The history of the investigations concerning the settlement and the roman camp from Micia
Autor: Ioan Andriţoiu
A veil of oblivion and silence covered the Roman camp and the civil settlement from Micia after the Aurelian retreat, when these ones lost their value, importance and utility. They would experience profound deteriorations and destructions due to time and people. In the early Middle Ages, the ruins of Micia would become quarries, the materials taken from here being used at various constructions. Then, monuments from Micia were removed in order to decorate the castles of Transylvanian princes (Gabriel Bethlen) or those of the earls in the area (Kuun G. in Mintia, Jósika L. in Brănişca or Nopcea in Zam etc.), the imperial court in Vienna (Carol VI) and by other collectors. The ruins of Micia would also undergo ample destructions when the road to Arad was consolidated, when the railway Deva – Arad was built (1869) and when a large thermal power station was built, to a great extent, over the archaeological site in the 60s of the 20th century.
The first information relating to the ruins of the Roman camp and settlement from Micia appeared at the beginning of the 18th century (Giuseppe Ariosti, A.F. Marsigli). The inscriptions from Micia came to be known, starting with the 19th century, thanks to foreign experts (J.F. Neigebaur, Th. Mommsen, J.Jung) or Transylvanian specialists (M.J.Ackner, C. Goos, Téglás G. etc.).
Although the first archaeological investigations took place in the middle of the 19th century (Neigebaur, 1847), the beginnings of the real archaeological investigations in Micia are recorded only in the 20th century (C. Daicoviciu, 1929 – 1930 and O. Floca, 1935, 1939, 1947-1948).
The construction of a large thermal power station (1967), that overlapped and affected the southern and eastern parts of the settlement, the eastern necropolis as well as the southern part of the camp, aroused, in its early stages, an increased interest in the research of the site from Micia. Specialists from the museum of Deva, along with those from the Archaeological Institute and the Transylvania History Museum of Cluj –Napoca, as well as experts from the Romanian History Museum of Bucharest, investigated the site in the 60s and 80s, as follows: the camp (Oct. Floca, L. Marghitan, L. Petculescu), the group of ovens for ceramics and building materials (Oct. Foca, St. Ferenczi, L. Marghitan), parts of the settlement (L. Marghitan), the amphitheatre (Oct. Floca, V. Vasiliev), the thermae (L. Marinescu) and the eastern necropolis (I. Andritoiu). Many of the discoveries made in those years have been promoted by means of publishing.
The archaeological investigations from Micia were resumed by a group of experts from Bucharest, Cluj – Napoca and Deva in 2000, aiming at investigating the evolution of the military vicus that greatly developed in the 3rd century. In their archaeological investigation, the group of researchers, directed by L. Petculescu, benefit from the aerophotogrameter studies realized by W.S. Hanson (Glasgow).