A huge stash of two-thousand-years-old Roman artifacts including coins, jewellery, weapons and tools have been uncovered in a German city which was believed to be a military base of Emperor Augustus.
German archaeologists discovered more than 400 kilogrammes (880 lbs) of Roman objects dating back to between to the period between the years 8 and 5 BC in the city of Augsburg in the German state of Bavaria.
The artifacts were presented at a press conference in the city of Augsburg’s archaeology office on Tuesday on 8th June 2021.
Head archaeologist Dr Sebastian Gairhos reported that such findings which include over 800 coins in addition to various weapons, jewellery, dishes, tools, bones and even an iron tire which was a part of a wagon wheel have not been made in over a century in the city.
Mayor Eva Weber added: “These new excavations take us back to the beginnings of the city’s 2000-year-old history. The Roman origins under Emperor Augustus, who served as an inspiration for the city’s name, have always been characteristic for the identity of Augsburg.”
The artefacts were found during an archaeological investigation of a future residential area in the Oberhausen district in the city of Augsburg in a gravel pit near the local Wertach river.
According to a spokesperson from the city of Augsburg, some of the objects were heavily corroded and encrusted beyond recognition and will be subjected to restoration.
Gairhos reported that the finds clearly show that Augsburg was the oldest Roman military base in Bavaria which was established in the first decade BC.
He said: “The new finds allow us to draw numerous new conclusions – not only about the function, origin and composition of the site but also about it’s origin.”
The military camp was inhabited by people coming from various regions in today’s Spain, Germany, North Africa and southern France.
According to Gairhos, some of the decorative objects revealed that women were also inhabiting the military camp at that time. Most of them came from the Alpine foothills and northern Switzerland.
Scientific analysis of numerous animal bones that were recovered during the excavations should show whether the people were importing or breeding animals for beef and pork.
Cultural advisor Jurgen K. Enninger proudly said: “With the finds from the Roman military base near Oberhausen, the founding phase of Augsburg and thus the important political and cultural turning point under the Roman emperor Augustus is now tangible.
The extensive conservation of the finds and their thorough scientific evaluation is yet to come, but we can already look forward to the results. Based on these results, it is important to develop appropriate forms of presentation. “
Gairhos who hoped for many new “great-quality” discoveries reported: “The mass of finds offers enormous potential.”