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Deutsche Limeskommission

Deutsche Limeskommission

10. Zugmantel Fort

City of Taunusstein, Orlen Borough Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis

City of Taunusstein, Orlen Borough Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis. Site of the fort Zugmantel. Picture down - Amphitheatre inside the VICUS of the fort Zugmantel.

The Cohors I Treverorum equitata was stationed in a 2,1 ha (124.5 m x 171 m) stone fort which was completed in the year 223 AD. The rectangular installation possessed four gates and was surrounded by a ditch. Of the internal buildings, the staff building, the principia, is completely known. The fort had three predecessors that stood in the same place and were smaller. Around 90 AD, a fort of an area of 0.7 ha with an earth and timber defence wall was built and was extended a few decades later to an area of about 1.1 ha. Around the middle of the 2nd century, a stone fort with an area of 1.7 was erected.

The extension of the camp village on all four sides of the fort is almost completely known. The core of the settlement developed on both sides of the road from the main gate to the spring of the Aar, where the baths were located. There was a triangular space in front of the gate. Three shrines are known of next to the bath house. One of these was dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus, and another possibly to the Magna Mater. Two small amphitheatres on the northern and eastern edges of the camp village are something out of the ordinary. A burial ground was located by the road which ran  to the south from the south gate.

The size of the camp village and the two amphitheatres demonstrate the special significance of the location. Here, the Limes was crossed by the road which led from Mogontiacum/Mainz, the capital of the province of Germania superior, via Aquae Mattiacorum/Wiesbaden, the ancient bathing town and the capital of Civitas Mattiacorum, by the shortest route to Germania.

After small excavations in the middle of the 19th century, the investigations of the Reichs-Limeskommission began in 1894. These were continued by the Saalburg Museum until 1934, and then again later. Fort and camp village are thus among the best known fort locations on the Upper German-Raetian Limes.

The fort is situated in forest, and has not been built over. Parts of the camp village were destroyed in the west and south by the construction of the Hühnerstrasse (Chicken Road), the present-day highway B 417, a factory building and a sports ground.

The whole surrounding defence wall is visible as a rampart, apart from a section to the north of the sports ground. There are occasional shallow signs of the ditch. The sites of the four gates are also visible. A short section of the defence wall of the smaller stone fort is visible in an excavation trench at the south-east corner. The remains of the two amphitheatres are impressively preserved. Of the supposed temple of the Magna Mater, only the foundations are still recognisable. Otherwise, only traces in excavations still indicate the buildings of the camp village.


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