Wednesday 21 April 2021

Roman road, artifacts found during digging for a new motorway

Photo: Zuid Holland province

A 125 metre stretch of Roman road has been uncovered in the province of Zuid-Holland during excavations carried out in preparation for work on the Rijnland Route  motorway which will link the seaside resort of Katwijk to Leiden.

The provincial authorities have said the find, near Valkenburg along the N206, includes an adjacent settlement where traces of homes have been found as well as a drainage system and a cemetery.

Among the finds is a piece of Roman building material complete with plaster and traces of paintwork, something that is rarely found in the Netherlands.

Archaeologists have been surprised by the relatively good condition of the road, which they think dates from 125 AD. The roadside ditches formed by scooping up earth to support the road were still there as were large segments of the vertical wooden poles used to keep it from subsiding

The drainage canals beside the road were found to contain pottery shards, fragments of leather shoes, coins, wooden objects, roof panes and a fish trap.

The excavation site is part of the Roman Limes which is the ancient northern border of the Roman Empire and which has been nominated to become a UNESCO world heritage site in 2021.

The site is open to the public on Saturday October 13. The most important finds will gon on show at the Rijnland Route information centre at the beginning of 2019.

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