German archaeologists have unearthed "sensational" evidence of a lost Roman camp that formed a vital part of the frontier protecting Rome’s empire against the Germanic hordes.
The River Lippe in Germany
Historians believe the camp, once home to an estimated 1,000 legionaries and located on the River Lippe near the town of Olfen, may well have been served as a key base for the Roman General Drusus, who waged a long and bloody war against the tribes that once inhabited what is now western Germany.
The find comes 100 years after the discovery of a bronze Roman helmet near Olfen indicated the presence of ancient remains but it took a century of searching to finally discover the exact location of the camp.
"It’s a sensational discovery for Roman research in Westphalia," Wolfgang Kirsch, one of the archaeologists involved in the discovery, said in a statement, adding that the camp was the "last missing link" in the chain of Roman defences in western Germany.
Researchers dug up Roman coins, fragments of pottery and the remains of old defences, while aerial photography revealed the course of mote that once protected the camp from German tribes eager to drive the invaders out of their land.
Occupied between 11 and 7BC and the size of seven football pitches, the military installation was probably used to control crossings points on the Lippe and act a supply depot for outlying posts.
"The monument has up to this point been allowed to lie in the ground widely undisturbed for over 2,000 years – an absolute rarity, and, from an archaeological point of view, absolutely ideal," said Doctor Michael Rind, the chief archaeologist working on the camp.
Dr. Rind explained that the main goal now is to protect and preserve the camp. The exploration of the installation, he added, could take decades.
via | the Telegraph