Daily News Hungary | Mar 24, 2019 | 1
Tác, one of Hungary’s biggest Roman towns – PHOTOS
Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu invites readers for an exciting time-travelling experience: all you have to do is visit Tác, that is, Gorsium, and get mesmerised by the Roman town.
You might wonder why Tác and Gorsium were referred to as one location. Well, it’s because the excavations, started in 1958, revealed that the village of Tác hid Hungary’s biggest Roman town, Gorsium. Thus, the history of 2000 years was brought to sunlight near Sárvíz.
The Romans arrived to the area and built up a military camp in about 46-49 BC. Later, at the beginning of the 2nd century they constructed a town, which included a forum, sanctuaries, temples and halls. The town was surrounded by walls and for celebrations an amphitheatre was also built.
According to gorsium.org, the town “became the centre of the provincial assembly of Pannonia Inferior and that of the imperial cult.” For several decades it was a thriving and rich town even though it had to face numerous attacks. The first written mentions about it are from the 3rd century, referring to the place as “Gorsium” and “Gorsio sive Hercule”.
It was completely destroyed by barbarians in 260, therefore, a new town had to be built. The town was given a new name: Herculia, but it started later to prosper again. “From [that] period a great palace, row shops, two early Christian basilicas [and] a cemetery beyond the town walls [were] unearthed.”
The decay began in the 4th century after the worsening of public safety and the decrease in the population of the surrounding areas. Only a few smaller municipalities could survive in the neighbourhood until the 16th century. The most famous was Föveny, as rocks were transported from there to Székesfehérvár for royal and church constructions.
It also became deserted when during the Turkish occupation; no inhabitants were found there in the 18-19th centuries. Even the Zichy family, who purchased the land, used it only for rock mining.
The area hosts the biggest archaeological park of the country now, but don’t be afraid, it can be walked through in 2 hours. Visitors may witness what is left from a thriving ancient town, and let their imagination show how soldiers, officers, and families lived there back in those days.
Even their eating habits can be somewhat observed, because a rich collection of kitchen equipment were found in the basement at the excavations, as well. Thousands of tile pieces, earthenware, pots and tops, drinking and storing dishes were uncovered.
The site writes that the Romans based their recipes on fish sauces, ate lots of meat, used fruits, honey, peppermint, wine and spices – but no salt – for flavouring. They ate at tables, but in mid-lying positions, using their hands, which required hand washing.
After embracing the historical atmosphere, during visiting Gorsium, you may also climb the watchtower on the 12 metre town wall to lay your eyes at the spectacular view. Should you be interested and need more information about the location, make sure to check out the website of the Gorsium Archaeological Park.
Copy editor: bm
Source: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, gorsium.org