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New Roman camp found in Germany

a friend has brought to my attention that another new Roman camp has been found south of Hannover in Germany:


Apparently there will be a press conference this afternoon in which first results will be published.

Jens Horstkotte
Munich, Germany
....ähmmm : somebody been shouting :"Varus" ....again .... :whistle:
For now


Mo' moving pics:
Siggi K.
Lol almost in my backyard (30 km away) I live in Celle NE from the place.

well if this is linked with Varian disaster than the next marching camp can be in my direction as one of the gates are pointing to the NE. As we know the Porta Pretoria should be in the direction of the march and maybe we have something here. The Kalkriese is actually in NW direction nut this mustn't be the direction of the march.

We will see
Gelu I.
This one seems to be "da offischal" press-release:
(Haven't found another one yet. :whistle: )
I'll try and traslate as far as I can get in the timespan abailable.


Tooo many distractions so far: e.g. the late Roman walls of Aquae Grannis/Aachen :errr:
Siggi K.
So here it is, the Translation -- as good as it gets -- taking into account the original german lines.
Ah, yes -- the finders of mistakes may keep them.

Fun, Boys and Girls !


Wilkenburg: Roman marching camp confirmed.
The camp that has been spotted at Wilkenburg is the first one to be detected and excavated in Northern Germany. The existence of a number of such camps has long been suspected by archeologists , but it is hard to prove as their very temporary use rarely leaves any traces.

The Chief Monuments' Authority of Nether Saxony (NLD) summarizes the dicovery of the roman marching-camps at Wilkenburg as follows:


As early as 1992 aerial archeologist Otto Braasch from Landshut, while performing systematic aerial surveillance under order of the NLD, had spotted trench structures in an farming area near Wilkenburg (City of Hemmingen, County of Hannover) south of Hannover and west of Laatzen, which made itself recognizable by cropmarks showing on the surface.
No traces above ground were present anymore, though. Braasch had marked the pictures he sent to the Monuments' Inventory of the NLD with "Roman Camp ?" and kept repeating his flights over this area during the following years. All in all about 180 photographs were taken as black/white pictures and diapositives. The archeologists of the NLD could not verify his claims when they checked the area,
finding only pottery sherds from primeval and early history. The area , however, was marked as "finding spot of unknown dating" on the archeological maps.

Confirmation and Suspicion

Voluntary aerial archeologist Hein-Dieter Freese had been scrutinizing many finding spots marked as
"presumably roman" in the archives of the NLD,cross-checking them with his own aerial photographs.
Through the years the aerial photographs had been displaying different views depending from
crop-height, weather conditions and time of the year, showing varying structures, which led to an
increasingly clearer general picture.
After clearing up and layering the multitude of pictures by Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Andreas Niemuth, M.A. of
NLDs monuments' inventory department, a square of about 500 to 600m could be identified, which then could, after excluding all other thinkable alternatives, sensibly be related to a roman marching camp.
The 3 corners that have been preserved showed up in "playcard-shape".
Markedly typical for roman marching camps, which usually have been engineered at short notice, customarily defending a resting-place for one night only, is the scarcety of finds.
Main reasons for this is the very short span of use, lack of use of pottery, the sherds of which can usually
be utilized for dating, and the farming on site, that had been going on there for centuries.


A very short timespan in April 2015 between harvesting an new sowing was used by the team of the local NLD-institutions at Hannover, headed by Friedrich-Wilhelm Wulf, to perform the digging of two
tracing trenches, where the top view of a trench showed up in the planum, the downcut then showing the typical pointed trench-profiles of a roman trench.
Since the NLD had been contracting the department for Antique History, branch for "Archeology Of The Roman Provinces" at Osnabrück University for organizing "Studies for Museum and Monumental Preservation", it was agreed with Professor Dr. Salvatore Ortisi, who also has become responsible for the excavations at Kalkriese, to stage a joint test excavation.
In the process of this joint excavation in October 2015, two tracer trenches have been cut into the northwestern area.
One trench brought up a "gate-situation", while the other trench was pursued to verify a "corner-situation"
of the encompassing trench. Here, too, the typical shape of an roman pointed trench could be confirmed.
Trenches of this kind show a pointed cross-section or mostly a rectangular bottom, a cleaning trench,
just as wide as a roman shovel. Since both version have been detected here, all other thinkable ways of interpretation as medieval cross-country fortification, agricultural boundaries or camps from Napoleonic
era can be ruled out.
The extension of the camp or the course of the trenches have been surveilled geophysically by Prof.Dr. Joachim Härtling and Dipl.Geogr. Andreas Steele from the Institute of Geography, Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Osnabrück. Since the soil has not lend itself exactly well to this kind of precise survey , interesting hints have been gained but no final results as yet. The work on this is to be continued.

Surface prospection yields dating

In parallel to the excavation and the geophysical survey, members of the local NLD-authorities from Hannover and Braunschweig set out to a systematic search inside of the camp by use of metal-detecting devices - and with success. Fractured parts of bronce fibulae were found, datable to the time shortly before or around 0 AD. Some characteristic nails have been attributed to roman military sandals. A tweezer for hygiene can also attributed to roman times. Many more unspecific non-iron metal finds still wait for futher research.
But deceisive for the dating of the camp still remain a couple of copper, bronce and silver coins, giving clear clues for grouping the camp.
This in clear evidence shows how essential detector finds still remain a "piece of mosaique" for the
countries' archeology and history.
Therefore the surveillance using metal detectors stays only liable to schooled persons with a licence from the lower monumental authorities.
Copper coins represent the typical soldier' money here, two of them halved, a typical feat of the era, as this smallest unit of roman coinage had double the worth north of the alps than it had e.g. in Italy.
A coin with a crocodile's head, from the colony of Nemausus/Nimes, called "Nemausus-As", was struck in the second or first decade BC. It is typical for the so-called "Oberaden-Horizon", the first era of roman occupation, when Drusus, step-son of emperor Augustus, intruded as far as river Elbe. Coins like these
have been found e.g. at the supply camp of Hedemünden on river Werra and ,as implied , at Oberaden on river Lippe.
Comfortably fitting in here is a so-called "Münzmeister-As", dated after a swift categorisation by Dr. Frank Berger (Historical Museum, Frankfurt/Main) as struck under C-Plotius Rufus in 15 BC.
Quite remarkable is another copper-coin, --severely corroded, which could be identified as a "Lugdunum-As". As the "youngest" datable find it points to the times immediately "after birth of christ", when the romans steadied their grip on Germania, a process, which came to an end after the "varian desaster", which can be localized at Kalkriese near Osnabrück.
Furthermore a republican Denar and an early imperial Augustean coin have been found, as well as gaulish coinage, so-called "small-oar".
According to the recent state of research, we can assume, that the camp has been established during the
so-called "era of occupation" between 12 BC and the so-called Varian-horizon in 9 AD.
For the first time a roman marching camp in the area of Nether-Saxony has been securely verified.

On the significance

The camp spotted at Wilkenburg is the first marching camp in Northern Germany that has been discovered and excavated. For a long time now it had been suspected by archeologists that there is a number of such camps, but their verification remains difficult, because the short time of use left scarcely any traces.
The finding spot near Laatzen, however, perfectly fits into the schema of roman strategy: Since the discovery of the supply camp at Hedemünden, the valley of river Leine has been be identified as one line of
advance of the roman army. Additionally, the area south of Hannover was densely populated, then.
Vital routes of traffic met there.
The discovery of the camp at Wilkenburg near Laatzen for the first time provides a clear proof for the
presence of the Roman Army in central Nether-Saxony.


Siggi K.
Siggi Thanks

It still bothers me that the latest date they give would be 9 AD, I thought that actually Germanicus was also underway some years later, or is his route better known as the one of Varrus?


edited to say: SURPRISE is already in Wikipedia:

and of course: Varus!!!! Varus!!! VAaaaaaaaruuusssssssssss!!!"

they say at the end that of course such a big army (20k) was not underway under Tiberius so it can be only Varus.
Gelu I.
...let's put it this way : Clades Variana -- where science and belief meet!
(I hope I dont get banned now for mentioning religion :whistle: )
The use of the german language in that very press release seems to be less articulate than I expected from people that live in an area where, as roumors have it, they claim to speak the best High German. .... as less articulate as is their point of view of Kalkriese.
Quite understandably so, I've to add here, however.
But the involvement of the rather freshly appointed ordinarius at Osnabrück University, Dr. Ortisi, here, let's me hope for the better.
And, after all, if they really found traces of that camp as far back as 1992, I wonder how many of these still lay buried in the soil of Nether Saxonia -- "officially undiscovered" hitherto.
The illegitimate "Detector Boys" will love that.
As one of my fav actors, Walter Giller, uses to say : "It keeps staying a thrill".


Siggi K.
Fantastic, Siggi, thank you so much for the translation.
Ben Kane, bestselling author of the Eagles of Rome, Spartacus and Hannibal novels.

Eagles in the Storm released in UK on March 23, 2017.
Aguilas en la tormenta saldra en 2017.
Twitter: @benkaneauthor
(10-20-2015, 03:13 PM)ParthianBow Wrote: Fantastic, Siggi, thank you so much for the translation.

...I think I have to correct myself.
The official press-release has been published there:
(It remains a mystery why I should have not found it earlier on.)
The German is more polished and there are minor additions.
But basically all essentials have been mentioned in the press-release translated above.



Pics here:
....and, yes; i'd like to place a bet: Next year, next big marching camp in Germany. Wink
To stop confusion arising from diverse press-Releases:
Laatzen (The next biggest city-with an Airport-- also known as Hannover-Laatzen), Hemmingen (the town to which Wilkenburg belongs de jure)
Arnum (a neighbouring community) are all used synonymously for Wilkenburg.

Podcast from Nov.5th by SWR-Radio:   in German

.....and ....ahhhh....yes, NO  "VAR"-counterstamps on all the coins found there hitherto ( as per Nov.5th) : NO Varus, Folks !
Siggi K.
A new early marching camp at Sennestadt, a southern suburb of Bielefeld.
Next to "Haus Neuland" on the northern branch of the "Senner Hellweg",
about 17,8 km southeast of central Bielefeld , somewhere in the Corner between autobahn A2
and A33. (They claim 22 km to the nearest autobahn for "Haus Neuland")
The camp is still visible and seems to be the most well-preserved of its kind.
(With the Roman camp of Delbrück -Anreppen ca. 2 days march away to the south)
While they are Pretty sure About the fact that this is a marching camp, they are still trying to
find out whether this place was used only once or more often.
Size is about 25/26 ha.
There have been rumours of several new camps whirling around the web on the beginning of April first,
two of them clearly "april's follies"( one of them "made-off" quite well Big Grin ) and this third location now showing substance.
More news on the press-conference of the archeological authorities of the LWL on May, 8th.



Further links:
Siggi K.
And another link, with more images from the air and on the ground:
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
(05-09-2019, 08:36 AM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: And another link, with more images from the air and on the ground:

As promised (sorry for being late!) the official pressrelease:

There will be guided tours on SA and SO (11. und 12.05.) by archeologist Bettina Tremmel at 11.00, 13.30 and 15.00 Uhr.


Siggi K.
This is very exciting to me!! Thanks for sharing it!!!
I think this camp being apart of the last Varus march is a pretty tall order.

Assuming that Kalkriese was in some way, shape, or form a part of the battle, and I know opinions here vary, it is almost 80 Roman miles away as the crow flies. For the sake of argument, let's assume Kalkriese IS the sight of the last engagement, and this new camp is the first camp Varus stopped at after leaving his summer fort. Arminius launched his first ambush the next day's march, but despite this, the Romans did supposedly cover their 20 miles. The next day they halted to reassess their situation. The third day, they marched out in stormy conditions through ruff terrain while under heavy attack. Let's be generous and say they by some miracle they made 10 miles. The last day's march it is suggested that the Romans didn't make it more then a few miles.

This leave roughly a 47 Roman mile deficit between the Wilkenburg camp and Kalkriese by my estimation. If one camp is part of the last campaign, then the other one cannot be. Now certainly it is plausible that neither of them are a part of it, but it definitely not both, in my opinion.

That said, it could be a part of an earlier operation of Varus. He was in the region with those legions for two years previously. Also, a force of 20,000 troops seems like a common detachment for a large Roman army. Caecina was detached from Germanicus' main force with four legions. Given the state of manpower in the Roman Empire at that time, it is feasible that his force only amounted to around 20,000. Any number of armies before, during, and after Varus might have sent a force of 20,000 on some mission, or just to break up a cumbersome baggage train to move the army faster.

Or maybe this IS the first camp of Varus and Kalkriese needs to be reevaluated, which may not be a bad thing.

In any case, these are some exciting days for us amateur historians and historical enthusiasts!
Daniel DeVargas
Agreed on most points.
Kalkriese, for me, represents (one of) the final stage(s) of the Varus battle - it can hardly be anything else. Perhaps we are hampered by the sketchy accounts of the battle? Maybe the last battle was a day (or two) later than remembered by the few survivors, and this new camp belongs to the last campaign after all.
Or, as you say, it belongs to an earlier one.
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]

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