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Deutsche Limeskommission

Deutsche Limeskommission

23. Marköbel Fort

Hammersbach Local Authority, Marköbel Area, Main-Kinzig-Kreis

Hammersbach Local Authority, Marköbel Area, Main-Kinzig-Kreis. View from the Limes-line to the fort Marköbel. Picture down - Preserved wall of the fort in the village's graveyard.

The fort formed the garrison of an unknown cohors or ala quingenaria. The stone fort, with an area of 3.3 ha (198 m x 164.5 m), had a rectangular ground plan, corner towers, four gates, and was surrounded by two ditches. Of the internal buildings, we know a part of the principia, with the standards shrine. An earlier fort with a defence wall of timber and earth from the time of Trajan (98 – 117 AD) was situated on the site of the stone fort. The camp village was established to the east, south and the west. The discovery of a brick kiln is worthy of mention. Baths were found in front of the south corner of the fort, by the church. A burial ground was discovered to the west.

The fort was discovered in 1884 during excavations. The Reichs-Limeskommission investigated the fort and the camp village again more thoroughly in 1892. The baths were not found until 1951. They were almost completely excavated between 1963 and 1965. In 1983 and 1994, the last large area of the fort which had not been built upon was excavated by the Hessen State Office for Monument Conservation before installation and expansion of the new cemetery.

Fort and camp village have today been built over. As well as residential housing with gardens, a large part was taken in by the old and the new cemeteries. The mediaeval city wall ran through the area of the fort. It separates the old buildings in the east from the cemeteries and the modern construction in the west. The foundations of the baths lie in the region of the churchyard, in so far as they are not built over by the church.

After the excavations of 1994, a section of the foundation of the stone wall of the fort, 4.7 m long, has been made visible again in the grounds of the new cemetery Even though nothing else of the Roman installations remain visible, the form of the town is still shaped by the structure of the Roman settlement. The front wall of the fort is marked by the Mittelgasse, and the Obergasse follows the south wall. The road which led from the porta praetoris to the Limes is preserved in the main street.


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