Archaelogists in the Netherlands unearthed a Roman temple in the country’s Gelderland state, government officials announced in a statement earlier in June.
The temple structure was relatively intact, according to the Dutch cultural heritage agency, and objects associated with it have already gone on view at the archaeology-focused Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen.
The temple was found along the Roman Limes, the border line of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century CE, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site last year. At least two other temples were originally sited nearby, archaeologists said in the announcement.
The site had been unearthed by a volunteer-led archaeology organization, which told the Dutch government about the find last year.
The newly discovered temple was functional between the 1st century CE and the 4th century CE, according to the Dutch cultural heritage agency, and would have been frequented by Roman soldiers defending the border against neighboring Germanic tribes.
Peter Drenth, the heritage agency’s commissioner, said in a statement that the temple was “a beautiful site” and that archaeological research into it would continue.
Several dozen votive stones that would have originally functioned as altars were also found at the site. They had been placed there, the Dutch cultural heritage agency said, “by high-ranking soldiers to fulfill a certain vow.” Some were dedicated to deities such as Jupiter-Serapis and Mercury.
These votive stones had been put in place by none other than members of the army themselves, and there may have also been a large well nearby, too. The stones served an important function for the soldiers.
“They thanked a god or goddess for fulfilling their wish,” the cultural heritage agency said.