Germany Archaeology

Germany Archaeology

In Germany the systematic search of the various archaeological remains of the national territory has been organized for a long time. Currently important new results have been obtained by the Archaeological Prospecting Center created in 1959 at the Landesmuseum in Bonn; this center carried out extensive aerial photographic surveys in the Rhineland, uncovering a large number of archaeological remains from various periods: entrenched villages from the Neolithic, mounds from the Hallstatt civilization, urn fields, enclosures from the La Tène era, locally called Gräber-Gärten (Wederath, Kreis, BernKastel, etc.), Roman villas and farms and in particular castra del limes of Germany Superior et Inferior.

The buildings of the Augustan age of Xanten (Castra Vetera) have not yet been identified also due to the phenomenon of erosion and the change of course of the Rhine. The first field (Vetera I) with internal stone constructions was probably built under Claudius, but few traces are preserved. On the other hand, the Neronian buildings are well known and a detailed plan has been made. The archaeological remains of Vetera II are scarce and poorly known, built by Vespasian after the events of 69 AD (Civil revolt) on the other bank of the west arm of the Rhine.) which attest, in the Augustan-Tiberian age, the existence of a military installation. Destroyed as a result of the riots of 69 AD, it was rebuilt and experienced various phases not documented with precision. Probably abandoned at the beginning of the 2nd century, the name does not appear in Antonino’s Itinerary. Following recent excavations it seems that also in Gelduba (Krefeld-Gellep) there was a small settlement of the Ubii, of which some traces have been found on the ground. In 69 a marching camp was built there for the troops from Superior Germany in the fight against Civil. Of this field only a few traces remain (parallel ditches, weapons, ceramics); around 71-75 AD was built near a castellum which underwent at least ten successive phases of construction up to the 4th century. The excavations made it possible to study the principia, the left door principalis and numerous moats. The Novaesium field (Neuss) is archaeologically well known. Currently it has been possible to establish a succession of twelve construction periods under Augustus and Tiberius. The best known phase of the encampment, the only one for which a detailed plan of the internal installations exists, is that of the Claudian age, to which the stone architecture of the buildings dates back. The existence of the canabae seems to be attested by the Tiberian age and a civil agglomeration developed there throughout the imperial period.

In Cologne, new clues have made it possible to establish the limits of the legionary camp of the Tiberian age, delimited in particular by a series of ovens for potters, who are currently considered dependent on the legionary camp. A part of the defensive system and the decumana gate were found of the military installations. The topography of the residential area of ​​Colonia Claudia-Ara Agrippinensis is also known: the ancient praetorium del campo was transformed into a palace with arcades intended for the governor of the province. Recently a mithraeum has been found and the remains of a theater and the site of the amphitheater located outside the walls have been brought to light; furthermore, the discovery of a series of towers and some sections of the walls made it possible to better understand the function of the outer wall that protected the city for the whole empire. As for the cities and the neighborhoods recently discovered, very little known is the ancient agglomeration of Neumagen (Noviomagus); only a few coins and ceramics (in addition to the famous reliefs) attest to its activity from the 1st to the 3rd century. An important craft and trade center has been located in Pachten (Contiomagus?). Rare are the traces relating to the 1st century AD. C., while much more numerous are those pertinent to the 2nd and especially to the 3rd and 4th centuries. A neighborhood of potters has been traced to the western edge of the vicus ; moreover, a sanctuary surrounded by a wall framed a temple with a square cell and portico and a monoptero temple dedicated to Pritona; the complex was to be flanked by a theater. A few years ago an important agglomeration built with an orthogonal plan was excavated in Schwarzennacker, on the Trier-Strasbourg road; the vicus it had to have an exclusively agricultural character. Systematic excavations of the site have revealed a residential neighborhood. The excavation of the Pesch sanctuary has recently been resumed; Remodeled several times, the temples often show traces overlapping and difficult to interpret: however, two main periods of occupation have been possible (in the 1st century and from the 2nd to the 4th century AD). The constructions of the second stage are of a very particular shape: the large central enclosure must have constituted a covered place; neither the destination nor the date of the singular temple B or basilica is clear, a square-plan building with a rectangular apse, divided into three naves by two rows of columns: the originality of the building suggests a mystery cult. The most important cult of the sanctuary must have been that of the Matronae Vacallinehae of which about three hundred inscriptions have been discovered. A new temple dedicated to the Matronae has been found in the same region in Zingsheim. A new cult complex was recently unearthed in Hunsrück, in Heckenmünster-Wallenborn, consisting of three temples, two of which are Celtic-type and the third has an orthogonal plan: there are annexes of the spa buildings. Built at the end of the 1st century AD. C., the sanctuary was abandoned at the end of the 3rd century.

After 1960, laboratory researches relating to ceramics multiplied, making it possible to better clarify the techniques of manufacture and to distinguish their origins. The importation of the “Italic sealed earth” and the importance it has for the dating of the places of discovery has been demonstrated once more by the recent discovery, in Haltern, of a potter’s workshop with fragments of molds for processing. of chalices imitating the Arezzo vases. The relationship between the Trier, Sinzig and Rheinzabern workshops and the master craftsmen operating in Mittelbronn and in the Moselle area etc. was also studied, and the influence of these in the production of the branches located further east was underlined. In this context, the recent discovery in Novaesium of Sigillata from central Gaul from the 2nd and 3rd centuries should be mentioned.

Germany Archaeology

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