1 March 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Archaeologists discover ‘exceptional’ ancient Roman sanctuary in near intact condition in Netherlands

Archaeologists have unearthed a relatively intact 1st-century Roman sanctuary in the town of Herwen-Hemeling in the province of Gelderland in the eastern Netherlands.

While Roman sanctuaries have been found before in the Netherlands, this is the first discovered on the Lower German Limes. (As it is known, the Lower Germanic Limes is the name given to the structures that marked the Roman Empire’s northern border.) The sanctuary of Elst, Nijmegen, Empel and Aardenburg are now well-known examples.

“The sanctuary in Herwen-Hemeling is special for several reasons. Never before has such a complete complex been found in the Netherlands with a temple building, votive stones, and pits with the remains of sacrifices. In addition, the amount of limestone sculpture fragments is unprecedented,” RAAP wrote.

Photo: RAAP

Late last year, while conducting an archaeological investigation of a clay mining region, volunteers discovered the first remnants. They informed the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency about the discovery, which halted clay mining and set up a qualified excavation. The first intact fibulae of various sorts were found during the excavation, which was followed by a deluge of other archaeological finds such as weapon pieces, harness fittings, roof tiles imprinted with the names of the makers, and votive altars both intact and in fragments.

Photo: RAAP

Soldiers were the major visitors to the sanctuary. The fact that there are so many stamps on the roof tiles indicates that manufacturing them at the time was a military endeavor. At the location, several pieces of armor, horse harnesses, and spear and lance ends have also been discovered. Numerous votive stones were raised by high-ranking Roman commanders as a form of thanksgiving to a deity or goddess who had granted their requests. These weren’t always about conquering enemies. Surviving a visit to these northern locations, frequently distant from home, was often reason enough to be grateful.

Photo: RAAP

The soldiers prayed to their gods in Herwen-Hemeling, in the municipality of Zevenaar, from the 1st to 4th century.

At least two temples were constructed near the confluence of the Rijn and Waal rivers, where an elevated region already existed. The first was a Gallo-Roman community temple with brightly colored painted walls and a tiled roof. The walls of the other, smaller temple were likewise decorated. Archaeologists also discovered the remnants of many votive stones or tiny altars, which were put by warriors to honor their gods for victory or safe returns home. The stones were erected in honor of Hercules Magus, Jupiter-Serapis, and Mercury.

Photo: RAAP

Architectural finds include a well with a large stone staircase leading down into the water.  Archaeologists were able to date the well to an astonishingly narrow range of 220-230 A.D. thanks to coins and bits of the inscription found inside.

Various key pieces from the site will be displayed in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen from June 24.

RAAP

Related Articles

1800-year-old statue head found in Ancient Smyrna Theater in western Turkey

30 July 2022

30 July 2022

A statue head dated to the 2nd century AD was unearthed during the excavations at the Ancient Smyrna Theater, located...

Research Team Identifies Oldest Bone Spear Point In The Americas

3 February 2023

3 February 2023

A team of researchers has identified the Manis bone projectile point as the oldest weapon made of bone ever found...

2,300 Years Old First Complete Ancient Celtic Village and Roman Settlement Discovered in Munich

22 October 2023

22 October 2023

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Celtic village and evidence of a smaller Roman settlement in Munich, Germany. The 2,300-year-old Celtic...

Restoration works for ancient Arch de Triumph in Palmyra to begin

22 March 2022

22 March 2022

Restoration works of the Arch of Triumph of the Ancient City of Palmyra, which was destroyed by the terrorist organization...

Bronze Age artifacts discovered near the residence of ‘Iran’s Napoleon’

6 July 2021

6 July 2021

Archaeologists in Iran have discovered a plethora of artifacts and damaged structures near a former residence of Nader Shah, dubbed...

Persian-era plaster walls were discovered during excavations at Zeyve Höyük in central Turkey

2 August 2022

2 August 2022

This year’s excavations at Porsuk-Zeyve Höyük (Zeyve Mound) near the Porsuk village of the Ulukışla district of Niğde, located in...

4,000-year-old Snake-Shaped Pottery Handle Found in Taiwan

20 February 2024

20 February 2024

National Tsing Hua University archaeologists in Taiwan have discovered a snake-shaped pottery handle dating back approximately 4000 years. Researchers uncovered...

Little Known Powerful Kingdom of History’s “Mitanni Kingdom”

3 February 2021

3 February 2021

Hurrians; They became a state organization with a warrior and ruling class of Indo-Aryan origin who came from North-West Mesopotamia...

The secret of the mummy in the Crystal coffin found in a garage in San Francisco

30 March 2023

30 March 2023

Mysterious mummies are a symbol of ancient lost times, which we often associate with Egypt and other ancient civilizations. Therefore,...

New discoveries found under demolished historic Tawfiq Pasha Andraos Palace in Egypt

31 October 2021

31 October 2021

An Egyptian archaeological mission excavating at the site of the recently demolished Tawfiq Pasha Andraos Palace discovered a number of...

Vindolanda marks the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall with an altar discovery

9 February 2022

9 February 2022

The excavation season hasn’t started yet, but the Vindolanda Roman fort has kicked off Hadrian’s Wall’s 1900th anniversary year with...

The Old Fisherman Founded the Turkish Sea Creatures Museum

26 March 2021

26 March 2021

The sea gives another life to man, sometimes love, sometimes a disappointment, often a longing. The sea is reminiscent of...

The world’s northernmost Palaeolithic settlement has been discovered on Kotelny Island in the Arctic

20 August 2021

20 August 2021

During the Paleolithic period, hominins lived in tiny groups and subsisted by collecting plants, fishing, and killing or scavenging wild...

Artificial Intelligence Project That Will Revolutionize Archaeology

5 April 2021

5 April 2021

Polish Scientists to opening a new era in archeology They plan to use artificial intelligence to detect prehistoric cemeteries, castles,...

9,200-year-old Noongar habitation discovered at Augusta archaeological dig site

28 July 2021

28 July 2021

An archaeological dig in Augusta, in West Australia‘s South West, has uncovered evidence of Noongar habitation dating back an estimated...