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Archaeologists have confirmed the discovery of a Roman legionary camp unique in Germany, more specifically in Bielefeld, surrounded by large parts of the wall dating from the time of Roman Emperor Augustus.
The camp It is located in the Oerlinghausener Senne district, in an area that was reforested in the 19th century but which in Roman times there were only some oaks and birches in the area.
“Fortunately, the area was never used for agricultural purposes, which allowed the structures on the camp walls to still be seen, in what is an isolated case in Westphalia ”, explained Dr. Barbara Rüschoff-Parzinger, director of the Department of Culture.
"All the Roman camps found so far in this region had been transformed by modern construction or agriculture, destroying the surface structures," he added.
“With the help of laser scans from the air, we have been able to accurately determine the field's boundary wall and its range,” explained Michael Rind, Director of Archeology at Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL).
The Roman Legionnaire Camp
Dr. Bettina Tremmel, from LWL, explained that “three roman legionsincluding auxiliaries and troops could have stayed here at the same time. That is to say, approximately 25,000 people, depending on the number of troops.
The remaining bastion is about 1,400 meters long, and along the valley of the river that is located in the east, the legionaries refrained from erecting a wall by having a sloping edge several meters high towards the stream that acted as a natural obstacle.
On its northeast and northwest sides, the wall still visible, had doors, which are distinctive of this type of camp.
This camp was used only for a short period of time, and the legionnaires set up the tents arranged in the form of a fixed grid, so that each of them knew their place.
When the troops continued their march, the camp was abandoned taking the stakes, but the walls and ditches that surrounded it were left as they were, also due to the possibility of using it at a later date if there was a possibility that the troops would return by the same route.
The dimensions of the complex, its ditches-ramps and the polygonal shape, indicate that the Roman legion camp was built in the time of Augustus, although "unfortunately, we still have to make more finds that allow us to do a more precise dating," Tremmel explained.
Finding more archaeological material is very difficult. “Most likely, we won't find anything of interest. After all, it was only a very short campTremmel said.
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