Julius Caesar battlefield discovered in southeastern Netherlands

A bust of Julius Caesar (Photo: Andrew Bossi/Wikimedia Commons). (A bust of Julius Caesar (Photo: Andrew Bossi/Wikimedia Commons))

Archaeologists at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam discovered the place where Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar destroyed two Germanic tribes in 55 BC. The location is at Kessel, in the municipality Oss in Noord-Brabant, the university announced on Wednesday.

Caesar wrote about this battle in length in his De Bello Gallico, but until now the location was unknown. This is the earliest known battle on Dutch soil. The VU Amsterdam archeaologists found swords, spearheads, skeletal remains and a helmet.

The two Germanic tribes, the Tencteri and Usipetes, came from the area east of the Rijn and asked Caesar for asylum. Instead the general ordered his forces to destroy the tribes.

According to the researchers, this is the first time that Caesar and his armies' presence can be proven in the Netherlands.