excavation roman landhouse

  • Kinheim-Kindel

The Roman villa of Kinheim Location where the Succellus statue was found

The Roman villa of Kinheim

On the right bank of the Moselle below Lösnich, but in the district of Kinheim (parcel "Willenbungert"), a Roman building was discovered in 1976 during road construction and excavated by the Landesmuseum Trier (Fig.1). It turned out to be the dwelling house of a farmer or winegrower, a so-called villa. It has the well-known form of a central hall (2) around which the rooms are grouped; the front is formed by a columned hall (12) with tower-like flanking buildings, the so-called corner risalites (11 and 13). The model of a similar house near Bollendorf an der Sauer (Fig. 2) shows how one must imagine it reconstructed. On Fig. 1, however, it is striking that we find this ground plan twice, hatched in smaller dimensions (with the "corner risalites" 11 a and 13 a) and drawn out in black in noticeably larger dimensions. The walls of the larger building overlap those of the smaller one, so the smaller one is older. Its eastern end wall lies under the later rooms 7 and 9, the western one has not been found; it will have run along the line of the wall that later separates rooms 17 and 18. This villa, 17 m deep and 29 m wide at the front, gave way - perhaps in the 3rd century AD - to a more elaborate new building 25 m deep and with a frontage of 43 m. It has many more individual rooms, which is why it was built in the 3rd century AD. It has many more individual rooms, so smaller dimensions were sufficient for the hall in the middle (2). It was no longer a "multi-purpose room", but probably only served as a kitchen and work hall. Unfortunately, we can by no means say for all the rooms what they were intended for. Niche 1a had a carefully plastered basin with a bench, the purpose of which remains unclear. Rooms 3 and 4 in the south-east corner had underfloor heating. Of these, Room 3 again had a brick basin; whether it was related to wine-making we do not know. Here the heating was later abandoned and a hearth was installed. Rooms 16 - 21 on the opposite west side served as baths (Fig. 3). In the anteroom no. 21 one undressed. No. 19 was the cold bath ("frigidarium") with the semicircular bath basin 20, in which the water drain, a lead pipe, was still found. No. 17 - also equipped with a lead drain - led into the warm bath ("caldarium") No. 16. Here the actual bathing basin is no longer preserved, it will have been located in the niche right next to the place from which heating was carried out. This heating point ("prefurnium") is in the central hall. A semicircular brick recess (15) ensured that the abundant ashes did not scatter all over the hall. Room 18 was later added in front of No. 17. It was also heated; the brick pillars that had to support the floor were still largely present from the "underfloor heating". In the past, the warm air coming from the heating point passed between them, warmed the floor and then escaped through hollow bricks in the walls. Warmbad 16 had the same, extremely practical installation, as did rooms 3 and 4. The latrine (22), with a flush toilet, is located on the south-west side of the bath. The wooden seat must be imagined above this channel. What makes the Kinheim villa special is not the bathroom and toilet - that is taken for granted in every farmhouse of the Roman period - but what rooms 3 - 10 may have been used for, none of them was certainly intended for the cult of the gods. The excavators were all the more surprised when the stone image of a Celtic god appeared in the middle of room 8 (A in Fig. 1). The 82 cm tall sculpture made of sandstone was lying on its back. The face had been torn off, but fortunately it was found a short distance away the next day and could be put on. The god stands in front of barrels and holds in his right hand the mallet for driving the tyres onto the staves. What was to be filled into the barrels is shown by the grapes in the bulge of the robe. While the god with the mallet and barrels is well known in Celtic lands - his name is Sucellus - here we have the first and only depiction with grapes. It proves that Sucellus was worshipped as a god of wine and wine processing, and certainly gives a clue to the confirmation of the inhabitants in the villa of Kinheim.

On the map

Harelbekeplatz 1

54538 Kinheim-Kindel


Phone: 0049 6532 3444

Fax: 0049 65432 1499


General information

Wednesday, 24.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Thursday, 25.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Friday, 26.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Saturday, 27.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Sunday, 28.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Monday, 29.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Tuesday, 30.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Wednesday, 31.05.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Thursday, 01.06.2023 00:00 - 00:00
Friday, 02.06.2023 00:00 - 00:00

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