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DIEKIRCH Luxembourg.

There are prehistoric sites on the surrounding hills, and private collections (Geiben, Herr) include objects from the Palaeolithic to the Bronze and the Iron Age. A megalith near Hardt was unfortunately restored in the 19th c. (Deiwelselter). Later Diekirch became a vicus near a Roman road. Two mosaics of the middle or end of the 2d c. A.D. were found in a villa; one of them has in its center a mask which can be viewed from top or bottom, and geometrical decorations surrounding floral motifs.

At the church of St. Laurence, excavations have brought to light the remains of several Roman rooms running N-S; the walls were covered with dark purple paint, and the main room was equipped with pipes for central heating. In Early Christian times, the room was reoriented W-E and a primitive altar (built mostly with reused Roman materials) was set up in the middle of the central heating pipes; the system had broken dawn because of underground water infiltration. Still later sarcophagi were stored in this room, on 11 different levels.

The local museum has objects from the Herr collection, the mosaics, and finds from the nearby Roman villa at Bigelbach. St. Laurence's and its excavations can be visited by special permission from the mayor. BIBLIOGRAPHY. J. Herr, “La préhistoire sur les plateaux de la Sûre Moyenne,” Bull. d'Arch. Luxembourgeoise 2 (1971) 3; C. M. Ternes, Répertoire archéologique du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (1971) I, 61ff with bibl.; id. Das römische Luxemburg (1974) 43, 65-66.


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