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Traces of Roman fort found in Aachen

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Archaeologists from ArcheoConsult have found traces of a Roman fort during excavations in Aachen, Germany.

Aachen, known as Aquae Granni during the Roman period, was first settled by the Romans during the 1st century AD.

The town was named for the Aachen thermal springs, with “Aquae” referring to “water”, and “Granni” to “Grannus”, a pagan god of healing.

Archaeologists have always suspected that Aachen had a Roman fort, but this was only confirmed during excavations between 2011 and 2014.

Further evidence of the fort has recently been uncovered during construction works for housing utility pipes, revealing traces of a seven metre stone wall from the fort’s exterior fortifications that date from around 2,000 years ago.

Dr. Donata Kyritz from ArcheoConsult, said: “In the longitudinal direction, the foundation could be traced a few metres towards the market. A final row of ashlar masonry was now visible here. However, the exact dimensions have not yet been recorded in either the longitudinal or transverse direction.”

Image Credit : Stadt Aachen / Stefan Herrmann

According to the researchers, Aachen was destroyed in the course of Frankish raids around AD 275 to 276, resulting in the construction of a castrum reinforced with a stone wall and circular towers on the area of present-day market mill.

The castrum’s fortifications were later used by Charlemagne, with the King’s Hall (the site of the present-day town hall) built on the forts southern flank. Historical text indicates that the fort’s walls remained until the 12th century, when they were demolished following the expansion of the medieval city of Aachen.

Speaking to HeritageDaily, a representative of ArcheoConsult, said: “Our aim is to preserve the archaeological find as best as possible. Intensive discussions are currently underway on this. After the archaeological finds have been assessed and documented, construction work at the site will continue as planned.”

Header Image Credit : Stadt Aachen / Stefan Herrmann

Sources : Aachen.de

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

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Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

Construction of the early Romanesque Merseburg Cathedral was begun by Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015.

It was consecrated in 1021 in the presence of Emperor Heinrich II (Henry II), however, following a series of collapses in the eastern part of the structure, the cathedral wouldn’t be formally consecrated and opened until 1042 by Bishop Hunold.

The Merseburg Cathedral of St. John and St. Lawrence is today considered one of the most important cathedral buildings in Germany.

The LDA team were excavating the basement of the so-called Martinikurie, a two-story residential building from the Baroque period. Excavations revealed the remains of the first bishop’s palace, dating from from the time of the second consecration of Merseburg Cathedral.

According to the LDA: “We found the almost completely preserved basement-like lower floor of a hall building, whose 1.75 metre thick foundation walls are still preserved up to a height of 3.40 metres. Steps in the masonry and a pillar from the time of construction inside the building prove that at least one hall-like upper floor once stood on top of this.”
The palace was constructed by Bishop Hunold, who headed the diocese of Merseburg between 1036 and 1050.

“This finding makes it possible to locate one of the most important buildings of the episcopal see in Merseburg – a building that, with its location and size, clearly expresses the self-confidence of the diocese, which was re-founded in 1004 by King Henry II of Germany” added the LDA.

Header Image Credit : LDA

Sources : State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA)

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

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Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

The papyri were discovered in Berenice Troglodytica, an ancient seaport of Egypt on the western shore of the Red Sea. The city was founded by Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–246 BC), who named it after his mother, Berenice I of Egypt.

During the Roman period, Berenice Troglodytica was one of the main waystations for the trade in war elephants and exotic goods, imported from India, Sri Lanka, Arabia, and Upper Egypt.

Excavations of an animal cemetery located on the western outskirts of the city have uncovered an accumulation of ceramics originating from the Mediterranean, Africa and India.

Image Credit : Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Among the accumulation, the team found Roman coins, a fibula, ostracons (fragments of texts on ceramics), and several papyri.

The papyri contains the correspondence of centurions, naming Haosus, Lucinius and Petronius. Centurions were soldiers who were promoted to command a centuria or “century”, a military unit consisting of between 80 to 100 men.

“In the correspondence, Petronius asks Lucinius (stationed in Berenice Troglodytica) about the prices of individual exclusive goods. There is also the statement: “I am giving you the money, I am sending it by dromedarius (a unit of legionnaires moving on dromedaries). Take care of them, provide them with veal and poles for their tents.”

Dr. Marta Osypińska from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Wrocław, said: “For Egyptologists and other scientists dealing with antiquity, this is an extremely rare and high-calibre discovery.”

“In this part of the world, there are very few sites from the Roman period. The Egyptians tend to leave little historical accounts from this time in history, because it is the moment when they were conquered.” added  Dr. Osypińska.

Header Image Credit : Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Sources : PAP

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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