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CONTIOMAGUS (Pachten) Saarland, Germany.

On the lower Saar near the mouths of its tributaries the Prims and the Nied. The river crossing of the Metz-Mainz road had been guarded in prehistoric times by a fortification on the nearby Limberg. In Roman times the place developed into a larger vicus and finally a castellum was added. Little is known of the civilian buildings, as the Roman foundations were incomplete or were destroyed by farming or the pillaging of stones. The houses, with eaves parallel to the street, had hypocausts and usually deep wells. There were no cellars because of the danger of flooding. There was a temple district in the area of the later castellum. Stone seats of a cult theater with many Gallo-Roman family names inscribed have been discovered. A large potter's workshop in the SW quarter was uncovered and remains of walls and tools indicate a bronze foundry where equipment disclosed the practice of counterfeit.

The castellum was built in the beginning of the 4th c. Its wall, enclosing a rectangular area (133 x 152m), had 16 square towers for defense. In the foundation were the stone seats of the theater and stones from monuments to divinities, among them a sacred stone with place name. In the S part of the periphery was a large necropolis (with cremation graves) which was in use from the early 1st c. into Late Imperial times. Another necropolis is believed to have been N of the castellum, where stones with inscriptions had been used in building a Romanesque church. A significant grave inscription was found there. The church was dedicated to the missionary Maximin from Trier. The Christian inscription together with the early patrocinium and a Merovingian cemetery suggest continuous settlement from Roman times into the Middle Ages. Among the small finds is an excellent statuette of the god Mercury. Coins date from Republican times to Ancadius (A.D. 383-395).


P. Schmitt, Der Kreis Saarlouis unter den Römern und Celten (1850); E. Gose, “Das Kastell Pachten an den Saar,” Trierer Zeitschrift 11 (1936) 107-18; D. Kienast, Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Deutschland, III: Saarland (1962) no. 1143; W. Schleiermacher, “Kaisenzeitliche Namen in Pachten,” Germania 41 (1963) 38-53; R. Schindler, “Neue Inschriftsteine in der späitrömischen Kastellmauer von Pachten,” Germania 41 (1963) 28-38; id., “Bericht über die Forschungsgrabungen im römischen Pachten,” Bericht der staatl. Denkmalpflege im Saarland 11 (1964) 5-49.


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