Trelleborgvikingerne

Jernalder

 Ein kleiner Abstecher zum Limes im Herbst 2011.

 
Der Limes ist seit dem Jahr 2005 ein Teil des Weltkulturerbes. In den letzten 20 Jahren hat sich viel getan am Limes. Jetzt gibt es einen Wanderweg entlang des Walls und an vielen Stellen gibt es was zu sehen und zu erleben. In manchen Gaststätten gibt es sogar was römisches zu Essen. Das verspricht die Speisekarte, aber ausprobiert habe ich es nicht.
Der Limes ist das grösste archäologische Einzeldenkmal Deutschlands und wie der Hadrians Wall weit über die Grenzen hinaus bekannt. Der obergermanische Limes erstreckt sich über 550 km und verbindet Rhein und Donau. Er markiert die Grenze des Imperium Romanum, auf der anderen Seite des Walls liegt das freie Germanien. Der Versuch der Römer Germanien zu einer Provinz zu machen scheiterte mit der Niederlage der Legionen im Jahre 9 nach Christi. Langfristig änderte sich die Aussenpolitik des Imperiums. Anstelle von weiteren Eroberungen wurden die Grenzen gesichert. Der Limes ist ein Ausdruck dieser Politik.
Heute können wir viele Spuren der 120 Kastelle und 900 Wachtürme sehen. Ausserdem gibt es eine wachsende Anzahl von Museen entlang des Limes.
Diesesmal habe ich mir den Wachturm am Heidenbuckel in Grosserlach angeschaut. Auf einem kleinen Stück ist Wall und Palisade vor dem Turm rekonstruiert. Mehr Information unter www.limes-cicerone.de oder www.deutsche –limesstrasse.de

wachturm limes 1

wachturm limes 2

My new gallic coat. Show off at Lejre - may 2012


The Gallic Coat:
Legio 6 Victrix was stationed in the Northern provinces and Britannia. The weather is and was rough most of the time and Germanic and Gallic auxillia would certainly improve their wellbeing by wearing local costume. I quite like chequered, natural and undyed cloth which is often used in ironage reconstructions.
When I accidently found a brown, white cloth I knew I had to make a Gallic coat. The Gallic coat is mentioned in classical litterature but unfortunately archaeology has only unearthed 2 examples. The Reepsholt coat, a bogfind from Northern Germany and a burial find from Les-Martres-De-Veyre. Both finds are well preserved and it is possible to reconstruct the garment. Further reading:
Bonner Jahrbücher: Wild, J.P. Clothing in the north-west provinces of the Roman Empire. 1968
Elisabeth Munksgaard Oldtidsdragter Nationalmuseet 1974
Both articles show good pictures and give accurate dimensions, which makes it very easy to make a Gallic coat. It looks very clumsy but it is comfortable and cosy in the evening and round the campfire. I wear it on top of my woolen tunica. It is described being worn without a belt. I prefer to wear it with a belt. All the folds created by the belt make it even warmer to wear. I am very fond of my latest improvement to keep me warm and it gives me a barbarian touch.

A Roman inspired chest.
I was asked to build a chest for one of our legionaries. The chest had to be big enough to lock away a gladius and at the same time to serve as a piece of furniture to sit upon on our reenactment campaigns. Obviously a common legionary would never have had a personal chest that size on a campaign. The needs of modern day reenactor  are quite different from those of a Roman soldier.
There are very few surviving chests from the early Empire. In Pompeji and Herculaneum a couple of chests survived badly burnt. Smaller chest like boxes survived in graves and cities. These are very often possible to reconstruct because of different metal parts and applications that survived to our days. Literature:
Stephan T. A. M. Mols Wooden furniture in Herculaneum. Form, Technique and Function.
                             J. C. Gieben, Publisher Amsterdam 1999
Emilie Riha           Kästchen, Truhen, Tische- Möbelteile aus Augusta Raurica
                             Forschungen in Augst, Band 31 2001 Römermuseum Augst
I didn’t choose to make a copy of an existing piece of furniture, but the chest is strongly influenced by one found in Herculaneum. I made it smaller and changed the legs. The original does not have legs but just 2 pieces of wood to keep it away from the ground. I did not put a panel round the lid of the chest. It is not necessary, fragile and quite annoying when one uses the chest. The original does not have a lock. I chose a simple solution that makes it possible to lock the chest with a padlock. The metal handles are inspired by handles found on smaller wooden boxes. The original does not have handles or metal reinforcements at the corners.

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

A Roman bag.
Unfortunately we do not have many leather or textile  bags or purses surviving from Roman times. In Holland a purse containing 312 denari was found in 1952. The youngest coins date from Commodus reign which dates the find to the late 2nd century.
In Palestine a bag with letters was found in a cave in 1961. The bag belonged to a woman called Babatha. She was Jewish and running from Roman troops. The bag contained legal documents that date the find to the Bar Koachbar oprising in 132 to 135 after Christ. That does not mean that this kind of bag was used by Roman civilians or soldiers. It is contemporary and might have been used by Romans as well.
It is a nice bag, medium size 34 by 34 cm in goatskind and it is easy to make. Another purse was found in Vindolanda near Hadrians Wall. It is very simple 26,5 cm in diameter and 7 slots for a pull string. It might have been used for everyday items or tools.
Literature:
Juliane Schwartz, Ermelinde Wudy Römer selbst erleben. Kleidung, Spiel und Speisen selbst ausprobiert. Konrad Theiss Verlag Stuttgart 2010
 
Oliver Teske   Römischer Geldbeutel www.antike-heilkunde.de
 
Martin Moser Leatherwork through the ages.  This is a very interesting blog.
 
Yadin Yigael The finds from The Bar-Kokhba Period in the cave of letters. Jerusalem 1963
 
Carol van Driel-Murray, John Peter Wild Vindolanda Research Reports. Volume 3 The early wooden forts.
 
   
   
   

Picture 1 is from the legion in Arabeia, Hadrian`s Wall and shows a reconstruction of the purse found in Vindolanda.


A trip from the northern shores of the barbaricum to the Limes Frontier of the civilized world in Germania Superior.
The Limes is part of the Unesco World Heritage. This means that even the most uninterested local politicians, tourist organizations and companies take Roman history in Germany seriously. This has resulted in numerous reconstructions of Roman architecture and new museums along the Limes frontier in Western Germany.
The easiest and cheapest solution is of course to build a new Roman watch tower, in either stone or timber with a 30feet long ditch, earthen rampart and a palisade. The local restaurant offers a so called Roman dish or 2, maybe the popular Römer Platte.
The Deutsche Limes Kommission is trying to change that. The reconstruction of a small earthen Limes Klein Kastell is a result of this new policy. The small village of Pohl has the only small timber, earth Kastell to be built at the Limes in Germany. The first thought to cross one`s mind is why should others not be allowed to build another one. Nonetheless it is quite obvious. Others are forced to build something that has not been tried before. This will give us unique new structures of different time periods within the existence of the Limes frontier.
The Klein Kastell Pohl is an early structure. It was probably erected at the turn of the 1st to the 2nd century anno domino under the reign of the emperor Trajan. All the stones are painted onto the wooden fortifications. The Kastell was manned by a small auxillia force which monitored the border and controlled a nearby road. Enjoy the pictures. You can read a full rapport at www.deutsche-limeskommission.de It is a Pdf file under Literatur, Publikationen der deutschen Limeskommission 1 2012. There are numerous other articles on the file. The text is in German.

 


A roman lock for my chest.


Literature:

Roman Gallery, Chest Locks http://romanlocks.com/Chestlocks.htm

Roman padlocks http://www.historicallocks.com

LacusCurtius Locks and Keys in Roman Britain( John Ward, 1911) http://penelope.uchicago.edu

Schlösser und Beschläge der Römerzeit. Ein Beitrag zur Technikgeschichte der Antike von Detlef Stender - www.archaeologiekrefeld.de

Marcus Reuter, Romina Schiavone  Gefährliches Pflaster - Kriminalität im Römischen Reich. Xantener Berichte Band 21, Martin Müller Schlüssel und Schloss im römischen Alltag - Ausgewählte Funde aus der Colonia Ulpia Traiana


 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   


I did not look at any particular lock. I wanted a simple lock for the chest i use when I am on campain with Legio 6 Victrix. I did not decide to make a padlock because I am only to have one roman chest. I really prefer viking chests because to me they are much more beautiful. Some of my friends say I am invested with viking chests. I actually made 2 locks. The first to find out how it works and to get more ideas on the way. The second lock is smaller and lighter. I started with the key. The whole lock is build around the key. The key is roughly forged and the indentions for the teeth are made with a chisel. A simple cross. Afterwards they are filed to roughly the same size. There are only 2 wholes and not for in the sliding bolt. I decided to simplyfy the mechanism because I lost a key once and it is much easier to dirk our own lock if it is not to complicated. It is a real challenge to make a new key. The block that is lifted by the key has only 2 taps. The key suggest that there are 4. The parts that hold the sliding bolt and the house for the block that is lifted are practical solutions I designed to make it work. The block with the 2 taps is aluminium. That was the only material with the right size at hand. All the parts are joined with rivets. I wanted to make a simple and well working lock.