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Second late-antique fortress at CUT/Xanten(D) ?
#1
Hi,
....I just ran into a discussion on the german forum "Geschichtsforum" , dating from Dec., 12th last year.
"skilehrer" stated that he had been visiting the recent excavations at Xanten where the excavators revealed that a second (small) reductionary camp had been found in the southern corner inside the city-wall of the CUT.
Two pics/maps that he made give a faint idea, but I wont link them directly for reasons of copyright. 
The main link:
http://www.geschichtsforum.de/f28/zweite...apx-51686/
At first glance it looks suspiciously like a larger version of the reductionary late fortlet of Durnomagus.
I may/may not be a predecessor of the larger fortress in the center of CUT.
Since essays on topics from CUT do take their time ( a looooooong one in most cases) before they get published,
I wonder if somebody here could help me out with more informations.

Greez & Thanks

Simplex
Siggi K.
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#2
(04-06-2016, 10:38 PM)Simplex Wrote: At first glance it looks suspiciously like a larger version of the reductionary late fortlet of Durnomagus.

It does. Thanks for this - very interesting. Does the text (really wish I could read German - again!) give any idea of the relative dates of the two? Presumably one circuit is tetrarchic and the other later (Valentinianic?), but which is which?

(I'd add a rating, but I'm only allowed 'neutral'... [Image: sad.png])
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#3
(04-07-2016, 08:19 AM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(04-06-2016, 10:38 PM)Simplex Wrote: At first glance it looks suspiciously like a larger version of the reductionary late fortlet of Durnomagus.

It does. Thanks for this - very interesting. Does the text (really wish I could read German - again!) give any idea of the relative dates of the two? Presumably one circuit is tetrarchic and the other later (Valentinianic?), but which is which?

(I'd add a rating, but I'm only allowed 'neutral'... [Image: sad.png])
Hi Nathan,
...the postings are not too specific.
Guessworks about dating, -- educated, but guessworks nevertheless.
O.K. -- historians have long been speculating about the existence of another fort before the massive one right in the middle of CUT.
Some of them maintained that it must have been at the site of Vetera II opposite of the Lippe's mouth.
But who knows  -- given the strategic importance of this sites around Xanten and putting into perspective the surprises the nether-german limes along the rhine had for ist researchers even recently--  shouldn't there be "space" for even a third "late" fort/fortlet in this area ?? Wink

Greez

Simplex
Siggi K.
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#4
Interesting!
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#5
(04-07-2016, 06:55 PM)Simplex Wrote: Guessworks about dating, -- educated, but guessworks nevertheless.

Yes. I checked through Petrokovits, but he doesn't seem to make any particular assumptions. The 'reduced' Tricensima fort seems most usually attributed to Diocletian or Constantine - so does the even smaller 'corner' fortification pre- or post- date it?

One option might be the 'rebuilding' by Julian mentioned by Ammianus, c.359. If the 'reduced' circuit wall had been demolished (?!) by the Franks, he may simply have restored one of the old corners instead, for a reduced garrison on the pattern of Dormagen. But surely such a barbarian demolition is unlikely? Of course, the Romans might have pulled it down themselves to construct the new even smaller fort...
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#6
(04-11-2016, 03:03 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(04-07-2016, 06:55 PM)Simplex Wrote: Guessworks about dating, -- educated, but guessworks nevertheless.

Yes. I checked through Petrokovits, but he doesn't seem to make any particular assumptions. The 'reduced' Tricensima fort seems most usually attributed to Diocletian or Constantine - so does the even smaller 'corner' fortification pre- or post- date it?

One option might be the 'rebuilding' by Julian mentioned by Ammianus, c.359. If the 'reduced' circuit wall had been demolished (?!) by the Franks, he may simply have restored one of the old corners instead, for a reduced garrison on the pattern of Dormagen. But surely such a barbarian demolition is unlikely? Of course, the Romans might have pulled it down themselves to construct the new even smaller fort...

Hi Nathan,
....von Petrikovits' paper on late Roman fortification is a bit dated-- mildly put.
(>Fortifications in the North-Western Roman Empire from the Third to the Fifth Centuries A.D. --1971)
http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/...Empire.pdf
Stepphen Johnsons paper is a bit more up-to-date. (Late Roman Fortifications,1983)
I have yet to read Lander's "Roman Stone Fortifications".(1987)
While there have been a number of papers/books dealing with late Roman Fortresses/Fortlets/City-walls on a more local scale,
I'd say: sadly there is no recent round-up available that compares to von Petrikovits/Johnson/Lander.
But back to the subject:
If just gone through Thomas Otten's Xanten-paper fom 2011.
Taking that into consideration it becomes obviously that the end of the Roman legionary camp of Vetera II seems not to be precisely datable, still.
In other words : it is hard to tell when the Military Forces there had been transferred to other camps/Locations -- and to what extent they had been transfered  -- in full or vexillatio by vexillatio. IIRC Otten does away with the conception that judged after the coinage that there had been a hiatus on that very site between 275-310. New finds/evidence strongly suggest that it has not been so.
O.K. I will refrain now from giving an overview about the dating of the fortress right in the middle of CUT.
Just one thing:
Theories have been heavily contested through the times whether it was a Constantinian foundation or not, and/or whether it ended with Magnentius or not. (e.G. a coinage TPC of 351 ??)
After all Ammianus' reports of Julian's rebuild of older military installations does clearly not help the case here IMHO.
Let's wait and see if the excavators will tell us s.th. new here.

Greez

Simplex

....and while we're at it:
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/arch...rr_051.pdf  (1981)

As an afterthought:
There will be an educationary excavation at the CUT between July,25th and August, 19th.
Those who want to apply (students !) should be willing to take the complete 4 weeks-stint !
Applications till May 8th to : Herrn Dr. Karl Oberhofer ([email protected])
Siggi K.
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#7
(04-11-2016, 04:00 PM)Simplex Wrote: there is no recent round-up available that compares to von Petrikovits/Johnson/Lander.

Not to that level of detail, I think. Although Sofia Turk's thesis, The Defensive System of the Late Roman Limes Between Germania Secunda and Britannia present quite a useful digest of current information, I think.

(04-11-2016, 04:00 PM)Simplex Wrote: Otten does away with the conception that judged after the coinage that there had been a hiatus on that very site between 275-310. New finds/evidence strongly suggest that it has not been so.

Good. Thanks for that news! I've never found the idea of wholesale abandonment of either land or large military installations on the lower Rhine in that period very convincing. There seems to be plenty of new evidence coming in that this was not so.
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#8
(04-11-2016, 05:55 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(04-11-2016, 04:00 PM)Simplex Wrote: there is no recent round-up available that compares to von Petrikovits/Johnson/Lander.

Not to that level of detail, I think. Although Sofia Turk's thesis, The Defensive System of the Late Roman Limes Between Germania Secunda and Britannia present quite a useful digest of current information, I think.

(04-11-2016, 04:00 PM)Simplex Wrote: Otten does away with the conception that judged after the coinage that there had been a hiatus on that very site between 275-310. New finds/evidence strongly suggest that it has not been so.

Good. Thanks for that news! I've never found the idea of wholesale abandonment of either land or large military installations on the lower Rhine in that period very convincing. There seems to be plenty of new evidence coming in that this was not so.

Hi,
I'm here to inform you that the discussion on that second "fortress" made some
progress as per April, 2nd ( not 1st !).
http://www.geschichtsforum.de/f28/zweite-sp-tantike-festung-auf-dem-terrain-der-cut-xanten-apx-51686/index2.html
The threadleader "skilehrer" reported about some talks he had with the persons-in-charge on occasion of a recent guided tour there.
(Dr.Norbert Zieling, chief excavator at Archeologischer Park Xanten and Dr. Clive Bridger archeologist-in-charge with the regional Monument's Authority .)
As per the exact location:
A rectacular form stretching over insulae 7 & 14 has become more likely than the quadratic shape
that had been assumed previously. The eastern gate seems to have been located far more to the east than shown in the sketches.
As of the dating: They have found a couple fibulae , of a type in use by the mid of the 3rd century AD.
The only coin so far dates from the times of Antoninus Pius .
We would then have a very early Terminus Post Quem ( point of time after which), but as we have already seen at the Harzhorn, this only may reflect the longevity of use such coins enjoyed.
While most of the area has already been scrutinized  geophysically, there is this a lot of assumptions that need o be veryfied by further excavations and respective their results.
According to both it is still not 100% clear, whether this was a more fortificial/garrisoning installation or a fortified storage. As they see it this installation however is not directly comparable to late-roman installations like at Eining(BAY/Danube) oder Dormagen(NRW/Rhein) but rather more  like, and that expressedly includes the possible (early) dating,  fortified storages like that an Mönchengladbach-Rheydt(NRW/Niers).
Most likely that one:
http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=42&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjXkum5maLTAhVLthQKHVSvCsEQFgjrATAp&url=http%3A%2F%2Fkups.ub.uni-koeln.de%2F6310%2F4%2FHupka_Muelfort_DissText.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGrfsIj9DZixRBIJ39I18kUyne0Qw   >>Page 54. (With 80x80 m more than just a little bit smaller, though)
Greez

Simplex
Siggi K.
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