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BRAIVES (“Perniciacum” or “Pernaco”) Belgium.

A Gallo-Roman vicus on the road from Tongres to Bavai. This is perhaps Perniciacum, mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary (Pernaco in the Peutinger Table), but the question is still debatable because different distances are given in the two documents. Remains at the boundaries of the villages of Braives and Avennes consist of a series of wells, one of them 25 m deep; cellars of houses, built very systematically of masonry; rubbish pits; and silos. In 1960 a warehouse cellar (10 x 5 m) was discovered; it was 1.6 m deep and contained some 400 vases, most of them perfectly preserved. The warehouse seems to have been destroyed, perhaps accidentally, about A.D. 160. To the SW of the vicus is a large tumulus, 11 m high, over a wooden funerary vault that was full of objects: a glass urn, several pieces of glassware, pottery, an iron candelabra, and a folding chair, also of iron. All these finds date from the 1st, 2d, and 3d c. but the coins found there show that the site was occupied from the beginning of the 1st c. A.D. to well into the 4th. In 1964 a small castellum similar to that at Taviers was discovered and partly excavated. It was probably built at the end of the 3d c. and enlarged in the 4th. It was surrounded by a ditch, V-shaped in profile, and a palisade, which was later replaced by a surrounding wall of masonry.


G. De Looz, “Fouilles dans la tombe d'Avennes,” Bull. de l'Institut arch. liégeaois 12 (1874) 190-228; W. Lassance, “Braives romain et mérovingien,” Chronique arch. du Pays de Liège 49 (1958) 10-19; F. Ulrix, “Où faut-il situer Geminiacum et Perniciacum?” Helinium 3 (1963) 258-64; J. Willems et al., “Notes sur le vicus belgo-romain de Braives. Vestiges d'un magasín d'époque,” Bull. du Cercle arch. Hesbaye-Condroz 4 (1963) 11-47; J. Willems, “Le vicus belgo-romain de Braives,” ibid. 7 (1967) 5-10; J. Mertens & C. Leva, “Le fortin de Braives et le ‘Limes Belgicus,’” Mélanges d'arch. et d'hist. offerts à A. Piganiol (1966) 1063-74P.


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