XXIII. Limescongress 2015

Roman Frontiers and World Heritage

The World Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” is one of only 20 transnational World Heritage Sites worldwide

Its first constituent part, Hadrian’s Wall in England, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. With the inscription of the "Upper German-Raetian Limes (ORL)" in Germany in 2005, the trans-national World Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” was created. In 2008, this was extended to include the Antonine Wall in Scotland.

Under a current working definition, the World Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” should one day “consist of the line(s) of the frontier at the height of the empire from Trajan to Septimius Severus (about AD 100 to 200), and military installations of different periods which are on that line. The installations include fortresses, forts, towers, the limes road, artificial barriers and immediately associated civil structures”. This means that it will eventually extend across more than 20 nations and cover approximately 5000km.

Frontiers of the Roman Empire

In order to make this possible, international bodies such as the Intergovernmental Committee and the Managementgroup, which are made up from key proponents of and stakeholders in the transnational WHS, coordinate between UNESCO and the countries involved in the site. In this, the Bratislava Group acts as a scientific advisory body. Under the guidance of these bodies, several international projects have prepared the ground for Roman Frontier sections along the Rhine and Danube to be included, and plans are underway to work towards the inclusion of frontier sections in the Near East and North Africa.

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