Switzerland Archaeology

Studies carried out in recent times on the Swiss Neolithic have shown that the Cortaillod culture has its own characteristics in the wider context of the European area with encrusted ceramics made with birch bark. More than ceramics, however, the wood industry (jars, sickle handles, axes, etc.) and the horn industry are typical of this Swiss Neolithic, and above all the appearance of lake settlements defended by palisades, with constructions supported by wooden poles. and paved with tree bark. As for the Roman age, archaeological exploration focused on the three civitates of Colonia Equestris (Nyon), of Augusta Raurica (Augst), and of Aventicum (Avenches), and on the small agglomerations (vici) which, often located at the intersections of important roads, played a ruoo of small military posts (Yverdon) and commercial and artisan centers (Martigny, Lausanne-Vidy, Bern, Baden, etc.). The settlement of Lausanne-Vidy (founded between the years 20-10 BC) has an entirely Roman layout, with decumanus maximus bordered by arcades leading to the forum, a cultural and religious center with a temple and basilica. Thus Martigny, where excavations have revealed the existence of a large forum and a basilica against which the temple leans, rectangular quarters and the traces of an amphitheater. The agglomeration of Engehalbinsel, near Bern, an ancient Celtic citadel dating back to the 2nd century BC. C testifies to a continuity of occupation up to the 1st century; a murus gallicus was recently discovered there ; several Gallo-Roman temples with a square plan, houses, spas, potters’ workshops, an important 2nd century necropolis and a small amphitheater. A theater was found in Lenzbourg (Aargau), the third most important (after those of Augst and Avenches) found in Switzerland. The real center of Roman Baden (Aquae Helveticae) consisted of the thermal baths, the remains of which were discovered in 1967 and subsequently at least partially brought to light: today two large swimming pools and numerous small single basins are known. The basins were supplied with water by at least two of the 19 thermal springs known today. The springs were certainly already known to the Celts, but the importance of Baden in Roman times increased with the foundation and development of the nearby legionary camp of Vindonissa (Windisch). The archaeological prospecting of Augusta Raurica it is only at the beginning. Even the date of its foundation (44 BC) due to Munazio Planco, as shown by his funerary inscription (“… deduxit Lugdunum et Raurica “), is questioned after the last excavations in different districts of the city.

In fact, in the current state of studies, the most ancient discoveries go back to the end of the Augustan period and the beginning of the reign of Tiberius. It is still not possible to give a satisfactory answer to the topography of the city, with the exception of two residential districts, which are the subject of systematic investigations. A thermal plant and an aqueduct have also been identified. The Alemanni raid in 260 and the destruction of the city led to the construction of a square-plan fortress with square walls and towers. At the southeast corner of the fortress, a treasure trove of silverware was discovered that had been carefully packed and placed in a straw-stuffed container.

The first systematic excavations of Aventicum were undertaken in the 1960s. From an urban planning point of view, the city did not show any change until the middle of the 3rd century, because it was built in such a way as to be large enough for the entire duration of the occupation; it is divided into 35 insulae ; the forum is located, according to the law, at the center of the urban layout, at the intersection between the cardo and the decumanus.

The city, founded under Tiberius, was built in wood; only towards the end of the 1st century the primitive aspect of the city was modified by the adoption of stone architecture. As far as public and private buildings are concerned, our knowledge is still very precarious today: together with public buildings such as the theater, the amphitheater, the boundary wall, several scholae and two private quarters have been systematically excavated. The private houses of Aventicum feature relatively uniform architecture. The peristyle villa is an exception; most of the houses are simple constructions. The typical stratigraphy of Aventicum shows a succession of five cases of which the dating is as follows: wooden construction (Tiberius-Claudius age); I stone building (Claudio-Nerone age); II stone building (Vespasian age); III stone building (after 100 AD); 4th stone building (mid 2nd century).

The photointerpretation was applied in China also for the identification of Roman remains. Over 50 Roman villas have been identified (Marly, etc.). The Seeb agricultural estate is one of the largest in the northern China, planted after the foundation of Vindonissa and which subsequently enjoyed great development until its destruction around 260 AD. Christ. The estate is surrounded by walls on three sides and divided internally into a park and an agricultural part: within the walls there were a large manor house, a building with a well, a building with bathrooms, six other buildings and two large enclosures, evidently intended to collect livestock. Numerous traces of important Roman monuments are also known from Geneva. The market square was located on the Bourg-de-Four; L’ the city’s water supply was ensured by an aqueduct. Geneva had a port in the area of ​​the current Madeleine district, where a large wooden statue, probably a river god, was found. The Alemannic invasions interrupted the development of the city, which was practically destroyed. Building material was obtained from the ruins for a more recent Roman fortification, roughly in the area of ​​the ancientCeltic oppidum (Mur de Gondebaud).

Switzerland Archaeology 2