Archaeologists In Germany Discovered An “Exceptionally Well-Preserved” Roman Era Wooden Cellar That Managed To Survive A House Fire And Remain Intact For Centuries

f11photo - - illustrative purposes only

It’s not every day that archaeologists discover a wooden structure that survived a house fire and has remained intact for centuries while buried beneath the earth. Last year, archaeologists made this exact find during excavations in western Germany.

The ancient wooden structure was an “exceptionally well-preserved” cellar from the Roman period. It was located in a district in the city of Frankfurt. Experts at the Frankfurt Archaeological Museum have now recovered the entirety of the cellar.

The cellar was part of a Roman-era residential building that was most likely constructed during the late first century in the ancient town of Nida. The house was situated at the south of two main streets known as the platea praetoria.

No remains of the building were still in existence, but the preservation of the wooden cellar was more than enough to pique the interest of archaeologists. It holds much significance, as it provides a rare opportunity to learn more about what life was like in Nida. The fragile state of the cellar called for experts to act with speed and meticulous care to preserve the ancient structure.

“Such an extraordinary find requires special consideration. Due to the weather conditions, there was imminent danger here, and we decided to save the cellar and, with it, an important artifact of ancient Frankfurt at short notice,” Ina Hartwig, the head of cultural affairs for the city, said in a press release.

The cellar showed evidence of damage from a fire that appeared to have completely burned down the house. The steps that led to the basement displayed scorch marks. At the site, archaeologists documented traces of charcoal, fire debris, and charred beams.

Additionally, the effects of the fire could be seen in some of the artifacts that were unearthed in the surrounding area. For instance, extreme heat had melted a glass vessel.

Furthermore, there were still iron objects lying on the basement stairs, indicating that the people who lived in the house did not have enough time to retrieve all their belongings from the cellar before evacuating.

Sometime after the fire, another building was erected on top of the destroyed home, but by then, the cellar was no longer being used. More research is needed in order to determine when exactly the house was built and when the fire occurred.

f11photo – – illustrative purposes only

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