History in Motion – Current World Archaeology #63


Continuing on with my series of magazine inspiration for Shadowed Earth, we take a look at Current World Archaeology, Issue #63.

When recreating a historical or alternate history setting in a gaming atmosphere, it could become increasingly difficult to present a realistic ancient city and its surrounding environment. Issue #63 of CWA is an excellent issue to turn to in this circumstance as a major feature in it is taking a look at a handful of ancient cities, including how they look on a map.

The first article takes you to the eastern shores of Romania along the Black Sea to an area once controlled by the ancient Romans / Byzantines. The investigation into the area in Dobrogea tells of three large wall structures that cut across 35 miles of land. Stretching from Axiopolis on the Danube River to Tomis on the Black Sea, these structures are an amazing military feature when it comes to recreation; especially if considering a mass battle. One major thing to consider about our ancient world is that a wall such as this would not have stood alone; it would have been defended by auxiliary fortifications, towers, garrisons, or maybe even a theme army. Of course, there was probably a reason for building these walls there and the Romans and Byzantines would probably have been determined to keep someone from invading their land. This brings about any number of possible locations for encounters and devious activities to occur.

The second article takes you north of the first to the site of an ancient Roman fortification town at Salsovia, which once flourished until being consumed by a fire. This fort lied on the fringes of the Roman Empire, and isn’t located too far from the aforementioned walls (although in Roman times this would have been quite a distance). The question is, what types of activities took place there and how many battles had the fort survived?

The third article takes you across the Mediterranean Sea over to Spain and a small island off its eastern shore: Mallorca. On this island sits the city of Pollentia with a long history dating to the Roman Empire. This one is an amazing investigation as the people there have been dealing with finding Roman relics for centuries without fully understanding what was there. Of course modern technology helps out, especially when you consider the ability to take pictures from satellites. Supporting this article is an amazing map depicting parts of the ancient Roman city and a close-up of its Forum.

The fourth article takes a look at some of the differences (and ultimately similarities) of the ancient Egyptian city of Amarna and the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Again, there are some amazing maps that add to the effect of the article along with the look of Egyptian vs. Roman.

There are many adventures to be had at these ancient locations, and with the help of many great archaeologists, we get the chance to recreate them in a better way for our players!

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