Aguntum – archaeological excavation


Quelle:  ©Pixabay/lbluca

Archaeological excavation of the roman city Aguntum

Excavations are still under way at the Aguntum archaeological site in nearby Dölsach to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of this 2000-year-old municipium , which flourished as a centre of trade and commerce under Emperor Claudius. Take a stroll around the excavations, then visit the glass-walled museum to explore Lienz’ Roman roots.

There is interactive stuff for the kids (a virtual tour through Aguntum and dress-up costumes) and an exhibition featuring fun elements such as traditional Roman recipes. Bus 4406 runs out here from Monday to Saturday.

Visitors information:

Current opening times:  www.aguntum.ncontent&mid=5info/?mai


Verein Curatorium pro Agunto
Stribach 97
A-9991 Dölsach

Short description:

Simple excavation site with observation tower.
Excellent designed new museum.
Excellent guides.


Quelle:  ©Pixabay/Neva79 ©Pixabay/efrye ©Pixabay/PeterKraayvanger

The ruins of Aguntum are Roman site in East Tirol, Austria, located approximately 4 km east of Lienz in the Drau valley. The city appears to have been built to exploit the local sources of iron, copper, zinc and gold. During the early Christian era the city was the site of a bishopric, which, having ceased to be a residential diocese, is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.

Background information:

This area of East Tyrol was the homeland of the Laianci tribe and hilltop settlements, so far hardly investigated, crown many of the hills in the area. A trading vicus developed here at an important intersection in the Drau Valley, with one important road leading to the gold deposits in the Hohe Tauern.

The oldest Roman remains are a two-roomed wooden structure discovered beneath the bath house and dated to the mid-first century BC. According to Pliny the Elder, the emperor Claudius granted Aguntum the status ofmunicipium, a status which is attested by inscriptions, including funerary inscriptions, which refer to cultores Genii municipii Agunti. The official name was Municipium Claudium Aguntum. There does not appear to have been a military camp in this area.

Aguntum was a mining and trading centre which exploited local sources of iron, copper, zinc and gold. Craftsmen in the town processed the metals to produce a range of goods which were then transported along the Roman roads. Other exports included wood, milk products (cheese) and mountain crystals from the Tauern range.

The discovery of a layer of ash, as well as the remains of a man and a child in the bath house, points to the sack of Aguntum by the invading barbarians under Radagaisus and Alaric. The city’s decline was marked when the bishopric was transferred to nearby Lavant, a few miles to the south. A second sack by Attila and his Huns is attested by a coin dated to AD 452 found in a higher layer of ash. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, Aguntum passed under the control of the Ostrogoths and was fought over by Franks, Byzantines and Bavarians. Paul the Deacon write of a major battle fought in 610 between Garibald II of Bavaria and the Avars, in which Garibald was completely defeated. Aguntum was destroyed and even Lavant suffered a major fire. There were no further bishops ordained in the area and the surviving Roman population took refuge in hilltop fortresses while the barbarians settled in the fertile valley.

Repeatedly flooded by the Debantbach, the ruins of Aguntum remained visible until the 16th century, for in 1599 Veit Netlich, a lawyer, mentioned gravestones with „unknown writing“ and reported that „according to a myth, here was a heathen city“. The historian Theodor Mommsen proposed that the ruins were those of Aguntum, a theory which was confirmed in 1882 when a marble slab inscribed with the name was discovered.

More information:,en/objectId,SIG2061at/intern.html