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XXII International Limes Congress was held in Ruse

03.10.2012
From the 6th to 11th September this year was held the XXII International Limes Congress, hosted for the first time in Bulgaria. The scholarly sessions were organized in the completely renovated Profitable House "Dohodno zdanie" in the city of Ruse. The Congress was attended by 300 scholars from 30 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Republic of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, USA.
 
Within four days, in four parallel sessions were delivered papers on topics concerning different issues related to the Roman limes: fortifications; disposition of the military units along the frontiers of the Roman Empire; evidence for the presence of veterans of the Roman army on the frontiers; arms; burial rites; religion; settlements and roads localized at the Roman Limes as well as the trade developed in the frontier region; the frontiers as a zone of interaction between the Roman and Barbarian world, and the problem of establishment and development of different cultural zones on both sides of the Roman Limes. Special emphasis was also placed on the structure and functioning of the Roman frontiers in terms of the information provided by the ancient sources.
 
During the Congress were presented the results of the latest archaeological studies of legionary camps localized along the Roman Limes route. A separate session was devoted to interdisciplinary researches of sites at the frontier zone of the Empire.
On the first day of the Congress were delivered papers examining different problems of the Roman Limes with regard to its route in present-day Israel. The reports were included in a special session dedicated to the memory of Prof. Israel Roll, one of the most prominent Israeli archaeologists, head of the excavations at Mezad Tamar, Tel Yaoz, Apollonia-Arsuf (initially with E. Ayalon, later by himself), the Roman temple at Tel Kedesh (with M. Fischer and A. Ovadiah) and author of monographs, studies and articles of importance for the Roman archaeology of Israel. Due to his excellent fieldwork the site Apollonia-Arsuf was inscribed by UNESCO as a Crusader fortress having status of World Heritage Site.
 
The scholarly program of the XXII International Limes Congress also provided for a separate session, on which was discussed the future challenges related to the possibility archaeological sites on the Roman Empire frontiers to be recognized as World Heritage Sites, as well as to serve as an example in promoting the principal requirements of UNESCO for the development of the World Heritage concept.
 
In a special session were included 43 posters containing textual and photographic material from the latest studies of Roman Limes sites and also information about various problems of the life along the route of the Roman Imperial frontiers.
 
At the Congress were presented the candidatures of the host cities of the next two Limes Congresses. XXIII Limes Congress will be held in 2015 in the city of Ingolstadt, Germany and the city of Rabat, Morocco will host the XXIV Limes Congress in 2018. 
 
The scholarly sessions and the excursions included in the Congress program were excellently organized and held, to which testify the comments of the Congress participants: 

Jürgen Trumm, Dr. phil., Leiter Ausgrabungen Vindonissa:
It was a great LIMES XXII congress, including a perfect organisation and the overwhelming hospitality of the Bulgarian people.
 
Prof. Dr. C. Sebastian Sommer, Landeskonservator, Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege:
Once again, I would like to thank you and your various teams very much. It was just a great congress and we all had a very good time.
We were/are proud to be able to participate in and to contribute to this conference.
Let me assure you on behalf of all the participants of this conference: it has been an instructive, learned, wonderful conference.
About 300 of us came together in Bulgaria from 29 countries of the world – the Old as well as the New one – to exchange our knowledge and views about the frontiers of the Roman Empire.
We were immensely impressed by the sites you showed us, the work being done there and the countryside in which these sites are situated, may they be Thracian, Roman, late Roman, post Roman, or Bulgarian, or “only” relevant to the more recent history.
We all shall leave this hospitable country Bulgaria and the piazza here in Ruse with its joyous atmosphere of which we got so easily accustomed to with regret that we cannot stay longer, see more, exchange more, understand more and meet more people.
 
Prof. David Breeze, Chairman of the International Limes Conferences:
I should like to thank you most warmly for organising such a splendid Limes Congress. Many people said that it was the best that they had ever attended. It was indeed a happy, instructive and most smooth-running occasion. Everything went well, and to time. The lecture sessions were informative, the sites wonderful, the organising ladies most efficient. We were all most impressed by your great heart and hospitality and the great heart and hospitality of the Bulgarian people. It was, quite simply, an occasion which we will not forget.

Ivan Radman-Livaja, PhD senior curator, Greek and Roman Department, Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia:
I wish to thank you and congratulate you for the work you have done! We all had a wonderful time in Ruse, it was a great congress!

Glenn Bugh, Chair of the Managing Committee, ARCS:
Just a short note of appreciation for a fine conference and wonderful hospitality during the recent Limes Congress in Ruse. The excursions were excellently chosen and the student staff always helpful. I know how difficult it is to move such large groups of people around sites. Thanks again. 

Dr. Branka Migotti, Director, The Archaeology Division, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts:
I am not a born flatterer, but cannot resist telling you once again the praise you had probably heard many times during the Congress, and from various people: the organisation was great. 
 
Dr. Phil. Snezana Golubovic M.A., Archaeological Institute, Serbian Academy for
Science and Arts:
Treba li da ti ponovim da je bilo odlično i da si ti kao i uvek био sjajan  ja nista drugačije od tebe ni ne očekujem, ali ipak da se u ime celog našeg tima zahvalim na svemu. Zaista смо uživali  odlična organizacija, sjajne dvorane, divne kolege sa kojima smo mogli da razmenjujemo iskustva, hrana. Ali i da istaknem koliko su vam sjajni локалитети i koliko smo srećni da smo mogli toliko da obidjemo. Mnogo ti hvala na svemu. Pozdravi puno sve kolege u Institutu.
 
Dr. Sonja Katarina Jilek, Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien:
Ganz, ganz herzlichen Dank an Dich und Deine Mitarbeiter für diesen hervorragend organisierten und durchgeführten Limeskongress, der mir und sicherlich vielen anderen in bester Erinnerung bleiben wird!! Die Stadt Ruse und der Veranstaltungsort waren perfekt für unsere Tagung und die bulgarische Gastfreundschaft  auch in den Hotels und Lokalen außerhalb der eigentlichen Organisation – beeindruckend. Danke auch für die schönen Exkursionen mit den vielen stimmungsvollen Momenten an den einzelnen Limesorten an der Donau. Es hat mich auch gefreut so viele junge Leute unter den Teilnehmern zu sehen, die unsere Arbeiten ja einmal forttragen sollen. Viele Vorträge und Poster waren spannend und es war sehr gut so viele Präsentationen vom unteren Donaulimes zu hören.
 
Dr. S. Thomas Parker, North Carolina State University:
You all deserve much credit for organizing such a successful Congress this year. You all did an absolutely splendid job and, having helped to organize a Limes Congress myself (Jordan in 2000), I fully appreciate now much work is involved in doing this.
 
Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Andreas Schwarcz, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung Universität Wien:
Aber Iskra und ich möchten Dir nochmals ganz herzlich zu der tollen Organisation und der gigantischen Leistung gratulieren, die Du und Deine Mitarbeiter Innen mit diesem Limeskongress vollbracht haben. Alles hat perfekt geklappt, es war ein wundervoller Kongress und es waren eindrucksvolle und schöne Exkursionen, die den vielen unserer Kolleginnen und Kollegen Land und Leute näher gebracht haben. Auch die Herzlichkeit der Betreuung durch alle am Kongress Beteiligten soll und muss gebührend gewürdigt und bedankt werden. 

Ulla Lund Hansen, docent, dr. phil. habil. Senior Ass. Professor, Saxo Institute, dep. of Archaeology University of Copenhagen:
I do hope that you have survived the congress  it was marvelous arranged, everything you had thought about. We all know, that you have spend enormious amounts of time with this arrangements.

Dr. Zsolt Visy, head of the Archaeological Department at the University of Pécs, Hungary:
Dear Ljudmil, let me thank you again for all your work and activity! I want congratulate to the perfect organization, to the splended Limes Congress. I do hope that this event gives a new impetus to the investigation of the Roman limes in Bulgaria!

Dr. Fraser Hunter, Principal Curator, Iron Age and Roman Collections Scottish History & Archaeology National Museums Scotland:
I wanted to write to express my gratitude for your efforts in presenting a wonderful Congress. It was an enlivening experience, with excellent organisation, splendid talks, and really good tours around the sites. It will live long in the memory, and has already generated lots of useful contacts and information. I hope to get a chance to return to Bulgaria after that wonderful introduction to it.


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