The Roman amphitheatre of Vindonissa, now Windisch, Switzerland ( public domain ) A Very Exciting but Also Mysterious Discovery Previous archaeological excavations in the area have exhumed clear confirmation of organized habitation and civilization dating from the Roman era, including the foundations of relatively big structures. This discovery, however, is considered by most archaeologists and experts a very special and puzzling one. Despite the pot being pretty common and representative of the cooking pots used by soldiers stationed at Vindonissa, the purpose of its contents – 22 oil lamps, each containing a carefully situated coin – is surrounded by mystery. Aargau cantonal archaeologist Georg Matter, describes the mixed feelings of his team after the fascinating discovery in the best possible way, “What astonished us was the quantity and the combination of coins and lamps” [via The Local.ch ]. Every single lamp is decorated with an image, including the moon goddess Luna, a gladiator, a lion, a peacock and an erotic scene. The bronze coins are not of value but demonstrate a symbolic gesture and date from 66-67 AD.
An extraordinary find: A Roman cooking pot filled with lamps and coins. Credit: Aargau canton archeology department Future Discoveries Might Reveal More about the Pot’s Content The pot also contained charred fragments of animal bones, ruling it out as an urn for human remains. Despite Matter not being sure about the nature of the pot and its content, he speculates that it could be a ritual burial. However, the fact that there have never been any other comparable or similar discoveries, makes things for Matter and his team even harder. “The intentions behind this burial are puzzling at the moment,” adds Matter, who hopes that additional discoveries will help him understand the use of the pot and its content a little better. From a historical point of view, it’s interesting to notice that the Romans made it right over the Swiss Alps with no modern conveniences, a fact that clearly shows that nothing was poised to stop the ferocious Roman Legions back then.
A researcher documents the Roman find. Credit: Aargau canton archeology department
Top image: The recently discovered pot containing 22 oil lamps. Credit: Aargau canton archeology department
By Theodoros II