Radu CIOBANU
(Muzeul National al Unirii, Alba Iulia, Romania)

Abstract: The paper presents the first synthesis of the recent archaeological discoveries from Alba Iulia ancient city center and discusses the manner they influenced the modern urban trama / the investigation presents a rich photo documentation of the excavation area and how the site was transformed during several major periods / the paper is also trying to offer a possible answer to what exactly means „preserving” the hidden spirit of a place.
Starting with 2010 Alba Iulia the roman legionnary camp and the medieval city area are in the middle of a highly controversial „recondition process” as it is stressed out by those involved in these works. The paper tries to explore the recent archaeological excavations results and to discuss, without ardor but compassion, how they are supposed to be preserved (if they really are) in the new urban project almost fulfilled at this moment.
Several archaeological complex recently discovered are to be presented here for the first time as they were partially unknown in the past : a) the roman legionary right gate (porta principalis dextra) and the via principalis axis ; b) the principia and its close neigbourhood with some recent inscriptions referring to important events which tooked place there ; c) a new mithreum discovered in raetentura dextra ; d) the first orthodox monument discovered in the same area and its relations with the sacred space organized there afterwards.
The paper presents next how the ancient urban city axes were preserved during the modern times and how they are still functioning today.
Finally we discuss how the hidden spirit of ancient Alba Iulia could survive in the present day context when it almost seems to be vanished for good.

Keywords: Alba Iulia, roman legionary camp, principia, via principalis, mithreum, medieval churches