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TIENEN (Tirlemont) Belgium.

A Gallo-Roman vicus of the civitas Tungrorum, located on the Tongres-Cortoriacum-Castellum Menapiorum road. Diverticula linked it to Taviers and Namurcum, to Baudecet and Bavai, and to Grobbendonk and Antwerp. Since the vicus is located under the modern town, it is mainly known from scattered remains and stray finds (potsherds, coins, tiles, bronze artifacts, etc.), which permit an estimate of its size. Foundations of buildings have been noted in various places, but systematic excavations have been undertaken only in the vicinity of Avendoren, where a rather large building (or villa suburbana) was discovered in 1891. A Merovingian necropolis was established in its ruins in the 7th c. Some incineration tombs and barrows have been found all around the vicus. Three barrows in the vicinity of Grimde were excavated at the end of the 19th c. Two contained rich grave goods: bronze oenochoe, a bronze furniture leg, a small silver vase, a bronze patera, a gold stiletto sheath with the inscription M (arcus) Probius Burrus, a gold ring, a sardonyx cameo in a gold setting, etc. The funerary chamber of another barrow, leveled long ago, was found in the vicinity of Avendoren. It produced equally rich grave gifts, which included a bronze casket which served as an urn, a bronze wine pitcher, a bronze patera with a picture of the abduction of the Palladion by Diomedes on it, a bronze askos, a bucket with channeled sides, two large bronze basins, a tinned bronze chandelier, a silver cup, bone and horn artifacts, several pieces of glassware, pottery, iron, and stone. Like those of Grimde, this tomb dates to the 2d c. A.D. Little is known of the vicus save that it seems to have prospered in the 2d c. but was no longer occupied in the 4th.


A. de Loë, “Exploration des tumulus de Grimde-lez-Tirlemont,” AnnArchBrux 4 (1893) 22ff; J. Mertens, “Une riche tombe gallo-romaine découverte à Tirlemont,” AntCl 21 (1952) 39-73; M. Desittere, Bibliografisch repertorium der oudheidkundige vondsten in Brabant (1963) 144-49.


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