Traces of large Roman army camp discovered in Velsen
Archaeologists from the museum Huis van Hilde found evidence of a large Roman army camp in Velsen. Evidence of the Roman army's presence was already found in the 1940s, yet archeologists now discovered that the base was much larger than previously expected.
The site is located near the Velsen- and Wijkertunnel. The experts estimated that the Romans built the older camp around 16 to 28 A.D. and the second around 40 to 50 A.D. The second camp was estimated to be around 11 hectares large.
It was rare for the Romans to construct large army camps north of the Limes. "The picture of the early Roman in the Netherlands has been made more complex," expert in Roman history at the University of Utrecht Saskia Stevens told the Volkskrant.
The camps were large enough to house thousands of soldiers, showing the strategical importance of the site. The Romans also traded weapons and armor in Velsen.
The Romans built V-shaped canals to defend themselves against rivals. "If intruders fell inside, it was complicated to get out again," Araechologist Arjen Bosman said to the Volkskrant. The Romans used Velsen as a strategical military point to fight against the Germanic Chauci tribe.
The Roman tribe did not succeed in overthrowing the Chauci in the end. The Chacui ultimately united with the Saxons in the third century.
Araecologists first presented their findings in a lecture on November 12. Three further lectures were planned but had to be canceled due to coronavirus measures.