Gelderland Roman temple complex yields 80,000 artifacts

Recovering one of the altar stones. Photo: RAAP
Recovering one of the altar stones. Photo: RAAP

A unique Roman temple complex uncovered at Herwen-Hemeling in Gelderland in June last year is even more extensive than originally thought.

Apart from a number of votive stones, some 80,000 artifacts and two graves have been found since the dig started, archaeological consultants RAAP have said

The complex is situated on the Roman Limes which mark the northernmost border of the Roman empire and was used as a place of worship for senior members of the Roman military.

‘We can tell this from the inscriptions on the stones,’ archaeologist Eric Norde told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. ‘Herwen was not a big town, like Nijmegen, but it was clearly the place to be for the soldiers that were stationed nearby.’

Most of the valuable finds, such as coins and jewellery, have now been stored in a safe. Dozens of crates and boxes filled with other objects are now awaiting further investigation, a process that will take at least three years, Norde said.

‘We are putting together different stones with Roman texts. So far this has put us on the trail of a hitherto unknown Roman goddess who was worshiped at the Herwen complex.’

Some of the main finds are on show at the Vlakhof Museum in Nijmijgen but there are plans to involve the nearby Liemers Museum in Zevenaar in an exhibition of some of the other artifacts. ‘It would be great if the locals could see all this,’ Norde told the broadcaster.

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