Ancient Roman battlefield excavated in Lower Saxony

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman battlefield from the third century near Göttingen that will rewrite history, Lower Saxony's department for preservation of historical monuments said on Thursday.

Ancient Roman battlefield excavated in Lower Saxony
A Roman dagger from another dig near Hedemünden. Photo: DPA

“The find can be dated to the third century and will definitely change the historical perception of that time,” Dr. Henning Haßmann told The Local.

The amazing discovery allows an insight in what must have been a dramatic battle between Romans and Germanic tribes. “The find indicates a massive Roman military presence,” Haßmann said.

So far historians believed that the battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which took place in 9 AD, resulted in the Roman’s Empire withdrawal from Germania without any further attempt to conquer the land beyond the Rhine River again. But the unearthing of the battleground near the village of Kalefeld proves that Rome didn’t give up its expansionary ambitions until much later than previously assumed.

“It is pretty normal to find evidence of Roman culture all over even up in Scotland, but a find like this in northern Germany is really amazing,” Haßmann said. “And it’s spectacularly well preserved.”

The dig has already brought some 600 artefacts to light during the last three months, most of them ancient weapons.

The exact location has been kept a secret so far, to keep private collectors at bay, Haßmann said. But it will be revealed on Monday by Lower Saxony’s minister for science and culture, Lutz Stratmann, as well as the archaeologists that were involved in the excavation.