Main goal of the present paper is the representation of the problems related to the settlement attribution of the out-of-town mound and flat necropolises from the teritory of Roman Province Thrace during the Principate (Ιst - IIIrd centuries A.D.). The report gives an general idea about the historical, socio-political, administrative and culture factors that had formed the settlement pattern during the roman period and indicates - by describing the common regularities and by giving precise examples,- the еxisting link between the different types of settlement units and the necropolises situated in their vicinity.

Τhe binding of the mound and flat out-of- town necropolises with units from the settlement pattern is problematic and rendered difficult for the lack of explicit criteria in determination of the settlement units, which provokes their wrong “classification” and interpretation. The problem is directly related to the scarcity of the summary studies dedicated to the typology, the structure and the main characteristics of the villages, fortified settlements and the non-fortified “half- town” settlements from the period Ist- IIIrd centuries A.D. Until the 80’s of XXth century, in bulgarian archeological publication of burial complexes from the roman era it’s common the information for their settlement context to be skipped. Very often the tombstones of flat out-of-town necropolises are accidental finds with no archeological context, which makes impossible their attribution toward the settlement pattern. The fitting together between out-of- town flat and mound necropolises and the elements from the settlement pattern is additionally embarrassed by the positioning of the burial complexes between several settlement units.

The paper gives the available examples for the reciprocal link between the out-of-town necropolises and different types of settlement units:

  1. non-fortified open settlements: the villages of the free, dependent and “half-dependent” population with agricultural or other means of livelihood, the non-fortified settlements of militaries (veteranes, foederates), the civil settlement in the vicinity of military camps (canabae), the settlement centres of administratively differentiated rural regions and territories, out-of- town market-places, settlements related to road stations; 2. fortified settlements: fortress, military subdivisions (burgi), barracks (praesidia); 3. settlement centres of private or state medium/big land estates (fundi) which are specialized in agricultural and artisan’s production: vilae rusticae, vilae- residencies; 4. sanctuaries. It had been made the distinction between three main social grave categories – poor graves, “middle category graves”, and “rich graves” and it had been made a try their relations to the settlement pattern to be determinated.