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Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age


Archaeologists have unearthed a massive structure in Lolland that is believed to have been used to ward off an attacking army back in the Roman Iron Age.  So far, 770 metres of the structure has been detected, but Museum Lolland-Falster estimates it could stretch to twice that.  

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster



“This is a really big structure. It’s taken a lot of work to build,” Bjornar Mage, an archaeologist and curator from Museum Lolland-Falster, told TV2 News. “We believe the structure was built around a kilometre from the coast between two impenetrable wetland areas – in a bid to stop attacking foe from entering Lolland.”  

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster

The structure involved the digging of long lines and rows of holes in the earth – at least 10,000 holes are estimated to have been dug. In similar structures discovered in Jutland, the defensive ‘belt’ was combined with sharpened poles. 

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster



Describing it as a “minefield of yesteryear”, Mage compared the holes to the spiked defensive ditches of the past that were given the name ‘Caesar’s lilies’. 

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster

Unfortunately, the structure on Lolland is nearly completely destroyed and the museum has been unable to accurately date the structure so far. It is a safe bet it was built during the Roman Iron Age, a period spanning the first four centuries of the first millennium AD. 

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster



In Hoby, near where the structure is located, archaeologists have found a grave of a wealthy individual from the Roman Iron Age. However, uncertainty over the date of the structure means they cannot link the two yet.

Archaeologists in Denmark discover huge defensive structure from the Roman Iron Age
Credit: Museum Lolland-Falster

“We haven’t found any signs of the belt being up-kept after its construction. It’s been allowed to decay,” said Mage. 


TANN

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