Ulrich Stockinger

Andernach/Antunnacum: A Military and Civilian Settlement on the Rhine. Imperial and Late Antique finds and features from the excavations on the site of the Weissheim malt house 2008-2014.

The Andernach/Antunnacum site is located in the Middle Rhine Valley, in the north of the Roman province ofGermania superior. Due to its location at a narrow point of the valley as well as at the river and long-distance roads, the area was of great military-strategic and economic importance, not least because it was thus predestined as a loading port for the products manufactured in the Vordereifel and Pellenz regions (above all millstones and building stones, pottery). The military function of the area, which had already been settled in the late Latène period, became obsolete when, under Vespasian, troop bases were established east of the Rhine. However, thevicusin Andernach continued to flourish in the 2nd and 3rd centuries as a stacking and transhipment point for goods from the hinterland. With the abandonment of the areas on the right bank of the Rhine, this section of the river border again became the focus of Roman border defense in Late Antiquity. Instead of the civilian settlement, a fortification of about 5.6 hectares was now built, in which, according to written sources, troops were stationed until after the invasion of the Vandals in the early 5th century. However, the area ofAntunnacum continued to be settled even after that, as shown not only by the description of Venantius Fortunatus (stay around 565 AD) but also by early Christian burial inscriptions and Merovingian finds.

In 2008-2014, large-scale excavations in the city area could be carried out for the first time, the evaluation of which promises a differentiated insight into a central settlement area from the occupation through the decline of Roman hegemony to the early Middle Ages. Based on an analysis of relevant finds and features, this PhD project investigates the settlement-historical processes in this quarter. In particular, it addresses questions concerning the interactions between the military and civil spheres, the genesis and history of thevicus in the Early and Middle Imperial Periods, the Late Antique fortification, and the continuity of settlement from Antiquity into the Early Middle Ages. Thus, a more accurate picture of the extent, structure and organization ofAntunnacum can be obtained and its position in the (super)regional economic, defense and settlement network can be discussed in more detail.

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