Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mask at the Saalburg

The defence-line on the frontier of the Roman province of Raetia, extending from Lorch to the Danube, consisted, in its later form, of a stone wall with built-in-watch-towers, and forts behind. It had no palisade. The first Roman defences at the Saalburg were erected during the course of a war waged by Domitianus against the Chatti, a Germanic tribe in the north of Hessen, in 83-85 AD. Under Hadrian (117-138) a large fort was built, defended by a composite wall of timer and stone. It held the cohors II Raetorum civium Romanorum, consisting of about 500 men.
Currently, the Roman fort at the Saalburg is a beautiful copy of the old Roman site, erected between 1898 and 1907 by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The reconstruction possesses e.g. walls, gates, ditches, bridge, horreum, roads, praetorium, thermen and very nice museum.

This wonderful mask was found in the courtyard or peristyle of a house belonging to the vicus of Saalburg near Mainz (Germany). It is made out of yellow clay and served as a decoration. At the ears you can see the holes for the string. The hair is decorated by a lunula or 'little moon'. It is probably made in a pottery in Koln and dates 100-120 AD.

The Roman fort and more of my pictures of findings at the Roman vicus and fort at the Saalburg can be seen here! Also compare this mask with the one I have seen in Koln, Tarragona and in Nijmegen.

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