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angle-left Life in Koenigshoffen in the Roman Era (1st to 4th century AD)

The birth of Koenigshoffen is closely linked to the presence of the Roman army in Strasbourg from the beginning of the 1st century AD. The excavations recently carried out as part of of the “Porte des Romains” project by the Rhine Interdepartmental Archæology Centre (now Archæology Alsace), once again threw light on the rich archaeological heritage of this area to the west of Strasbourg: legionaries’ funerary steles, mausoleum foundations on the edge of the old Roman Way, fragments of sculpted funerary lions and sphinxes and much new information on the urban layout of this civilian area close to the legionary camp. The discoveries made on the of the ‘Porte des Romains’ site are at the heart of the exhibition and they also provide an opportunity to offer the general public a widely updated overview of the ancient Koenigshoffen vicus and its dealings with the nearby military camp of Argentorate.

Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, a large civilian settlement developed along the present-day ‘Route des Romains’. Several large necropolises - some of which have yielded remarkable funerary steles of legionaries and auxiliary riders - were also established at the east and west entrances to the present-day ‘Route des Romains’. Through observations made regularly since the mid 19c various features of the settlement have gradually been defined: its spatial organization, including the road network and the large residential areas, and the presence of artisanal activities attested by pottery and tile kilns. A shrine to the Oriental god Mithra was also explored by R. Forrer during the construction of the Church of St. Paul at the beginning of the 20th century.

Most of the earlier discoveries were brought together and presented to the public by the Society for the Conservation of Historic Monuments and later by the Strasbourg Archæological Museum. During the last four decades they have been widely supplemented through preventive archaeological excavations carried out under the aegis of the Regional Archæology Department, during major urban facility and development projects that have transformed the district of Koenigshoffen.

Exhibition Curator: Bernadette Schnitzler, Head Curator of Archæological Museum, with the research collaboration of Pascal Flotté and Géraldine Alberti, in charge of the ‘Porte des Romains’, as well as Archæology Alsace, the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) and the Alsace Regional Archæology Department.

Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a combined catalogue and achievement review containing some 300 pages and lavishly illustrated.