Sarmizegetusa is located in the western part of Haţeg Depression, about 10 km from the Iron Gates Pass of Transylvania and 17 km from Haţeg Town. It is bordered by Ţarcului Mountains (South), Poiana Ruscăi Mountains (North) and to the East there is an opening towards the Haţeg Land. Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the first city founded in Dacia by Emperor Trajan, overlapping a camp that operated during the period amongst the two wars between the Romans and Dacians. This happened as early as the year 108. Unfortunately, the exact date is not known, only the governor’s name Decimus Terentius Scaurianus, who founded the city. The camp occupied an area of about 540 X 435 m, and the city became a rectangle with sides of about 600 X 540 m, but outside the walls of the enclosure, we have an area inhabited by at least 60-80 hectares, if not larger.
The city also had a territorium around, a huge area that stretched from the Apuseni Mountains to the Danube. Here there are farms (villa rustica) and inferior rank settlements as Aquae (nowadays Călan Băi) or Germisara (Geoagiu Băi today), which revolved around the metropolis. This huge expanse of land means that the city and its business people owned and controlled the trade on the Danube, the agriculture in the fertile valley of Mureş river and finally yet importantly, the profits made from gold mines in the Apuseni Mountains. Here are some reasons why any other city of Roman Dacia hardly could have unseat Sarmizegetusa from the position held.
Following today archaeological research, can be visited the monuments outside the walls of the enclosure as well as the temples or amphitheater, while inside are found the palace of the financial procurator of Dacia Apulensis (Domus Procuratoris) and the forum.
Sarmisegetusa Archaeological Museum emerged as a logical necessity for housing numerous pieces found during archaeological excavations as well as to stop their migration to other places or institutions. The one who put up the first museum in the village was Constantin Daicoviciu during the interwar period. Today the museum is housed in a building located at the entrance to the village coming from Haţeg Town. It was refurbished the first floor of the building where can be seen on the one hand the artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations, and on the other hand, to facilitate and assist the visitor's imagination, was used the experimental archeology to show what some of those pieces looked like nearly 2,000 years ago. The halls were organized on major issues of life settlements in the area, such as military, entertainment in the amphitheater, Roman technology, ceramics, fashion, etc.
Since Sarmizegetusa history begins with a fort and soldiers who began construction works, the first hall and theme of the exhibition refer to the military. On the one hand, in a window are set pieces found during archaeological excavations (helmet, shield edges, handle of pugio, sheath dolabra, projectiles, etc.), on the other hand, through experimental archeology have been shown the equipment of several types of Roman soldiers (fastening, centurion, trumpeter, legionary or auxiliary).
A natural scale model of the amphitheater suggesting an essay of the reconstitution represents the entertainment in Colonia Dacica Sarmizegetusa. Parts of the equipment of different types of gladiators are also shown.
The theme on Roman technology tried to capture some of the most representative parts of antiquity civilization to be covered by the archaeological discoveries. Lead pipes distributing the water to the three major customers of the city are present; sundial; a proposition for reconstruction of one of the public fountains flanking the entrance in Sarmizegetusa forum; last but not least, the hypocaust system can be seen, practically the heating station of today houses, where the floor is represented by an original mosaic discovered in a house located near the amphitheater.
Roman pottery has always been extremely diverse both numerically, quantitatively and in terms of objects utility. It concerns the pattern for small cookies or ritual breads which were deposited in temples as offerings to the gods; apotropaic role antefixes for protection of home and family; oil lamps that were kind of flashlights because at that time there were chandeliers and other fixed lighting items, unlike those who were portable; kantharos, the vessel used at banquets to mix wine with water; the amphorae were usually imported products in Dacia, bringing together with them the Greek wines, olive oil or even a fish sauce – garum, used as a spice in food.
An essay to present the fashion at that time is shown by one male and two female costumes. It is a try since the materials are not the ones of the time, especially at first was used the wool, later the flax or hemp and after the contact with Chinese civilization was also used the silk.
The exhibition venue on google maps: