>> Monday, January 05, 2009
This is a very interesting find:
Archaeologists have found more than 600 relics from a huge battle between a Roman army and Barbarians in the third century, long after historians believed Rome had given up control of northern Germany. Some of the artifacts are so well preserved that the scientists can already retrace some of the battle lines.
"We have to write our history books new, because what we thought was that the activities of the Romans ended at nine or 10 (years) after Christ," said Lutz Stratmann, science minister for the German state of Lower Saxony. "Now we know that it must be 200 or 250 after that."
For weeks, archeologist Petra Loenne and her team have been searching this area with metal detectors, pulling hundreds of ancient Roman weapons out of the ground. They paint a picture of a highly organized, technologically superior Roman army beset by Germanic tribes in a forest about 80 km (50 miles) south of the modern city of Hanover.
The site is about 90 miles east southeast of the location of the Battle of Teutoberg Forest, where Arminius supposedly kicked the Romans out of Germany in 9 AD. Finds thus far include coins with the visage of the Emperor Commodus, who reigned between 177 and 192. Yes, that Commodus. It's unclear what a Roman army was doing that far from the Rhine at such a late date; permanent Roman fortifications were about 150 miles to the west.