Archaeologists in south Moravia have begun excavating the site of a Roman hospital which is described as the largest preserved site of its kind north of the Danube. Indeed, it was part of a fortified complex that was the northernmost outpost of the Roman Empire in the region in the second century.
Archaeologists have been aware for some years of the ruins of a Roman field hospital at Pasohlávky, around 30 kilometres south of Brno. But only now have they begun excavating the site, which the archaeologist in charge of the dig told the Czech News Agency was the biggest facility of its kind persevered north of the River Danube.
The hospital, 60 m by 45 m in size, was part of an extensive fortified complex the 10th Roman legion built on Hradisko hill in the latter half of the second century. At that time, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, it was the northernmost outpost of the Roman Empire in central Europe. The Germans had been making raids across the Danube and the Romans established the stronghold in order to keep them at bay.
Though the site is regarded as important, all it features today are remains of the foundations of the second century hospital. That is all that is left after construction work on the nearby Nové Mlýny dam system in the mid 1970s.
The reason the current dig is taking place is that there are plans to
build a new thermal spa at Pasohlávky. One of the archaeologists said that
the original layout of the Roman hospital could be marked in the new
facility by paths or bushes.
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