Roman Fort in Iža - Kelemantia


This fort is not mentioned in the written ancient sources. The first picture of the fort comes form the 17st century AD. It is a copper engraving illustrating a battle of general de Souchés against the Turks in 1661. The ruins of this “castle”, with the system of ditches and ramparts draw attention of an important schollar Mathias Bel in the 18th century AD. At the same time the site was visited also by two well known English travellers - Richard Pococke and Jeremiah Milles, interested very much in the Roman history. On the way along the Roman frontier their attention caught a couplet of two fortifications situated in the proximity of the confluence of the rivers Váh and Danube. The most of the ruins on the right bank of the Danube they described as a Roman fortress – Brigetio. J. Milles made a drawing of the ruins.


The scientific research focused on Roman fort in Iža started in the 19th and continued mainly in the 20th century AD. Our present knowledge is the result of several seasons of archaeological excavations. The very first were carried out by a local amateur archaeologist János Tóth-Kurucz at the beginning of the 20th century AD. Even though he was a high school professor in Budapest, the fort in Iža - his native village, attracted him so much, that he spent several seasons excavating there. During the seasons of 1906-1909, 1912 and 1913 he uncovered and documented the large part of the inner fort area and its fortification system. He drew a ground plan of the fort which, with only small changes, is still valid today. The results of the excavations are published and summarised in a monograph about the Pannonian frontier.

His work was followed by Jaroslav Böhm in 1932, who excavated the ditches - part of the external fortification system. Large scale excavation was carried out here under supervision of Bedřich Svoboda in 1955-1956 and Mária Lamiová-Schmiedlová in 1957. The present archaeological excavations, preservation and presentation of this special ancient site are since 1978 undertaken by the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra.


    © ElenaBlazova