Ancient ‘refrigerator’ discovered in Roman fortress Nova in Bulgaria

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists during excavations in the camp of Roman legionnaires in Nova discovered a container that can be described as an ancient “refrigerator” created from ceramic plates for storing food.

Nova Fortress is an archaeological site on the Danube in northern Bulgaria, near the town of Svishtov. It was founded in the middle of the 1st century AD.

The 1st Roman legion was based here for most of its existence and its presence is confirmed until the 30s of the 5th century AD.

On the territory of the camp, which occupies 17.99 hectares, monumental buildings were found, the most important of which is the headquarters building (principia), although the legionary hospital (valetudinarium) and baths (thermae legionis) are no less impressive.

A civilian settlement (kanabae) was located on the western side of the camp, and a necropolis on the southern and eastern sides.

In late antiquity, Nova’s fortifications were strengthened, and an additional territory (the so-called annex) was added to the camp from the east, covering an area of ​​about 8 hectares.

Both soldiers and civilians lived in the fortress. Traces of the last Roman activity date back to the end of the 6th century.

During this season’s excavations, the team discovered a container made of ceramic plates recessed under the floor, which the inhabitants of the fort used as a “refrigerator” to store food. The container was found in a military barracks.

Inside the container, the team found pieces of ceramic vessels and small burnt bone fragments, as well as charcoal in a bowl that had been used to repel insects.

Professor Piotr Dycek says that such “refrigerators” are very rare.

Another find of this year is a collection of several dozen coins. Most of them come from layers spanning the period from the invasion of the Goths to the Middle Ages. From the III century until the beginning of the reign of Constantine the Great (beginning of the IV century).


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