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Full Version: Nijmegen: new finds
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There are always excavations in Nijmegen. This report is about the Koekoekstraat cemetry. It tells that people were, in the second and third centuries, sometimes buried in coffins. This is unique, and the excavator believes it can only be explained by accepting the hypothesis that there were settlers from Anatolia or Syria. Perhaps soldiers?
Photo accompanying the article:
[Image: romeinen_1187971h.jpg]
Anyone we know?
I think the Optio on the right side is Erik de Wagt, so it seems to be Leg II AVG (NL), probably together with soldiers from the Archeon themepark.
That's interesting that coffins were used. Perhaps that isotope teeth analysis can determine if they were from the Middle-east? Or else, could they possibly have been Christians? Were Christians using burials at that time?
Quote:could they possibly have been Christians? Were Christians using burials at that time?
There's evidence for Christians in Nijmegen in the fourth century, and I think they buried people. There are at least two sarcophaguses from Nijmegen, perhaps more.

Note about Christians in Nijmegen: there are reports about their presence in the second and third centuries. Indeed, several Christian objects have been excavated. For a moment, it was believed that the people from Lyons fled to the north after the persecution during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

However, it has now turned out that these objects were fakes, left on the excavation by someone with a hidden agenda. I have been told that the man who tried to create a Christian past for his city, was a member of the excavation team, but I have no confirmation of that.

So, reports about Christians in Nijmegen are to be taken with a pinch of salt.
In unique, is that as in unique for the Netherlands?
I know there are sarcophagi in York, and also recall seeing several coffin burials in England from Roman periods.
Wish I could visit this place sometime.
Quote:It tells that people were, in the second and third centuries, sometimes buried in coffins. This is unique, ...
We have several hundred examples of Roman coffin burials in Britain, dating (so I am informed) from the 2nd C to the 4th. So is this rare in the Netherlands?
Quote:We have several hundred examples of Roman coffin burials in Britain, dating (so I am informed) from the 2nd C to the 4th. So is this rare in the Netherlands?
Dunno - the newspaper article says that they're rare in Nijmegen. i know two of them, both fourth century.
Hmmm ... maybe the newspapers will follow it up in more detail.

(One of the coffins known to me contained a hydrocephalic child along with clay "toy" animals and figurines -- quite touching, really.)
I think full-body inhumation was always practiced by the Romans, but it became rare as the society became more wealthy. The theory goes that cremation was more expensive as it entailed procuring the wood necessary. Sesteri documented that graves in Rome itself dating to the monarchy and early republic periods were majority cremations. Some 23% were full-body inhumations while 77% were cremation burials. I had assumed that into the Empire this percentage of full-body inhumations continued to fall and the use of coffins were rare.