[Northkeep] Fwd: Ancient Roman Encampment Discovered In Germany

Hugh & Belinda Niewoehner BurgBorrendohl at valornet.com
Wed Sep 19 04:40:20 PDT 2012

Might be of interest to some of the populace:

September 16, 2012

Researchers at a German university have confirmed the location of the 
oldest Roman military fortification ever discovered in that country --- 
a camp believed to be built during the Gallic War in the late 50s B.C. 
that they say will provide new insight into Julius Caesar's Conquest of 

The approximately 260,000 square meter site, located near the town of 
Hermeskeil in the Hunsrueck region in the German federal state of 
Rhineland-Palatinate, was confirmed by a team of archaeologists from 
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz <http://www.uni-mainz.de/> (JGU).

The existence of the camp has been known since the 19th century, but it 
wasn't until archeologists were able to investigate a nearby Celtic 
settlement that they were able to verify that it was, in fact, a Roman 
military camp.

"The breakthrough came through systematic investigations closely linked 
to archaeological research conducted in the vicinity of the Celtic 
settlement 'Hunnenring' near Otzenhausen in the St. Wendel district," 
the university explained in a September 14 statement 

"The Celtic fortification is located just 5 kilometers from the military 
camp at Hermeskeil and can be seen directly from the site of the Roman 
stronghold," they added. "As a result of agricultural development, large 
sections of the former military camp can no longer be recognized and are 
in danger of being lost forever."

The JGU researchers, led by Dr. Sabine Hornung of the Institute of Pre- 
and Protohistory, started working at the Hermeskeil in March 2010, and 
early on in their research they were able to determine the size and 
shape of the encampment, as well as the fact that it had been fortified 
by a ditch and an earthen wall.

The encampment was roughly rectangular in shape with rounded corners, 
was approximately 182,000 square meters in size, and purportedly housed 
thousands of Roman legionnaires and mounted troops. Water for the troops 
was obtained by a nearby spring, which was encased within a 76,000 
square meter extension.

Last summer, they discovered a gateway paved with stones, and within the 
gaps between those stones, they discovered shoe nails that had 
originally come from the sandals of Roman soldiers.

"The size and shape of the nails were among the first indications that 
the military camp at Hermeskeil dated back to the time of the late Roman 
Republic or the Gallic War. This theory was subsequently confirmed by 
shards of earthenware vessels discovered during excavations and further 
verified using scientific dating methods," the university said. "Based 
on the findings of their recent excavations, Hornung and her team were 
able to confirm that this settlement was abandoned by its inhabitants 
around the middle of the 1st century B.C."

"The remnants of this military camp are the first pieces of 
archaeological evidence of this important episode of world history," 
added Dr. Hornung. "It is quite possible that Treveran resistance to the 
Roman conquerors was crushed in a campaign that was launched from this 
military fortress."

*Image 2 (below): View of the gateway paving stones with a shoe nail 
between the stones. Credit: Sabine Hornung, Arno Braun [ More Image and 
Information <http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/15699_ENG_HTML.php> ] *

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