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
(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.
C. M. TERNES