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ASSE Belgium.

Gallo-Roman vicus in the N part of the civitas Nerviorum, on the ancient road linking Bavai to Utrecht by Asse, Rumpst, Antwerp, and Rijsbergen. In the locality of Borgstad one can still see earthworks that may be the remains of the ramparts of an Iron Age oppidum in the plain. It is now being excavated. The Gallo-Roman vicus extended immediately to the N of this oppidum, in the locality of Kalkoven. The remains uncovered by old excavations, restudied systematically in 1942-43, have made possible a precise account of the history of the site. Coins and pottery indicate that the origins of the center go back to the beginning of the Roman period, perhaps to the end of the Republic, certainly to the time of Augustus. The remains of the Early Empire include the foundations of dwellings arranged on both sides of the ancient causeway, paved streets, wells (one of which was lined with wood) and numerous artifacts (coins, pottery, fibulas, two bronze statuettes of Mars and Mercury, terracotta statuettes, glassware, etc.). The series of coins is interrupted with Tetricus (268-73); traces of fire indicate that the vicus was devastated during one of the barbarian invasions of the period. However, coins of the time of Constantine seem to suggest that the vicus was reoccupied in the 4th c., but apart from the coins no archaeological remains of that period have been found. Nothing is known of economic activities at the vicus. Among the most interesting finds are some 50 statuettes of horses in white terracotta from the workshops of the Allier. They indicate the existence of a sanctuary dedicated to a horse deity (Epona ?) or to a deity having the protection of horses among its attributes. Asse was linked by less important roads to Tienen and Tongres to the E and to Hofstade and Ganda (Ghent) to the W.


For the older bibliography, see M. Desittere, Bibliografisch repertorium der oudheidkundige vondsten in Brabant (1963) 5-8; S. J. De Laet, “Figurines en terre-cuite de l'époque romaine trouvées à Asse-Kalkoven,” AntCl 11 (1942) 41-54; id., “De terra-sigillata van Asse-Kalkoven,” RBArch 13 (1943) 97-115; id., Asse-Kalkoven, een Gallo-Romeinse nederzetting in onze gewesten, Bijdragen tot de Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde (1943) 29-46; J. Mertens, “Archeologisch onderzoek van een Romeinse straat te Asse,” Eigen Schoon en de Branbander 34 (1951) 129-40; G. Faider-Feytmans, “Ornement de char d'Asse,” Latomus 14 (1955) 297-302.


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