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Deutsche Limeskommission

Deutsche Limeskommission

17. Butzbach Fort

Butzbach City, Wetteraukreis

Butzbach City, Wetteraukreis. Site of the fort and the VICUS. Picture down - Site of the fort.

In Butzbach, different units were stationed, one after another, in forts of various sizes, which were located on the same site. The Cohors II Raetorum civium Romanorum and a further unknown troop were garrisoned in a fort of an area of somewhat over 4 ha, with a defence wall of turf, timber and earth, which was erected soon after 90 AD.  It had a rectangular ground plan with four gates, and was surrounded by two ditches. Internal buildings are not known. A stone fort with an area of 2.8 ha was erected probably around 135 AD. It also had a rectangular ground plan with four gates, and possessed corner towers and numerous intermediate towers. Two ditches surrounded the fort. At this time, the Cohors II Augusta Cyreneica equitata was stationed here. The fort was extended to 3.3 ha around the middle of the 2nd century. Apart from the size, the form of the fort was not changed. The Ala Moesica felix torquata may now have formed the occupation of the fort. Of the internal buildings of the stone fort, the principia and the praetorium, the residence of the commander, are known.

The camp village developed around the fort, but particularly towards the west, on the road which led to an important Limes crossing. With its size and structure, it had more the character of a small town than of a village. The location of the baths is unknown. It has been possible to locate a large burial ground to the south of the fort, on the Roman road towards Friedberg. The significance of the Roman masonry which has been established at a distance of 300 m to the north-east of the fort is unclear. The appearance of the camp village makes clear the significance of the location. There was an important road here, which led to the Germanic settlements in the Giessen basin, and further into the interior of Germania.

The first excavations took place in 1842. The fort was not discovered until the excavations of the Reichs-Limeskommission in 1892. Extensive excavations were carried out in the camp village to the west of the fort from 1953 to 1956. Excavations were carried out in the fort in 1955 and 1961. Finally, excavations lasting a number of years took place starting in 1977.

There is no longer anything of the fort or the camp village to be seen. The B3 highway leads through the area of the fort. Next to it, in this area, are mainly a few detached residential buildings with gardens and a riding school. Otherwise, the area has not been built on and is either meadow or riding land. Apart from a few remaining surfaces, the camp village and the burial ground have been built over. The site of the remains to the far north-east is in fields.

 

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