Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Summer Stamps – Archeology Series 19.4.1977

(40+20c) Thermae complex. In 1997, a habitation from the Michelsberg culture (4400 - 3500 BC) was excavated at the Schelsberg, near Heerlen. Archeological finds from this period are rare in the Netherlands. The site is unique in the Netherlands, as it is the first excavated site with ditches and earth walls (earthworks).
Even with these proofs of early habitation, the history of Heerlen properly starts with the arrival of the Romans. They founded a military settlement, named Coriovallum on the crossroad of two main roads: Boulogne sur Mer - Cologne and Xanten  - Aachen - Trier. In Heerlen and its surroundings a lot of evidence of Roman life has been excavated, especially Roman villas (country estates). The most notable archeological excavation from Roman times is the Thermae complex in the centre of Heerlen, a Roman bathhouse, discovered in 1940. In the Netherlands only a few of these have been found. It is a clear indication that Coriovallum/Heerlen was of some importance. A museum has been built over the Thermae and opened in 1977. The Thermen museum also houses other Roman finds from the area.

(45+20c) Goddess Nehalennia altar in front of sea map.
Goddess of Death, Fate, Fortune, Rebirth, Abundance and Fertility.
Combining Nehalennia´s four main attributes, throne, ship, dog and fruit into a scheme, it becomes clear that she can be placed in a long series of goddesses that are both Gallo- Roman and pre-Celtic, who have protective qualities and who are in intimate relation with fertility as well as death and the underworld, having the double character of life and death.
The Goddess of the Sea
As a standing goddess, Nehalennia resembles the Venus/Aphrodite prototype, the unmarried maiden goddess, the goddess of spring and gardens, protector of life, protector of the dead, and strongly associated with rivers, streams, waves, the ocean, and water in general. She belongs to the islands, the harbors and the riverbanks. Like Venus, she was a protector of fertility and welfare.

(55+20c) Fragment of the Zwammerdam ship (c. 200 AC). 

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