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Kick-off meeting of the representatives of the Eastern Sector of the Danube Limes

29.01.2019

On the initiative of Limes Commission in Bulgaria and with the financial support of NAIM – BAS the Kick-off meeting of the representatives of the Eastern Sector of the Danube Limes (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Serbia) and consultants from the Western sector of the Danube Limes (Austria, Hungary and Germany) took place on 22-23.01.2019 in NAIM - BAS. The meeting was held in relation to the preparation of the nomination of the Eastern Sector of the Danube Limes for UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Frontiers of the Roman Empire”, which includes the Danube Limes, is a cultural heritage site that stretches across three continents, covers parts of the territory of a number of countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and includes hundreds and even thousands of archaeological sites directly related to the Roman frontiers. The first section of the frontiers of the Roman Empire, which was inscribed as WHS on its own in 1987, is the Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain, followed by the Upper German Raetian Limes in 2005 and the Antonine’s Wall in Great Britain in 2008. They are united as a transnational serial world heritage site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” (FRE).

According to the strategy for the future development of the FRE WHS, which was prepared and adopted in 2017, the next nominations of parts of the frontiers should include larger, thematically-defined segments that include one or several national segments. Each of these segments will form a separate world heritage site, and they all will eventually be united into a cluster with the common name “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”. The national segments of Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania form the Danube Limes - Eastern Sector. According to the same strategy, the countries of the Eastern Sector have to prepare a joint nomination and dossier by the beginning of 2021, as it has already been done for the Western Danube Limes countries.

Since the actual work on writing the Eastern Sector’s nomination dossier is about to begin in 2019, the main purpose of the meeting was to officially introduce the writing teams from each country that will work on this task over the next two years. As initiator and host of the meeting, the Bulgarian team had prepared and proposed for discussion:

- a timetable for the joint work of the four Eastern sector countries for the next two years;

- an idea of a GIS compatible, standardized database, to collect information about the Limes sites in relation to the nomination;

- an idea of setting up an international contact group to coordinate the process of writing of the dossier in the four Eastern Sector countries.

During the meeting, on a proposal by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Sommer (Head of the German Limes Commission, state archaeologist of Bavaria, Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection) and with the unanimous support of all the participants at the meeting, the leading role of Bulgaria within the Eastern sector was recognized and affirmed. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski (NAIM - BAS) was elected as leader of the nomination of the DL ES, and Dr. arch. Silva Sabkova (NAIM - BAS) – as coordinator. This reinforces the role of NAIM - BAS as a leading institution that has been preparing and coordinating the process of nominating the Danube Limes in Bulgaria and from now on the entire Eastern sector.

Special guests and consultants at the meeting were: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Sommer (Germany, head of the German Limes Commission, state archaeologist of Bavaria, Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection), Prof. Dr. Zsolt Visy (Hungary, Chairman of the Hungarian Limes Committee, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Hungarian Committee, ministerial commissioner of the Prime Minister’s office of Hungary), Dr. René Ployer (Austria, Federal Monuments Authority, Department for Archaeology), Dr. István Gergő Farkas (Hungary, Prime Minister's Office Department for Cultural Heritage Protection and Development).

The Eastern Sector partners of Bulgaria were represented by:

Serbia - Dr. Snežana Golubovic (Institute of Archaeology, Serbian Academy of Science and Arts), Dr. Nemanja Mrđić (Institute of Archaeology, Serbian Academy of Science and Arts), MA Mirjana Blagojevic (Republic Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Cultural Heritage);

Romania - Dr. Felix Marcu (President of the Romanian Limes Commission, National Museum of Transylvania’s History), Dr. Ioan Opriş (University of Bucharest, Department of Ancient History), Dr. George Cupcea (National Museum of Transylvania’s History).

Croatia: MA Vlatka Revald-Radolić (Ministry of Culture) and Dr. Ivana Ožanić Roguljić (Croatian Archaeological Institute).

The meeting was presided by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski (Head of the Bulgarian Limes Commission, NAIM - BAS) и Dr. arch. Silva Sabkova (Secretary of the Bulgarian Limes Commission, NAIM - BAS).

Participants from Bulgaria were: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sergey Torbatov (NAIM – BAS), Dr. Kalin Dimitrov (Director of the Center for Underwater Archaeology), Mr Doychin Grozdanov (National Institute of Immovable Cultural Heritage), Dr. Nadezhda Kecheva (NAIM – BAS), who are all involved in the preparation of the nomination dossier; Mr Hristo Georgiev (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), arch. Ivan Kolev (Ministry of Culture, Head of “Immovable Cultural Heritage Department”), arch. Boryana Nencheva (Ministry of Culture).