1,500-year-old Roman grave discovered in Bavaria

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During the mandatory preliminary investigation ahead of a planned school sports facility in Oberding, a municipality in the district of Erding in Upper Bavaria in Germany, a team of archaeologists from the Anzenberger & Leicht office noticed what appeared to be a long rectangular shaped pit which they assumed to be a grave and started work there first.

1,500-year-old Roman grave discovered in Bavaria
The grave of a Roman soldier found on the site of the future school sports facility
in Oberding [Credit: Gemeinde Oberding/Anzenberger & Leicht]

Their quickly hunch paid off. At a depth of 80 centimetres they discovered the “undisturbed burial” of a man. On his right shoulder, was an iron fibula with a spiral design, used to fasten a cloak at the shoulder. In the area of the pelvis were three iron objects, which probably came from a belt.

To the right of the skeleton there was a 70 centimetre long ‘sax’ or short sword. “This is quite a find,” said Birgit Anzenberger, managing director of Anzenberger & Leicht. “On the basis of the sword the grave probably dates to the end of Late Antiquity, the second quarter of the 5th century.”




According to Birgit Anzenberger, “the burial is clearly that of a Roman warrior who was about 20 years old at the time of death. His stately stature and good teeth indicate that he was presumably from the upper middle class.”

Several trial pits on the property of the Oberding school sports complex also yielded some Roman pottery, while a fibula made of non-ferrous metal was found in another pit.

“The finds in Oberding support the assumption that there must have been a Roman settlement somewhere in the vicinity”, says the archaeologist.

Source: Suddeutsche Zeitung [trsl. TANN, May 25, 2020]

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