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MAASTRICHT Limburg, Netherlands.

In the Meuse valley N of the foothills of the Ardennes, where the Roman highway from Boulogne-sur-Mer via Bavai and Tongeren to Cologne crossed the Meuse. The Roman name is not known. Gregory of Tours (6th c.) speaks of the urbs Trajectensis, and names such as Trajectum Superius, Trajectum ad Mosam, and Mosaetrajectum occur in later sources. Although it might be expected that the origin of Maastricht, like that of Tongeren en Heerlen, went back to Augustan times, the oldest material yet found dates from the Claudian period.

The settlement lay on both sides of the river, but mainly on the W bank. Various Roman cellars and hypocausts are known, but the plan of the town is by no means complete. The only construction certainly identified is a complex of baths of the 2d and 3d c. A.D. Where and how the river was crossed in this period is not certain; possibly at a ford N of the 4th c. bridge. At that time the center of the inhabited area (Stokstraat quarter) was fortified by a wall, three round towers of which have been recovered. The bridge which crossed the river from the city center incorporated many fragments of grave monuments and buildings. S. Servatius, who died at Maastricht in 384, is said to be buried nearby; his church lies W of the Roman settlement and just S of the Roman road. Its cemetery has been used ever since the 3d c. Farther W, near the road, was found a sarcophagus for two persons with rich grave goods (2d c. A.D.). The Roman government abandoned the area in the early 5th c.


To 1961: J.J.M. Timmers, “Romeins Maastricht,” Bull. Kon. Ned. Oud. Bond 14 (1961) 97-108; excavations 1963-65: Stokstraat quarter, Nieuwsbull. Kon. Ned. Oud. Bond (1963) 158-61, 210-14, 233-34; (1964) 33-34; 104-5; 140; (1965) 76, 122; bridge, ibid. (1963) 161-64, 182; (1964) 102-4 (1965) 44; sarcophagus (1964) 63-66, 105-10, 138-39; J.H.F. Bloemers, “Twenty-five Years ROB Research in Roman Limburg,” Berichten van de Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek. Proceedings of the State Service for Archaeological Investigations in the Netherlands 23 (1973).


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