The Romans knew their way around Europe. They also knew how to build with a view. A 2,000-year-old stone wall unearthed in a gravel quarry in central Switzerland put those facts on display all over again, revealing an “archaeological sensation” that researchers hope will provide insights into the Romans as far north as Switzerland.
The find, reported by the Canton of Zug’s Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archeology, is more than just a wall. The wall itself—found just a few centimeters below the surface—encompasses at least 5,300 square feet near Cham-Oberwil and points to what was once an entire building complex with various rooms.
Roman buildings of similar dimensions were last excavated in the area almost 100 years ago.
“Only a few structural relics of this kind from the Roman period are known in the pre-Alpine region,” Christa Ebnöther, professor archeology of the Roman Provinces at the University of Bern, said in a translated statement. “What is also astounding is the relatively good preservation of the remains.”
The elevated location near Äbnetwald offers a view of the surrounding landscape. It is unclear exactly what the function of the monumental building was, though possibilities include a grand villa with a lovely view or a temple. Large numbers of iron nails found at the site hint at wooden construction on the wall foundation.
Throughout history, the location has proven popular for inhabitants. Other finds in the area have unearthed a settlement from the Middle Bronze Age, graves from the late Bronze Age, and numerous coins from the Celtic era.
“We were also amazed that the top bricks were even visible above ground,” Gishan Schaeren, head of the Department of Prehistory and Prehistoric Archaeology at Archeology Society Zug, said in a statemen
The experts found everyday items and more exclusive objects from Roman times, including tableware and artfully manufactured glass vessels. The fragments of amphorae, in which precious liquids such as wine, olive oil, and fish sauce were brought from the Mediterranean to Äbnetwald near Cham, show the extensive trade routes of Roman times.
Additionally, the team also located gold fragments, probably originating from jewelry. Copper and bronze coins were also part of the discovery, including denarius featuring Julius Caesar from the 1st Century B.C.
The researchers investigating the area hope that the find will provide important insights into the Romans in the pre-Alpine Central Switzerland. As they continue to search the area, they’ll always have that view.
Source : PM