|English: Detail of a boar from the boar-crested helmet depicted on the cauldron found at Gundestrup, Himmerland, Jutland, Denmark. The Gundestrup cauldron is housed at the National Museum of Denmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The existence of this site with a size of about 260,000 square meters had been known since the 19th century, but its interpretation was controversially discussed. "Some remains of the wall are still preserved in the forest, but it hadn't been possible to prove that this was indeed a Roman military camp as archaeologists and local historians had long suspected," Hornung explains. 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 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. 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.
Sabine Hornung and her team began their work in Hermeskeil in March 2010, supported by the Rheinische Landesmuseum Trier. Initial research enabled them to determine size and shape of the military camp that was fortified by means of an earth wall and a ditch. They determined that the fortress consisted of an almost rectangular earthwork enclosure with rounded corners, which, by its size of about 182,000 square meters, provided space for several thousands of soldiers, including both legionaries and mounted auxiliaries. An extension of additional 76,000 square meters encompassed a spring, which thereby secured water supply for the troops.
Via Roman military camp dating back to the conquest of Gaul throws light on a part of world history