Skip to comments.This Golden Head Adds a Twist to Ancient Roman History [Waldgirmes, Germany]
Posted on 08/23/2018 11:36:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The settlement covered nearly 20 acres and had a defensive wall but no military buildings. Its existence shows that the Romans were living next to and trading with German "barbarians" peacefully for years, right up until the Teutoburg defeat, according to lead researcher Gabriele Rasbach of the German Archaeological Institute.
Most of the settlements buildings were made of wood, and based on tree-ring data, archaeologists say the town was built from scratch beginning in 4 B.C. Behind 10-foot-tall timber walls, Waldgirmes had pottery and woodworking workshops, Roman-style residences, and even traces of lead plumbing.
A multistory administrative building sat at the towns heart, and in a courtyard or forum outside, archaeologists identified pedestals for four life-size statues of riders on horses. The gold-covered horses head was part of one of these statues, probably one depicting a Roman emperor.
The discoveries at Waldgirmes came as a shock to archaeologists and historians alike...A few years after the Teutoburg Forest battle, life in the ancient town came to a halt. But there are no signs of a battle or slaughter there, Rasbach says. Perhaps instead, Waldgirmes was evacuated peacefully in A.D. 16, when Roman forces were ordered to abandon the territory they held north and east of the Rhine.
After the site was abandoned, Rasbach says, the statues were probably deliberately smashed and recycled for their metal content by German tribesmen. Fragments of bronze160 in all, mostly tiny splinterswere found scattered all over the town.
The horse head is the one major exception. Not far from the pedestals, archaeologists found a Roman-era well more than 30 feet deep. The head sat at the bottom, covered by eight heavy millstones, wooden buckets, tool handles, an ox yoke, and other junk.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalgeographic.com ...
As GGG readers know, the Romans most assuredly did not pull back behind the Rhine and stay there. Browse the topics in the "romanempire" keyword for more.
There are many Roman settlements in Germany, but this is a civil one, and what is more interesting: it is 100 km east of the Rhine. Moreover, it dates back to the first decade of our era, to the period in which Roman commanders like Drusus, Tiberius, and Varus attempted the subdue the Germanic tribes. Hardly any military objects have been excavated, and barracks have not been identified. Perhaps it was a town for veterans (colonia).
The Waldgirmes horse [13 BCE9 CE] photo from www
Magnificent. Fascinating article. Oh to be a fly on the wall and go back in time.
I wholeheartedly agree. The photo I couldn’t use (it was from AP) shows the head all cleaned up and shiny. :^)
Gold-plated Roman horse head found (near Frankfurt)
Associated Press | Aug 27, 2009 | Unknown
Posted on 8/27/2009, 8:11:35 PM by decimon
“Oh to be a fly on the wall and go back in time.”
Indeed so. Better still, some visual time-lapse record of how a people & area evolved. Go to the video tape!
Don’t laugh but the confounding side of archeology for me is “digging”. Even sites no more than several hundred years old darn sure weren’t all deliberately built over or buried. Conquest (Spanish-Incas) and natural disasters aside, my half-thought explanation is cumulative airborne dust settling in. Some gradual, multi-century “dust bowl”.
Vito Corleone says hello.
Man’s OTHER Best Friend... the Horse.
Teutoberg Forest... yikes... Arminius and his boys destroyed three Roman legions there.
“Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!”
- Augustus Caesar
The Germans make good stuff.
Hate iPad autocorrect, but have no idea how indeed becomes something called I ded!
Various tribes no surprise
Lord Augustus each time bawling
As he fetched his head a crack,
Varus, Varus, General Varus,
Give me my three Eagles Back!
Lord Augustus tore his bedclothes,
Blanket, sheet, and counterpane.
“Varus, Varus, General Varus,
Give my Regiments back again!”
From I CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves.
The irony of it is that Arminius was raised and trained by the Romans... He must have nursed that hatred a long, long time.
As far as the horse head goes - I would love to see the entire statue. Wonder if the whole thing was gold-plated? Probably... don’t think it would make sense to just do the head.
2,000-year-old statue of Emperor Augustus on horseback found in stream
The Local: Germany’s news in English | Thursday, August 27, 2009 | unattributed
Posted on 08/27/2009 5:34:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Arminius set up an ambush and the Varus wasn’t a military commander (more of a MC in name only). Within a few years Arminius was leading another attack against Roman legions sent after him, and barely escaped. Rome kept a price on his head, and eventually his own family killed him, and sent his head to collect the money.
Whatever Roman withdrawal there was didn’t last too long. Not many years ago a Roman high-status cemetery was found in a rescue dig in Copenhagen Denmark (I suppose they were expecting to find Vikings or something), and just in the past year or so the remains of a barbarian army, defeated by the Romans, was found somewhere a bit SW of Copenhagen. The defeat and aftermeasures by the Romans was so complete that the cleared land went back to forest until the Middle Ages.
My pleasure, looks like I shoulda pinged a couple others as well.
my half-thought explanation is cumulative airborne dust settling in. Some gradual, multi-century dust bowl.
However it got down there, it's a magnificent piece. Well worth a trip to the link to see it cleaned up and on display.
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