• Germany's news in English
 

Students find rare Roman temple on practice dig

Published: 04 May 2012 10:40 GMT+02:00

Lecturers at Bonn University had set up a mock archaeological dig at a building site on campus to teach hopeful historians digging techniques. What they did not expect to find were the 2,000-year-old foundations of a building, nestled into the dense, clayish mud.

While the initial discovery was made in March, it was only in the past fortnight that the team realised the foundations were from a temple from the Roman era, the floor of which was scattered with broken pottery dating as far back as 800 BC.

The building, which could have been part of a wealthy country estate, was 6.75 metres wide and 7.5 metres long. It was probably made from wood or clay, but roof tiles and iron nails that matched other second century Roman buildings were fished out of the rubble.

Only one similar temple – a room surrounded by an enclosed walkway – has been found in that part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Builders uncovered a larger version while constructing the Bonn World Congress Centre in 2006.

Historians had previously thought that the only settlement in that area from the time was near the Rhine. But Dr Frank Rumscheid, archaeology professor at the university, said that the temple suggests people lived away from the lush river banks, in what is now the Poppelsdorf campus area, some kilometres back from the water.

Work is set to continue on the dig site, but when the excavation is complete and everything worth inspecting has been taken to the university laboratories, the site will be filled in and building work will continue.

“There’s not enough there to completely lift the foundations out and create a replica,” said Rumscheid. But he added that further archaeological investigation of the Poppelsdorf site could turn up more interesting finds.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:42 May 4, 2012 by Englishted
Yes but what do the Romans ever do for us ?.
22:01 May 4, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
The Romans did a lot through out Europe, they are the influence and basis of civilization as we know it and we can not change history, too much. It would be interesting to see a follow up on this story as I am into Archaeology.
00:22 May 5, 2012 by Livioxxx
I'm also interested in archeology, I even think about studying that subject, but I've heard that archeology depends fully on state subventions and that the subventions in this field are becoming less and less. Therefore I'm not sure if I should take that risk. But it has always been my favorite subject to study.
02:19 May 5, 2012 by Fritte
#1:

>What's this, then? "Romanes eunt domus"? People called Romanes, they go, the house? <

^^
07:34 May 5, 2012 by Taffthedigger
Poor reporting. ...."a temple from the Roman era, the floor of which was scattered with broken pottery dating as far back as 800 BC."

Rome was just a few mud huts in 800 BC. I guess they got a bit muddled and what we have here is a native site (hence the c.800 BC pottery) on which the Roman authorities later established a temple.
11:43 May 5, 2012 by smart2012
To Englishted:

Political system is based on Roman system

Law system is based on Roman system

water system is based on Roman system

Street system is based on roman system

Thx the Romans that they were in Germany
14:51 May 5, 2012 by Englishted
@smart2012

Yes apart from :

"Political system is based on Roman system

Law system is based on Roman system

water system is based on Roman system

Street system is based on roman system

Thx the Romans that they were in Germany"

What have the Romans done for us?

P.S. See the Life of Brian .
Today's headlines
Helmut Kohl 'in intensive care for 3 weeks'
Photo: DPA.

Helmut Kohl 'in intensive care for 3 weeks'

Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl has been in intensive care in Heidelberg for three weeks and is in critical condition, media reported on Tuesday. READ  

EU reports widespread abuse of migrant workers
Construction workers are among the most exploited, the report found. Photo: DPA

EU reports widespread abuse of migrant workers

A report published on Tuesday documents appalling conditions for migrant workers in the EU. In Germany the construction sector was singled out for blame. READ  

Beck's brewery boss fired over drink driving
Former AB Inbev Germany boss Till Hedrich. Photo: AB Inbev

Beck's brewery boss fired over drink driving

Till Hedrich, head of the German subsidiary of the world's largest beer brewing company, has lost his job just five months in after he caused a traffic accident while under the influence. READ  

'Serious progress' in Berlin Greece debt talks
Mario Draghi, president of the ECB. Photo: DPA

'Serious progress' in Berlin Greece debt talks

There has been "serious progress" in talks over Greece's debt crisis but much still needs to be achieved, the EU's commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs said on Tuesday. READ  

Poo smell in the country is legal: court
Roosters can poo all they want. No ruling yet on how loudly they can crow. Photo: DPA

Poo smell in the country is legal: court

Just when you thought German courts had ruled on every question ever posed by man, you realized they missed one: Is the countryside allowed to stink of dung? And if so, how much? READ  

Two German restaurants make world's top 50
Vendôme chef Joachim Wissler, whose restaurant ranked number 30 worldwide. Photo: DPA.

Two German restaurants make world's top 50

Two leaders in modern German cuisine made it onto a British food organization's annual list of the world's best restaurants, although both slipped in the rankings. READ  

Rights groups critical of Egypt president's visit
Angela Merkel will meet President Sisi on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Rights groups critical of Egypt president's visit

Five prominent rights groups on Monday urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to press for an end to human rights abuses in Egypt when she meets President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week. READ  

Hamburg avoid drop to maintain unique record
Hamburg are the only Bundesliga team never to have been relegated. Photo: DPA

Hamburg avoid drop to maintain unique record

Hamburg avoided a first relegation from Germany's top flight with a dramatic 2-1 extra-time win at Karlsruhe in Monday's relegation play-off, second-leg, to seal a 3-2 aggregate win. READ  

Steinmeier: Gaza is a 'powder keg'
Steinmeier addressing journalists after his meeting with Netanyahu. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier: Gaza is a 'powder keg'

The impoverished Gaza Strip is a "powder keg" at risk of exploding, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday during a visit to the war-torn territory. READ  

British army tank crushes learner's car
Photo: Polizei

British army tank crushes learner's car

Oops! A British army tank drove over an oncoming Toyota on a public road on Monday, crushing the bonnet in the process. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd