Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More on the First Roman Camp in Germany

A couple of days ago I posted a brief note about the first Roman camp on what is now German soil - a camp south of Trier built between 53-51BC, in the aftermath of Caesar's Gallic War. More details are emerging. The camp itself is in Hermeskeil in the Hunsrück (better known as the setting for Edgar Reitz's fantastic 1984 drama Heimat) and it is around 26 hectares in size.

There is another dpa report in Focus today here.

The abstract ahead of publication (Sabine Hornung, "A late Republican military camp at Hermeskeil (Lkr. Trier-Saarburg). Preliminary report on investigations during 2010-2011" Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 42, 2012 (Heft 2)) is in English and gives some details:

In the context of a research project led by the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz a trapezoid military camp of 18.2 ha was localised the annex of which with 7.6 ha enclosed an adjacent spring. It is a simple earth camp with rampart-ditch-enclosure used for several weeks or months. Radiocarbon dating and the finds speak for a dating to the period Lt D2b. The conspicuous visual axis to the nearby oppidum »Hunnenring« raises the question whether there was a causal connection between abandoning the Treveran central places and the presence of the Roman army in the region and whether at this site the consequences of the war-related events from the years 53 or 51 BC respectively the upheavals from the following decades historically hardly known, may be revealed here by the archaeological finds.