sand trap and whose drinking water channel narrowed in front of the sink shaft, ran from west to east. It is not known why the sewer was not deepened further. Perhaps they wanted to save themselves the extensive digging work in the unstable, gravelly subsoil. A section of water pipe north of the Canabae campus, discovered by Groller-Mildensee in 1902 and running from the south-west in the direction of the legionary camp, represents a third clue to the water supply of the legionary camp and Canabae, which has been confirmed by excavations. It was located 50 to 60 m from the south-western camp wall a trough-shaped installation in the cable harness, the function of which has not been fully clarified. It was probably a small distribution tank from which four lines branched off. The basin probably served as an inlet for a section of pressure line that overcame the camp trenches and at least supplied the buildings in the vicinity, such as the camp hospital, with fresh water. However, this pipe was probably not used for the main water supply of the camp. Its continuation, which had the same cross-section as the stretch before the trough, apparently received the overflow and directed it further north, perhaps towards the west gate or the governor's mansion. The evaluation of aerial photos revealed a connection between the crossing structure at the cavalry camp and Groller's water pipe. Between two cul-de-sacs, which led to Gräberstraße and Limesstraße, there was a distinctive linear moisture mark, which flows directly into the Groller line at the forum. It may have been the still unexplored section of this water pipe.

Aqueduct at Pfaffenberg
Josef Dell discovered a third line on the northern slope of the Pfaffenberg, which, however, led in the direction of Hainburg. Aerial photos provided the first concrete indications of another water pipe on the western slope of the Pfaffenberg. They showed that numerous linearly arranged, around 200 m long dry marks ran across the Weingartfeld field. However, these were not continuous, but only punctiform growth marks, possibly the pillars of a Roman aqueduct stood there. The source of this water pipe may have been on the western slopes or at the foot of the slope of the Pfaffenberg, perhaps near the Hundsheim waterworks. It probably supplied the baths in the south-east Canabae.


Cult and religion

The most important religious duty of the soldiers was participation in the rites of the Roman state religion, because this was also intended to express loyalty to the ruling imperial family. However, returning soldiers in particular also introduced other cults and religions to Carnuntum, which has been archaeologically proven. Usually they simply merged their supreme imperial god Iuppiter with those gods whose cults they had come into contact with during their campaigns (syncretism). Among them were Iuppiter Dolichenus, Iuppiter Heliopolitanus, Iuppiter Tavianus and Iuppiter Casius. As is typical for a military location, Mithras in Carnuntum in particular enjoyed great veneration, as evidenced by several proven cult sites of this god, who originally came from Persia. There were also finds of Syrian and Egyptian deities (Isis, Serapis). The breakthrough for the gradual spread of Christianity was the Milan Agreement of 313. Through it, Christianity, like all other religions of the empire, advanced to a religio licita. This means that once this edict came into force, one no longer had to hide one's faith from the authorities. Although there are no clear indications of church buildings or meeting places in Carnuntum that would suggest the existence of a Christian community, at least some everyday objects with clearly Christian symbol decoration testify to a gradual penetration of ancient culture with its ideas and contents.


Temple area on the Pfaffenberg

First plants
The originally 500 m long and 330 m high limestone ridge of the Pfaffenberg lies in the east of Carnuntum and is part of the massif of the Hundsheim mountains. The Romans probably called this mountain range mons Karnuntinus. From there you had a good view far into the Barbaricum in the north-west, to Vindobona in the west, to Lake Neusiedl and the foothills of the Alps in the south-west. A lively Roman cult and building activity took place there for several centuries. As an elevation visible from afar, it was as if made for a temple district where the inhabitants of the Canabae, but presumably also those of the civil city, the Capitoline Triassic (Jupiter Optimus Maximus) and the Roman state - personified by the deified emperors - could pay their respects . Nevertheless, it seems to have belonged more to the camp town as a place of state representation with a propagandistic character.

Although the cults corresponded to those practiced in the rest of the Roman Empire, an unmistakable local color could be recognized in their specific form, which manifested itself not only in the worship of Iuppiter Carnuntinus, but also in the early and strong inclusion of Eastern mystery religions. The inscriptions for this god on the Pfaffenberg are additionally provided with the epithet "K", which is meanwhile unanimously considered to stand for K[arnuntinus]. The multiple mention of "III IDVS IVNIAS" is also striking. It was probably a special holiday commemorating the consecration of the first Roman Capitol of the province of Pannonia in Savaria (Szombathely). Possibly the mountain as sacer mons Karnuntinus also played an important role in the choice of location for Carnuntum, since according to the architect Vitruvius the cult place for the supreme gods of the state should be built at the highest point in the city.

The earliest building finds date from the second half of the 1st century. The first temples were not built until the reign of Hadrian (117-138). The plateau was obviously not used by the Celts for religious purposes or the like, as is often assumed. The administration and care of the temples as well as the organization of the cult activities were entrusted to the priests of the mountains (magistri montis), a college of four people who were mentioned several times in inscriptions and who carried out the cult and sacrificial activities in the temple district on behalf of the townspeople. The cult community, the cives romani consistentes Carnuntni intra leugam, was recruited mainly from the residents of the camp town. It is assumed, however, that two of the magistri monti came from the civilian town, since in some inscriptions decuriones can be added as consecrators, whose membership in the tribe Sergia would speak for an origin from the civilian town. This suggests a meaning of the sanctuary that goes beyond the narrower area of ​​the canabae (extra leugam).

During the time of the Tetrarchy, the temple district experienced another brief upswing, which manifested itself in a series of dedicated monuments. The last verifiable dedication to Iuppiter Optimus Maximus dates from the year 313, when Emperors Constantine I and Licinius came to the Milan Agreement, which put Christianity on an equal footing with the other religions recognized in the empire. In the time that followed, the official cultic acts for the old gods may have been discontinued for good. Most of the statues and altars were violently destroyed at the end of the 4th century. At this point, the use of the temple precinct abruptly ceased. Many artefacts clearly showed signs of being hit by picks or similar tools. The buildings were then either left to decay or demolished for building material. Numerous consecration altars were partially made into spolia on the spot. The trigger was probably the elevation of Christianity to the sole state religion under Theodosius I. The associated imperial edict of 391/392 prohibited the further practice of pagan cultic acts in the empire. The iconoclasts also evidently took great pains to chop up the statues into the smallest possible pieces, in order to prevent a revival of the ancient cults in the "places of worship of the cursed demons" (omnia daemonum templa). The last remnants of the ancient temple district finally fell victim to the steadily progressing quarrying work in 1985. However, the most important artefacts could still be recovered by the archaeologists in the course of an evacuation campaign lasting several years or documented before their destruction.


The buildings of the approx. 7000 square meter mountain sanctuary consisted of a number of smaller temples, a meeting building, numerous pillar monuments, consecrated altars and a small theater for cult games. They were probably still visible from the adjacent Barbaricum. The epigraphic legacies from Pfaffenberg in particular are very extensive. The oldest dedicatory inscriptions go back to the middle of the 1st century AD. The ancient building structures were completely uncovered during the excavations. According to the location, function and form of the findings, the following typology could be established:
cult theatre
Temples of Jupiter
Imperial altar (ara Augustorum)
Jupiter and Emperor columns
consecration altars and chapels
Priest or meeting house of the magistri montes


Holy road

The temple precinct could most likely be reached via a processional route (via sacra Carnuntina), which started from the camp town and led over the Kirchenberg and the gently rising northern slope to the Pfaffenberg plateau. The road probably also passed Mithraeum I.

Cult theatre
The cult theater stood in the southwest of the slightly sloping mountain plateau. It was used to hold ludi publici (including, for example, the Trojaritt or Geranostanz performed by young people), as well as parades, processions, etc., which played an important role in the cult of the gods or emperors. It is one of the largest buildings on the Pfaffenberg and was probably built in Severan times.

An approx. 2 meter high "arena wall" enclosed a round-oval square with a diameter of 40-42 meters. However, this form was not created on the basis of a given construction plan, but rather its course was adapted as far as possible to the natural conditions of the area. To the west of the entrance gate was a spectator stand whose rows of seats could be reached via a staircase. The substructures were made of stone, the pillars and rows of seats only made of wood. On the east side there was another, albeit somewhat smaller grandstand. She was u. a. decorated with relief panels and probably only reserved for the legion officers and other guests of honor. The dating of the complex is based on the assumption that an inscription discovered in 1912, in which the construction of a 100-foot-long and 7-foot-high wall by the youth league of the Iuppiter Dolichenus cult (iuventus colens Iovem Dolichenum) is reported, should be regarded as the building inscription of the cult theater is. However, since the first find report mentions that this inscription plate was built into the foundation of the theater, it must have been used secondarily. It is therefore more likely to be attributed to the western entrance gate of the sanctuary, whose corridor-like walls corresponded exactly in length to the dimensions given in the inscription. This gate system of the cult theater (Propylon) was located in the northwest of the summit plateau, about 30 meters from the center of the temple district. It was uncovered by Groller-Mildensee in 1898 and its floor plan documented. The gate, which dates from between 128 and 138, consisted of two parallel walls 45 centimeters wide and 15 meters long. The walls formed a 3.80 meter wide entrance, the front of which was decorated with two pilasters. In 1970 it was completely destroyed by the quarry work.

Temple I
The first building on the Pfaffenberg is a temple to Iuppiter. According to an inscription on an architrave found near the temple, it was consecrated by Lucius Aelius Caesar, Hadrian's adoptive son, who stayed in Pannonia Superior for some time in 137. The 9.16 × 5.32 m building was oriented from north to south and equipped with a cella and a columned front (portico). In the sanctum stood a painted seated statue of the deity.

Temple II

After the cult theater, this temple is the second largest known building on the Pfaffenberg. The building was probably built towards the end of the 2nd century, either immediately after the Marcomannic Wars or on the occasion of the elevation of Septimius Severus to the throne (193). It was a hall building measuring 13.45 × 10.40 meters, which was adjoined by a small, almost square room (S 1) in the north-west and a larger rectangular room in the south-east (S 2). Both could be entered from the hall. One had an additional door to the southeast. The building had a portico in front consisting of six pillars or columns. The 5.30 meter wide central part of the hall had two U-shaped walls that were just over 10 meters long and were around 0.60 meters apart from the significantly thicker side walls. Eugen Bormann and Werner Jobst considered Temple II to be the Capitol Temple of the Canabae, since the camp town was probably accorded the same status as the civilian town from the reign of Severus onwards. Furthermore, the almost intact heads of the statues that had been placed there were discovered during the excavations and could be assigned to a group of figures from the Capitoline Triassic. This interpretation is controversial in research. It could also have been a kind of meeting place for cult banquets. The two adjoining rooms, which were needed as storage rooms or kitchens for such banquets, point to a dining room. According to Groller-Mildensee, a rectangular set of brick slabs was found in the east corner of room S 2, which probably served as a hearth. However, Temple II could also have served as a place of worship for an oriental deity.

Temple III
Oriented east-west, this 5.91 × 4.73 m Leitha limestone temple to the Ante was also dedicated to Jupiter, as evidenced by fragments of a marble statue placed within. Its foundations were completely uncovered during the excavations. At the front of the building were two columns with Corinthian capitals, behind the vestibule was the cella with the Holy of Holies. The temple may have been built in the time of Antoninus Pius (138-161) or Marcus Aurelius.

Imperial altar or Imperial and Jupiter columns
South of Building E, three roughly rectangular foundations were found about 5 meters apart. Dedicatory altars probably stood on them. There were also numerous fragments of statues, columns and a portrait head of Marcus Aurelius, some of which were larger than life. It may have been an altar for the emperor cult (ara Augustorum). The complex was flanked by two columned monuments, one supporting the statue of Marcus Aurelius, the other either that of his son and successor Commodus, or of Jupiter enthroned. To the east of the imperial altar there were other columnar monuments, of which only the cast mortar foundations were left. The columns on square bases were mostly set on statues of Jupiter. On their sides were reliefs depicting Roman gods such as Jupiter, Juno, Mars, Victoria and Hercules. Particularly noteworthy was a statue of Iuppiter Casius, a weather god originally from northern Syria, whose cult sites have been documented throughout the Roman Empire. The specimen set up on the Pfaffenberg carried an iron trident on its head, which was probably supposed to represent a bundle of lightning.

consecration altars and chapels
Up to 350 consecration altars were probably erected on the Pfaffenberg. They and some chapels were located on the large temple forecourt, which spread south and west of the above-mentioned cult buildings and occupied most of the mountain plateau. There, 20 smaller pedestals could be observed on which such altars were placed. Archaeologists were able to recover hundreds of fragments of their inscriptions during the evacuation work. The consecration altars can be divided into five processing types. The specimens dedicated to Jupiter were up to 1.80 meters high because of the long title. Their donors were mostly soldiers or the inhabitants of the camp town.

Office building of the magistri montis

The priests quorum office building, designated Building A, stood on the northeast edge of the temple precinct. Groller-Mildensee incorrectly identified it as a watchtower. In the course of the evacuation measures, it was completely uncovered and its true function was recognized on the basis of the numerous inscriptions found. It had a slightly warped, 8.85 × 7.50 m square floor plan. The rising, 50 centimeters thick masonry (partly more than a meter high) stood on a 60 centimeters wide and 50 centimeters high rubble stone foundation. The stones of the walls were piled up in ear or herringbone technique. There were also numerous spoils in the masonry. The rooms were plastered inside, the outer walls obviously not. Each of the priests had been assigned their own room to carry out their duties. The organizational structure of the college of priests is also reflected in the structure of the house and the division of the rooms. The building was probably built in the 3rd century, traces of previous buildings could not be found.

The sculptural equipment with statues of emperors and gods was numerous and of high quality. Most of the Pfaffenberg sculptures were recovered during excavations between 1970 and 1985. They were supplemented by some finds from earlier investigations. The collection consists of around 40 works of art of different size and quality. With the exception of one marble statue, they were carved from local limestone, including at least 11 seated statues of Jupiter enthroned. Some of these depictions of Jupiter, some larger than life, contained historically particularly interesting details. But statues of other deities, such as those of Juno, Minerva or Victoria were also set up in the temple area. The sculptural finds also included a head of Emperor Marcus Aurelius that is now lost, a statuette of a genius and a few fragments of sculptures of oriental gods.


Cult district of the oriental gods

building complex
In the southeast corner of the canabae (Flur Mühläcker) was an extensive, multi-phase building complex from the 2nd century, of which about 10,000 m² of its area could be excavated. It consisted of several cult buildings, a thermal bath and the associated functional buildings. According to the inscriptions on two consecrated altars and a tabula ansata, the sanctuary founded in Traianic-Hadrian times was dedicated to Iuppiter Heliopolitanus, who was worshiped in a temple on the east side of the temple area. The temple area, dedicated to the cult originally from Baalbek in modern-day Lebanon, is the only known sanctuary of this type north of the Alps. The buildings were grouped around a 30 × 20 meter trapezoidal courtyard. The cult precinct may have been walled on all sides. The entrance was to the east. A residential wing, perhaps for priests or believers, has not yet been fully excavated. Before the erection of the temple buildings, there were wooden frame buildings from the early phase of the Canabae, which functioned as residential and farm buildings (so-called Blockhaus K).

Temple of Cybele
In the east was a 9.50 × 4.80 meter podium temple (Building A) which was probably dedicated to the goddess Cybele. Judging by the remains of the façade cladding, it could have been erected around 150 as a rectangular building with a columned front. After the destruction of Temple A, a courtyard measuring 18.5 × 17 meters (Building C) was built south of it at the turn of the 2nd and 3rd centuries (Building C), in the center of which is a square 3.80 × 3.70 meters measuring altar or chapel foundation was located. The courtyard entrance was to the west. After the chapel was abandoned around 200, a podium temple (building B) was built next to the foundations of temple A, this time measuring 8.20 × 5.70 meters. It consisted of a cella and a vestibule (pronaeus). A statue of Cybele was probably erected on the east side of the cella.

The long rectangular mithraeum (Building H) stood to the south and measured 31 × 15 metres. The front facing the courtyard consisted of a portico five meters deep. Two halls with lounger podiums could be entered via a shared anteroom with the thermal baths. The smaller, three-nave hall (10 × 15 meters) was equipped with hypocaust heating. The podiums only ran along the longitudinal walls. On the narrow side opposite the entrance there was a foundation for a cult image. In the larger hall (13 × 25 meters), the podiums ran along the wall on three sides, on the fourth there was a foundation block for an altar or a cult image. Two small rooms built into the front halls probably served as a kitchen or depot for the utensils needed for the ritual meals of the cult community. All four inscriptions found in the cult area, two altars and two votive plaques, refer to Iuppiter Heliopolitanus. It is all the more difficult to determine which religious community used the two cult halls and to narrow down their function.

Temple of Jupiter
To the west, an unusually large temple of Iuppiter (Building J) with a floor plan of 25 × 13.25 meters adjoined the mithraeum. It was erected by the legionary tribune Cornelius Vitalis in the 3rd century in honor of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Heliopolitanus (after Heliopolis, today's Baalbek) according to an altar inscription found in 1872. The axes of the temple were oriented west to east. Access was probably via the portico of the mithraeum. The interior was divided into three naves by the arrangement of the pillars. There were brick podiums on the long sides. The floor consisted of slanted brick slabs.

Thermal bath
To the east of the mithraeum stood a small thermal bath (building F) measuring 19.5 × 20.5 metres. The building could be entered on its north side. Then you got through a narrow corridor first in the changing room. Behind this, to the south, are the bathrooms (cold and warm water baths) with sitting and immersion tubs in two vestibules. The hot water bath was heated by underfloor and wall heating. The prefurnium stood on the east side of the thermal baths. There was also a 5.50 × 3.50 meter latrine, which was connected to the waste water canal of the thermal baths to the Altenburger Bach. The floors and linings of the water tubs were made of terrazzo and marble slabs. Judging by the brick stamps recovered there, the bath was built by members of Legio XIIII.


Port of the camp town

Large parts of the buildings located directly on the river have fallen victim to erosion over the centuries. Naturally, this also includes moorings and port facilities. Such facilities were probably located near the civilian town (Petronell Castle) and the governor's palace, specifically in the area of the north-eastern canabae and the legionary camp. A large storage building, which was excavated near the Danube bank in 1899, speaks for this locality.



Mithraeum I (Mithras Grotto Am Stein)
The cult building was located between Bad Deutsch-Altenburg and Petronell, near the quarry (Am Stein) on the northern slope of the Pfaffenberg. The importance of this place for the inhabitants of early Carnuntum can be explained by the crossing over the Danube and the proximity of the mouth of the March. In 1853 the k.u.k. Coin cabinet conducted an excavation there under the direction of Eduard von Sacken. According to his report, which is not very detailed, the Mithraeum grotto is said to have had a semicircular floor plan. Their crevices and bumps were evened out with masonry. When it was uncovered, only a semicircular apse of the building was probably preserved. In the north of the apse, remains of stucco work were found, decorated with horizontal yellow-red lines. Part of the entrance wall could also be examined. According to a building inscription, the Mithraeum, which was already badly dilapidated at the time, was repaired in the 4th century at the instigation of Caius Atius Secundus, a member of the knightly ranks.

The inventory consisted, among other things, of six consecration altars that had been donated by legion officers, priests and slaves. In an inscription, Mithras is referred to as the "creator of light" (genitor luminis). The central cult image, which depicts the god slaying the bull, was about 1.80 × 1.50 meters in size. Only the bull has survived from him. Furthermore, representations and sculptures of the rock birth of the god (petra genetrix), the torchbearer Cautopates, Mercury and a lion with open jaws were found in the mithraeum. They consisted of Leithas sandstone and were originally painted. Almost all finds from Mithraeum I are kept in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Mithraeum III
The sanctuary with a total of 3914 meters was located in the western part of Petronell, on a farm near the Hintausried field, Lange Gasse No. 80. This sanctuary, which was probably built in the late 2nd century, was one of the largest sacred buildings in Carnuntum. Oriented from east to west, the building with a long rectangular floor plan essentially consisted of a vestibule with a kind of transept, the cult room and the holy of holies, all of which were vaulted by a wooden structure supported by beams. The slightly sloping floor was made of rammed earth. The walls and vault of the mithraeum were probably painted black and red, and the vault and roof were made of wood. The cave-like cult room, whose stucco ceiling was probably painted with a starry sky, was intended to symbolize the universe. The large cult relief of the Mithras Cave in the entrance hall of the Carnuntinum Museum, which depicts the god killing the bull, comes from this sanctuary.

The 8.50 × 8.50 meter porch in the east was about 1.40 meters higher than the cult room. It was adjoined by an 8.50 × 3.50 meter traverse through which the actual cult room was entered, probably via a staircase, through another, unusually large antechamber. The anteroom was probably the original site of the Mithraic altar donated by the participants in the Imperial Conference of Carnuntum, which was commissioned to mark the restoration of this temple.

The traverse was separated from the cult room measuring 24.50 × 9 meters by two small walls. The cult room was divided by a 4.00 to 4.50 meter wide corridor, on each side of which were 0.60 × 1.50 to 1.85 × 15.00 meter dining benches made of masonry (rubble stone with horizontal brick bands). At the east end of the central aisle stood a sculpture of a lion holding a ox's head between its paws. Next to it was a stone shell that probably contained holy water. Two stone bases were placed against the inwardly projecting bank walls, on which the reliefs of the dadophors (torch-bearers) Cautes and Cautopates may have stood. They adorned the entrance pillars of the central aisle. Her scattered fragments were scattered throughout the central corridor.

Two building inscriptions were recovered on the southern bank wall, which report on the restoration of the dining platforms. The brick base for the cult relief was placed on the western rear wall of the cult room. There the excavators found the ruins of the large, high-quality cult relief of the killing of the bull from the 2nd century and a seasonal altar. Another cult image, 76 centimeters in size, showed the rock birth of Mithras. The originally 3.60 × 2.40 meter relief was painted and consisted of four 40 to 50 centimeter thick sandstone slabs that had been quarried in St. Margarethen in Burgenland. The foundation inscription was carved in the upper part, which said that a certain Titus Flavius ​​Viator had commissioned the cult image. In front of it stood the artfully crafted, approx. 30 cm high main altar with elaborate figural decoration on a plinth. Its ensemble of figures represented the wind gods and the four seasons. According to the inscription, the altar was donated by Magnius Heracla. According to the findings, the cult figures of the mithraeum were violently destroyed.

The finds from the Mithraeum are kept in the Museum Carnuntinum.



The grave finds showed that people from all parts of the empire had settled in the Canabae. The Italians probably formed the majority at first, but Dacians, Dalmatians, Spaniards and North Africans also lived there. Certainly people from Germania magna were brought there as slaves or came to Carnuntum as soldiers. The Roman army, in particular, promoted this ethnic diversity through the deployment of the legion and the movement of troops to numerous theaters of war. In late antiquity, mainly Germans such as Sarmatians, Goths, East Germans and Burgundians settled there.



The hub of economic and commercial activity was the campus (or forum) next to the legionary camp. Many of the traders and craftsmen had set up their stalls in its lobby and adjoining rooms. Metal workshops were mostly located on the outskirts of the camp town because of the risk of fire. Utility ceramics were mainly produced for personal use and for regional markets. High-quality tableware (Terra sigillata) was imported from Gaul, Italy or the Germanic provinces. Another important line of business was the amber trade. The raw material was traded further south in Carnuntum and returned north from there in the form of refined products such as jewellery. The establishment of a large army base also brought with it a great need for agricultural products. Over time, a large number of farms or villas (villa rustica) and villages (vici) developed in the hinterland of Carnuntum, which, however, could not always be distinguished from one another archaeologically. The villa owners may have primarily engaged in agriculture, while the villagers mainly pursued commercial activities (e.g. spinning, weaving, woodworking). Around 50 people probably lived on the large estates, producing food for the legion, but also making clothing and consumer goods for their own use. Simple tools were made from the bones of slaughtered cattle. Repairs of tools or the like were done in the local blacksmith workshops. However, most of the goods produced by the villages and villas were certainly tailored to the needs of the Roman army.


Burial grounds

In the early days of Roman rule, the population of the camp town and the soldiers of the legionary camp were mostly buried along the Amber Road. The section between the legionary camp and the Heidentor is known in research as the grave street. The road to the graves stretched along the Petronell-Rohrau connecting road a little beyond the Schafflerhof to the Heidentor. From there it could be traced as far as Höflein, Bruck an der Leitha and on the western shore of Lake Neusiedl. It was not paved, its surface consisted of a firmly tamped, slightly curved layer of gravel averaging 10 m wide.

The ancient tombs have been systematically explored since 1885. The burial ground began about 500 meters southwest of the legionary camp. The burials are particularly dense about a kilometer from the camp. This is where mainly soldiers and the residents of the camp town found their final resting place. In the 1st and 2nd centuries the dead were cremated. The ashes were buried in pits or urns, over which a tombstone (stele) or a memorial was erected. Urn graves with steles were particularly popular during this period. But there were also more elaborate brick and flagstone pits, square tombs, chapels, pillared monuments, and funerary temples decorated with sculpted lions or other carvings that imitated the monumental burial structures of the south of the empire. Some tombs were surrounded by rectangular or circular enclosures. A crematorium (ustrina) was also found on the street of graves. It was eight feet in diameter and sunk three feet into the ground. In front of the heating opening was an urn filled with ashes. While in the early days body burials were still the exception, especially among the lower class of the local population, a clear increase in the number of skeleton graves in Carnuntum can be observed from 200 onwards. The burial ground on the Amber Road was occupied until the end of the 2nd century. Its plundering probably began in Roman antiquity. When archaeologists uncovered the tomb of the soldier Lucius Centyllius Priscus, they found it completely uprooted. The tomb contents had been scattered around the pit and were still at Roman-era ground level.

The custom of burial in sarcophagi became popular in Carnuntum due to immigrants from the Orient. The deceased were now increasingly buried in sarcophagi, some of which were magnificently decorated, simple stone boxes, brick-slab graves and brick-lined burial pits. One of these cemeteries was located southwest of the camp and consisted of 96 burials, most of which had already been plundered. The stone chests consisted of tombstones that had probably been carried there from the Graves' Road in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Grave inscriptions from this period as well as a Nereid relief and a portrait stele also came to light there.

A burial ground from Late Antiquity was found on the south-eastern edge of the camp town. It consisted mainly of brick slab tombs, the bricks of which bore the stamp of Legio XIII. There were only a few sarcophagi and stone box burials. A girl's grave had not been looted and still contained valuable gold jewellery. The burial ground reached up to the built-up area of ​​the canabae.

Christian graves have not yet been discovered or recognized in Carnuntum.


Marching camp

In the 1990s, geomagnetic measurements in the vicinity of the Heidentor revealed three other previously unknown military camps. During archaeological prospecting in the years 2012-2015, 20 (!) more such structures in the run-up to Carnuntum have now become known. However, only their defensive trenches are visible in the measurement data. They are characterized by a ground plan in the format of a playing card, i. H. the fences describe a rectangle or parallelogram with rounded corners. Characteristic of temporary marching camps, which, in contrast to permanent camps, were only intended for short-term accommodation of troops in tents.


Civilian town

In the second half of the 1st century, parallel to the legionary camp, civil settlements were built, modeled on Roman cities in Italy. The built-up area of ​​the civilian town covered about three square kilometers. It stretched two kilometers west-east and about one and a half kilometers north-south. Its western end is one kilometer before Petronell (Gstettenbreite corridor) outside the enclosure wall of the Tiergarten. The eastern end is marked by the Lange Gasse-Parish Church line from Petronell. In the north, the houses stood close to the steep bank of the Danube, in the south up to today's federal highway 9 or the Heidentor. Since the beginning of the 2nd century it can be assumed that there has been extensive development in the sense of an organized community. Around 50,000 people probably lived there at that time. Emperor Hadrian subsequently granted the city the right to self-government. Under Trajan it rose to become the provincial capital of Upper Pannonia. During the Marcomannic Wars, Marcus Aurelius led his campaigns from there into the tribal areas north of the Danube. At the end of the 2nd century, Septimius Severus was proclaimed emperor by the Danube legions and the civilian town was then elevated to the rank of a colony. In 308 AD the Tetrarchs held the Imperial Conference of Carnuntum there. In the middle of the 4th century a severe earthquake devastated the region. This natural disaster, combined with the steady reduction in border troops and the effects of the migration of peoples, eventually caused the city's economic and demographic decline. In the late 4th century, the already badly run-down town served as an army camp for Emperor Valentinian I for a campaign against Transdanubian tribal associations. In the 5th century the city was abandoned and deserted by its Roman inhabitants.



Watchtowers in the Canabae
350 to 400 meters from the east gate of the legionary camp, among other things, the remains of two rectangular stone towers lay under the houses of the Canabae. Its cast masonry was one meter wide. Since the valley of the Altenburger Bach obstructed the view from the legionary camp, these towers were probably intended to secure access to the camp from this side. In the course of the spread of canabae they were probably eliminated.
"Mattle Tower"
600 meters southwest of the west gate, on Mattleacker Hall, was another 9 × 9.10 meter square watchtower protecting the Amber Road. Its cast masonry was 2.50 to 2.80 meters thick. The interior measured 4.0 × 3.30 meters. It probably served as a signal tower. The ruined tower was still visible into the 20th century.
Watchtower on Pfaffenberg and small fort "Am Stein"
Whether there was also a watchtower on the Pfaffenberg plateau could not be confirmed archaeologically, but it is very likely due to the favorable location. On the slope of the Pfaffenberg (Am Stein), near today's parish church of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, a fortification and a three-arch gate with inscriptions of the Legio XIV Antoniniana as well as the Legio X and XIII and a building inscription from the time of Caracalla were allegedly discovered around 1874 . The ruins were completely destroyed by the subsequent quarry work. Whether it was actually a small fort to secure a bridge over the Danube could no longer be clarified.
Bridgehead Stoppenreuth
This fortified bridgehead (small fort?) was in the Stoppenreuther Au on the left bank of the Danube, near the mouth of the Roßkopf arm, three kilometers from the north-east corner of the legionary camp. At this point, the Amber Road crossed the Danube, probably via a ship bridge. Whether the fortifications were located on the northern or southern bank of the main stream of the Danube in ancient times is unclear.


Monument protection

The systems are ground monuments within the meaning of the Austrian Monument Protection Act. Investigations and targeted collection of finds without the approval of the Federal Monuments Office constitute a criminal offence. Accidental finds of archaeological objects (ceramics, metal, bones, etc.) and all measures affecting the soil must be reported to the Federal Monuments Office (Department for Archaeological Monuments).



The Carnuntinum Museum is located in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. In the museum building, which was built by Friedrich Ohmann in the style of an antique country house villa between 1901 and 1904 and is the largest Roman museum in Austria, the most valuable finds (e.g. amber stocks) from the numerous excavations are presented to the public. It was personally opened in 1904 by Emperor Franz Josef I. Only a fraction of the inventory of archaeological finds from Carnuntum can currently be shown in the museum (about 4000 specimens). The rest was temporarily stored in several depots. In addition to the Carnuntinum Museum, the promenade in Petronell (residential part of the civilian town) with a city model on a scale of 1:300 can be visited in connection with the newly built visitor center, the late antique Heidentor and the two amphitheaters I and II. The foundation walls of the civil town's large thermal baths have been preserved and are open to visitors. The legionary camp, which was largely excavated in the 20th century, was filled in again and its walls are only recognizable as a terrain elevation. In Petronell there is also the privately run museum of the association Auxiliarkastell Carnuntum, in whose basement a junction of the long-distance water pipe and the sewer of the fort was conserved; temporary exhibitions are also held there.