Wood analyses helped to determine the location and approximate construction period of the Roman bridge over the Drava River in ancient Poetovio (Ptuj, Slovenia)

Analiza lesa je potrdila lokacijo in okvirno obdobje postavitve rimskega mostu čez reko Dravo v antičnem Poetoviju (Ptuj v Sloveniji)

Authors

  • Andrej Gaspari
  • Katarina Čufar
  • Maks Merela

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26614/les-wood.2021.v70n02a06

Keywords:

Roman bridge, Poetovio, Ptuj-Slovenija, archaeological wood, oak (Quercus sp.), dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating, wiggle-matching

Abstract

We present the results of a dendrochronological study and radiocarbon dating of the wooden piles of the bridge over the Drava River in Ptuj. The piles, together with stone elements (a fragment of an imperial building inscription and parts of the architectural decoration) were retrieved from the riverbed in 1913 and are now in the Regional Museum Ptuj - Ormož. Using dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating of carefully selected annual rings in the wood and calibration with the wiggle-matching method, the date of the last (outermost) annual ring on the pile was determined to be 161 ± 27 cal AD (1σ) or 160 ± 32 cal AD (2σ). Since the pile contained no sapwood, the dating approximately agrees with the date of the building inscription on the stone slab, which attributes the commission for the reconstruction or construction of the bridge to Emperor Hadrian in the last years of his reign (117-138 AD). The dating of the wood has thus confirmed that the remains examined do indeed belong to a Roman bridge, probably built or renovated during the reconstruction of the road network in the area of the colony of Poetovio under Hadrian or one of his successors.

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Published

23.12.2021

How to Cite

Gaspari, A., Čufar, K., & Merela, M. (2021). Wood analyses helped to determine the location and approximate construction period of the Roman bridge over the Drava River in ancient Poetovio (Ptuj, Slovenia): Analiza lesa je potrdila lokacijo in okvirno obdobje postavitve rimskega mostu čez reko Dravo v antičnem Poetoviju (Ptuj v Sloveniji). Les/Wood, 70(2), 71–85. https://doi.org/10.26614/les-wood.2021.v70n02a06

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