February 2014 - Roman settlement, Limburg, Belgium

The Flemish archaeological inventory (CAI) details the route of a possible Roman road passing through the project area, with fragments of Roman building material, pottery and glass also recovered from recent fieldwalking.

The greyscale below presents the magnetometry data completed across the main part of the study area, detailing remains of a linear settlement bordering the route of the Roman road.

Magnetometry greyscale from survey at a suspected Roman settlement, in Limburg, Belgium

Remains of foundation trenches from former buildings, out-buildings, property divisions, linear and pit remains extend across the project area to the north, east, south and west. The footprint of a large post medieval building is indicated as a concentration of negative/positive rectilinear responses to the east, with a smaller possible Iron Age burial enclosure also at the eastern survey edge.

To the south-east a modern water main bisects a notable concentration of symmetrically aligned building remains. These represent the southern limit of the Roman settlement, through which a dense scatter of linear features, pit remains and probable kilns are also indicated.

Test trench locations 1 and 2 highlighted on the greyscale indicate part of the testing programme undertake by Aron bvba to validate the results from geophysical survey at the site, and examine the remains in closer detail.

The photo from testing at Trench 1 below shows a concrete and brick surface of Roman origin confirming the magnetometry interpretation of a former building in this location, with part of a stone wall and further features to the north.

Roman settlement, Limburg, Belgium – test trench 1 indicating a reddish concrete and brick Roman building surface with part of a stone wall and further features revealed to the north (view to the north-east).

The photo from Trench 2 below shows the remains of a large ditch representing part of the Roman road (view to the south-west).

Roman settlement, Limburg, Belgium – trench 2 highlighting the remains of a large ditch representing part of the Roman road (view to the south-west).

Instrumentation and methodology

5 sensor magnetometer cart system with GPS, 8-10cm sample interval, line separation 0.5m.

EM38 cart system with GPS, vertical dipole set-up, 8-10cm sample interval, line separation 0.5m

Electrical resistivity twin probe array, sample interval 0.5m, line separation 1m

Soils

Dry sandy loam without profile (Lbp)

Reporting language

Dutch

Ackowledgements

This geophysical survey formed part of a larger archaeological study of the site undertaken by Aron bvba on behalf of Onroerend Erfgoed. Many thanks to Elke Wesemael and Natasja De Winter from Aron bvba for their assistance with project mapping, land liason, and use of Aron bvba photographs from the test trenching phase at this site.