Ancient Roman Building Was Right Under Their Feet

A massive ancient Roman building dating back 2,000 years has been discovered just inches under the surface of a gravel pit in the Swiss Alps.

The complex was so close to the surface that in places bricks in the main wall were poking out of the ground, say experts.

Underneath, scientists unearthed a treasure trove of remarkably well-preserved pots, high-quality glassware, coins, millstones, nails and parts of gold jewellery.

Experts believe the site – in Cham, Zug canton, Switzerland – was originally a temple to a god or a lavish private villa.

Image shows excavators (from left to right: Hicham Zbair, Janik Nussdorfer, Riccardo Gerlach) uncover the parts of a Roman wall, undated photo. It lies directly under the forest floor. (ADA Zug, David Jecker/Newsflash)

Advisors from the Swiss Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archeology said the complex covers at least 500 square metres (5,381 square feet).

Head of the Department of Prehistory and Protohistoric Archaeology, Gishan Schaeren said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “We were also amazed that the top bricks were even visible above ground.

“Roman buildings of similar dimensions were last excavated in Cham- Heiligkreuz almost 100 years ago.”

Professor of Archeology of the Roman Provinces at the University of Bern, Christa Ebnoether said: “Only a few structural relics of this kind from the Roman period are known in the pre-Alpine region – in contrast to other regions.

Image shows a part of the Roman finds (from top left to bottom right): An amphora base, the shard of a mortar, the rim of a small bowl of Roman tableware with a red coating (Terra Sigillata), four coins in as-found condition, one of which was silver from Julius Caesar, Fragment of a gold object, pieces of a square bottle and a blue glass ribbed bowl, undated photo. They were found during the excavations in the canton of Zug, Switzerland. (ADA Zug, Res Eichenberger/Newsflash)

“What is also astounding is the relatively good preservation of the remains.”

But specialist Kathrin Rueedi said: “At the moment, we’re wondering what this complex of buildings was used for.”

Head of the Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology, Karin Artho pointed out the importance of the excavations in the area that have been ongoing since the 1990s.

Artho said: “Thanks to this exemplary cooperation, we have been able to document numerous findings and save valuable finds in recent years.

“These pieces of the puzzle make it possible to trace the life of our ancestors and to better understand our history.”

Image shows a silver coin (denarius) of Julius Caesar from the 1st century BC. The face of the coin shows an elephant trampling on a dragon or snake. (ADA Zug, Res Eichenberger/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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