Grave monuments in Raetia

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The correct name for the province in the first century, Raetia et Vindelica, shows that we are not dealing with a unified area which was influenced by a dominant pre-Roman culture, but an administrative unit artificially created by Rome. Raetia can be divided into three natural zones: the Central Alps, the Alpine piedmont with plains of gravel up to the Danube and the limes area, which was shaped by the low mountain range of the Suebian and Frankish Alb. These geographical units correspond to the stages of conquest and occupation of the provincial territory expanded to the North between 15 BC and 160 AD. Whereas the area around the Lago Maggiore was more or less right from the beginning closely connected to the developments of Upper Italy, the limes area was only really settled with auxiliary veterans from AD 100. A chronological time frame of four or five generations was obviously not enough for the local population, which had been romanised by the military to develop a unique, original Roman provincial culture. It is not certain to what degree the local Late La Tène culture settled in the Alpine piedmont around the birth of Christ. The historical tradition records the tribal names of the Brigantes, Estiones and Likates as part of the Vindelici (Dietz 2004). Aided by a better understanding of the sparse archaeological resources, which are often difficult to analyse our knowledge of an autochthonous Vindelici population is improving (Zanier 2004). Their idiosyncratic burials are hardly traceable by archaeological means: not only are grave monuments of all kinds absent but there are few burials as well. Before and after the Roman occupation, we are probably dealing with an immigration of unknown proportions. The burial gifts of the few graves datable to the first century BC, for instance, point to connections with Central Germany.

The importance of Raetia for Rome lay in its geographical position. Augustus’ Alpine campaigns primarily served the purpose of securing Upper Italy and the control of the alpine passes, however, the Continous advancement north of the military frontier served predominately the improvement of the west-east communications between Rhine and Danube armies. Especially when observing the orientation of grave monuments, influences from the West, East and South are noticeable; however, there is no independent development.

No legion was garrisoned in the border province of Raetia for almost 200 years (however, in the beginning there was a vexillation) whose veterans could have formed a financially and culturally important provincial elite, as was the case in Upper- and Lower Germany. Perhaps more than in other border provinces, the cultural development of Raetia remained dependent on intervention of the central goverment. The provincial contrasts are especially marked if Raetia is compared to its neighbouring province in the East, Noricum. The similarily sized territories and the comparable administrative concept of a procuratorial province (until 170 AD) are the only similarities of the two neighbours. Culturally they could not be more different.


All beginnings are hard- grave monuments of the first century AD

According to the present research results stone tombs of the first century AD are restricted to the western half of Raetia,w ith the relevant examples known from Bregenz, Kempten, Nersingen-Unterfahlheim and Augsburg. A special position in every respect deserve the grave monuments discovered already 70 years ago on the northern shore of the Lago Maggiore in the Tessin on the southern border of the province Raetia (Simonett 1941, Martin-Kilcher 1998; on the frontier: Faber 2001, 308). There was an unbroken transition of its traditions from the pre-Roman Iron Age to the Roman Imperial period, so that they deserve be called the oldest grave monuments in Raetia. Strictly speaking, what is usually preserved are the grave chambers, which are part masonry built part constructed of heavy stone slabs. These characteristics apply to a small, exclusive group of richly furnished graves inside the necropolis of Minusio-Cadra, which consisted of 33 graves in total. The cemetery was situated on an exposed slope above Locarno, the main centre of the civitas Lepontiorum and was probably part of a rich estate of the local elite. As an description of the unique contexts encountered, chamber tomb No. 31 of the early first century shall be used as an example: Under the influence of Roman technology the walls of the 2,7 x 1,5 m room are already built in masonry, while the older and more simple chamber tombs are stabilised with dry stone walls. Two heavy stone slabs, connected with lead anchors, form a roof gable below ground.

The inspiration for these chambers is clearly Etruscan, for which the plastered and painted interior walls are a further indication. The interior was furnished with a floor of stone slabs. The chambers contained as a rule only ever one or two inhumations. Thus, these are closed, inaccessible chamber tombs and not family vaults (hypogaia), which were built for the admission of urns and sarcophagi over several generations. The continuation of inhumation rite until 50 AD at least, as well as the richness of grave goods maintain an indigenous, Celtic influenced burial rite of the Late Iron Age. In addition to the rich furniture crockery, men were buried with weapons (lances, more rarely axes), board games and strigiles, women with more or less rich gold- and silver-jewellery as well as mirrors. These chamber tombs, which thus developed out of an indigenous tradition and were further developed using Roman building technology and equipped with Roman objects (Terra Sigillata, strigiles) were specific to the region and were not copied elsewhere in Raetia. In the area of the Lago Maggiore they were constructed until the second century AD, after that this burial custom cannot be found any longer. The habit reached as far south as the Transpadana (Italian region XI), where at the Ornavasso necropolis chamber tombs lined with marble panelling were found (Martin-Kilcher 1998, 216). A more modest version of chamber tombs are the house-shaped tile lined inhumations made of tegulae or stones, which predominate amongst others in the cemetery of Roveredo, the burial ground of a possible villa, ca. 10 km north-east of Bellizona (Metzger 2004). Tile graves themselves are also founed in the north-western provinces, however, and are thus not in themselves specific to the area.

A further characteristic are the niches for grave goods added to the sides of the chamber tombs, which in the case of Tomb 31 at Cadra consist of a 1,1 x 1,1 m internal area. This was equipped with granite shelves for the reception of burial goods in containers. These extensions which are closely linked to chamber tombs were not copied in other areas of Raetia, according to our present state of knowledge. Only a lot further north, in Lower Germany, side niches for burial gifts-usually constructed with three or four upright tiles- appear regularly with richly to averagely equipped tombs. It has not been investigated in sufficient detail if there is a connection between the chronologically and geographically separate manifestation of the same phenomenon.

In the case of well-preserved contexts, walls were found above the stone plate gables, that probably served as foundations for graves monuments built on top. It is likely that there were chapels, temple-tombs (memoriae, aediculae) or grave altars.

In spite of the fact that there is no lack of extensively researched cemeteries, only few and rather modest tombs of the first century AD were found in Raetia, at least compared with the simultaneous development between Mainz and Cologne. The lack of a provincial legion as an economic and cultural motor is clearly noticeable.

In Cambodunum/ Kempten, the presumed provincial capital between 20 and 70 AD, large parts of the road-side necropolis ‘Auf der Keckerwiese’ have been investigated, which extended north of the ancient town along the major road to Augsburg (Mackensen 197; Faber 1998; Faber 2000). This road was certainly Kempten’s most important traffic link and thus predestined for prestigious tombs.

Present research results are giving approximately a representative impression, as the excavated areas covered the areas closest to the town and thus potentiall the areas most attractive for tombs. However, the next chapter will address an exception to this rule as a cautious reminder. To begin with, it should not be concealed that the survival of stone monuments in Cambodunum is extremely rare. As of now, no grave stele are known and the only funerary inscription belongs to a pillar tomb of the 2nd/3rd century AD. Apart from that only graffiti on grave good vessels are known from the cemetery road at Kempten. There is also a lack of other stone monuments, compared with the former significance of the settlement and the amount of finds one would expect (CSIR I,1 No. 196-203). However, the late antique fortress walls have never been investigated for spoils. Apart from that, a lot of material might have been carried off down the River Iller to be used as inexpensive building material for further fortresses. Marble, on the other hand, which is attested as building material of the early imperial period in Cambodunum, is known as preferred raw material for the production of lime in later periods. On top of this, the cemeteries on other roads leading out of the town have not or have hardly been investigated. Thus, the hope remains that further foundations of tombs are still being covered by soil. These observations in regards to the sources are by no means futile, because not everywhere can significantly more favourable conditions be found. A lucky new find, as for example the ‘mass find’ from Cologne, could change the formulated tendencies at any time.

C. 20 AD tombs with rectangular to square, or more rarely round, ditched enclosures were first built on the cemetery street ‘Keckwiese’, with which grave gardens (cepotaphium) which had been bought or attributed to a family or burial-or hereditary club by the town council (ordo decuriorum), were separated to be visible to the community (Mackensen 1978, 126-133). Different soil fillings in the ditches allow the interpretation that some were planted with hedges, while others seem to have been left open for longer periods, so that only the ditch itself presented the marking line above the ground for the grave-area or -garden. In some ditches post-holes were found, which could derive from a fence (Mackensen 1978, 132 f.). During the whole of the first century AD these ditched/fenced enclosure was the dominant form of burial monument at Kempten. However, their appearance is not restricted to Raetia and the first century AD, rather this practical and cheap method to make grave areas visible above the ground is also found in the neighbouring provinces (in comparison the chapters on Upper-and Lower Germany can be consulted). Because of this reason this form of grave monument is not specific in relation to its origin. The burials found in it- there is often only one central burial, sometimes several- were usually furnished with the typical Roman-Italian equipment as secondary grave goods: balsamarium, lamps, coins and sometimes jugs. Graves with fibulae as grave goods stand out from these, which are distributed without any archaeologically recognisable grave monument to the free gaps between the fencing. They can be dated to the period 20/30 AD. As far as fibulae allow conclusions about their carrier, they point to immigrants from the country around Trier, the Germanic Barbaricum and from the Alps (Fasold/ Witteyer 2001, 298).

Stone grave monuments are only attested from the Claudian-Neronic period. Grab 32 with its fencing wall of an extension of 12,2 x 12, 4 stands out from these. This wall (maceria) is basically a monumental variant of the above described earth fencing- was relatively laid with strong foundations to carry heavy roller-formed covering stones. According to preserved examples from Aquileia (near Venice) they probably had a height of 1,5 m. The central burial was surrounded by a foundation of 3,9 m external diameter and 0,6 width of wall. On top of that an earth or gravel-mound can probably be reconstructed, which was surrounded by a 2, 5 m high ashlar wall (tumulus). This traditional Italian burial monument form was doubtlessly still associated with a privileged social status of the buried person during the early imperial period (compare grave monument in Lower Germany). This highlights the noble position of the monument near the northern edge of the settlement, where two town main roads were united to a major route and where we can expect to find the beginning of the cemetery street. There is a certain parallel to the similar, if slightly larger tumulus near the eastern port of the Colonia Augusta Raurica (compare burial monuments in Upper Germany).

Who was buried in these? Unfortunately, the central burial 32 was found in an already disturbed context, which made an anthropological evaluation of the cremation impossible, nor could the remaining grave goods be used for a reliable conclusion about the origin of the buried person. Since this is obviously a cremation, which does not exclude an in the further sense Celtic, perhaps even indigenous origin. Inside the fencing area two further burials were found. The cremation 34 with an urn held grave good vessels and drinking vessels with a bronze simpulum for the consumption of wine.

The cremation 35, on the other hand, only held a few remains of equipment, since it had been destroyed by the building of the wall. Two neighbouring ‘cult pits’ held deposits, which were probably deposited as part of a memorial ceremony. All this proposes a well-Romanised population derived from Celtic roots. In spite of the fact that caution is necessary, it does not appear an unfounded hypothesis to attribute the tomb to one of the first centurions of Cambodunum and his family, who may have enjoyed an honorary burial monument as part of a public funeral (funus publicum) on exposed communal grounds. A well situated behind the encircling wall may have served the cultivation of the cemetery garden.
Amongst the 407 remaining burials of this section of the cemetery only three further fencing walls were marked during the first century AD. The square shaped rubble formation of 2,4 m side length of burial 241 can be attributed to a different type of burial monument. Upon closer observation of the building methods it emerges that the ‘wall’ was only laid in its foundation through a thin layer of gravel on the ancient surface and that the thus used stone construction would barely have been load-bearing. Based upon examples from eastern Raetia and western Noricum it is more likely that this was a foundation for the mount similar to a small tumulus (Mackensen 1978, 130), which will be mentioned again later.

In Augsburg the collection of burial monument architecture datable to the first century AD is relatively small, in spite of the fact that some military as well as civilian grave steles are present since the early imperial period. A fragment of a weapon frieze (CSIR I,1 No. 72) could have been part of a mausoleum. If it is possible to relate the small fragment to the corresponding relief decoration to the mausoleum type on the Rhine, a first century date is favourable. At any rate, such monuments would most likely be expected in Augsburg, the location of the only larger fort of Raetia until the Flavian period.

Further stone burial monuments were discovered on the road leading south of the Danube (via iuxta Danuvii) near Günzburg, which was extended during the Tiberian-Claudian period. A monument excavated at Nersingen-Unterfahlheim (Ldkr. Neu-Ulm) is of special importance (Ambs/Faber 1998). According to the gifts of the main burial it was constructed during the Neronian period and is therefore one of the oldest in the province. The dimensions of the nearly square fencing wall (23,7 x 22,9) supersede the measurements of the monument at Kempten almost by double, in spite of the fact that the next larger settlement was ‘only’ Gontia/ Günzburg, which was situated further west. If the buried individuals, as is rightly assumed, were the inhabitants of a nearby villa, this would be the only testimony so far for the settlement history of the then only 20-30 year old frontier on the Danube and would thus be highly relevant. There, it shall be allowed to describe this burial monument in more detail.

The half-round exedra on the street front is a significant architectural element. It can surely be assumed that it served the purpose of hosting family gatherings in honour of the deceased, at least in its original purpose. Parallels from Pompeii show that such exedrae usually had benches. On top of that, another fact is high-lighted; during the early imperial period such burial monuments were reserved to freemen of the town and town magistrates (duumviri), at least in Italy (Faber 1998). If this was not only an architectural element copied from southern examples but also a reception of the analogy of the usage of the half-round architectural detail, this gives important insights into the social status of the person. The size and expense of the monument alone do not allow for this conclusion, as experience with this type of monument has shown. Only the massive foundations set in tuff blocks with layers of mortar of 5,2 m side length and 1 m depth are left of the actual grave monument, which appear so have been high. There are no architectural remains; however, according to building chronology also a two-floor mausoleum is most likely (on the definition of burial monuments see the chapter onUpper Germany). The architecture is thus directly taken from Italian examples, however, where did the client/s come from? Since burial monument and burials were taken into desirable public ownership here, a short excursus on possible hypotheses on burial customs and burial gifts shall be included (Ambs/Faber 1998, 424-448). Apart from the main burial of a man of 40 to 60 years (Burial 1), five further urn graves were found inside a separate fencing at the side of the monument with and without cremation within the wall. It is likely that they were members of the familia.

Writing utensils (four silver stili in a female burial), drinking- and table vessels as well as toilet implements follow the principal Italian grave good tradition. The existence of liquid containers (jugs, amphorae) attests the Mediterranean custom of the death banket with wine consumption and the extinguishing of the funeral pyre with wine. The pouring of aromatic oils on the body from balsamaria as well as several oil lamps and clay houses for lights, which were deposited as part of the burial cult at the graves but which were not burned as primary grave goods, correspond to Italian funerary rites. The animal bones, however, are a different matter, since sumptuous food offerings have their roots mainly in Celtic burial customs, in spite of the fact that there is some evidence for this in Upper-and Middle Italy. Accessories of traditional dress as buriral gifts, here in form of a so-called ‘heavily-profiled; fibula in the female burial 3, are also found in Celtic influenced areas, including Northern Italy. The 23 cm iron knife from the male burial 5 can perhaps be interpreted as hunting weapon and thus a status symbol in Celtic tradition. In any case, the addition of personal items in a burial are connected to Celtic believes of the after-life of a rebirth according to standards of the present life, or similar (Meyer 2003, 635). The inclusion of animal shaped terracotta figurines finally, was mainly practiced from Middle Gaul to Gallia Belgica, apart from Raetia. South of Gaul, on the other hand, anthropomorphic figurines, mainly deities, dominate. A glazed cup which is decorated with appliqués probably originated in Middle Gaul (Burial 3). Since such vessels were not regularly imported to Raetia, this is most likely the result of an individual gift, which could possibly point to the region of origin of the buried. The adoption of numerous elements of the burial cult as practiced in Italy with simultaneous maintenance of Celtic ideas could indeed speak for a family which had immigrated from Gaul during the early imperial period. Reversely, there are no indications for a –so far not definable- indigenous tradition.

What does the observation of the tumulus from Kempten and the mausoleum (if reconstructed correctly) from Unterfahlheim teach us? Firstly, new questions- as is often the case with archaeology- are raised, especially in conjunction with a building inscription, which probably came from the burial monument. This dates to the first half of the second century and is unfortunately not known in its context (tumulus or mausoleum?), but it has the decisive advantage that it monumental inscription (titulus) is preserved. Because of this and a further inscription the rise of a family of the Raetian provincial aristocracy can be traced back to the Claudian-Neronian period, which is unique for Raetia. The inscription in question is the originally 2 m high funerary inscription of Claudius Paternus Clementianus from Epfach, which was assembled from several blocks, of the only known equestrian from Raetia, who made his career in the imperial administration and who left the Roman civil service in 130 AD (Dietz 1985). The inscription is only partly preserved as parts of spoils from the late Roman fortification wall on the Lorenzberg above Epfach, however, it can be reconstructed without doubt, with aid of a statue base, which was also found there, which was possibly erected in from of the sepulcrum and which reproduces the complete career (Kraft 1964; AE 1968; Bakker 2005).

[---? / Cl(audius) P]aternus Cleme[n]/[tian(us)] proc(urator) Au[g(usti)] / [provinciarum Iudaeae, Sardiniae, Africae et Norici]? / praef(ectus) eq(uitum) alae Silia[nae] / torquatae c(ivium) R(omanorum) / trib[un]us mi[litum] / leg(ionis) [XI Claud(iae)] / [praef(ectus) coh(ortis) I Cla]ssicae [monumentum vivus oder sibi et suis vivus o. ä.] fecit.

Translation: ‘Claudius Paternus Clementianus had [this building] erected [during his lifetime for himself and his family]. He (was in his last office) imperial procurator (of the equestrian order) in the provinces Iudaea, and (afterwards) Noricum. Before this (he was) an administrator of the provincial treasury of Sardinia and (afterwards) in Africa (proconsularis), (before) commander of the 500 men strong cavalry unit ‘Siliana’ (named after its first commander), decorated with an honorary wrath (which soldiers with Roman citizenship were given as for honours), (before) military tribune of the XI legion Claudia and (at the beginning of his career) commander of the 1. Naval Cohort.

The funerary inscription of his mother (presumably from a further grave monument) also confirms that this man’s home was Raetia. She was the daughter of a man with the Celtic name Indutus. This titulus reveals that the grandparents were either indigenous Vindelici or at that they came at least came from a Celtic-Gaulish influenced region (IBR 87; Kraft 1964).

Cl(audiae) Indut[i f(iliae)] / Clementi[nae?] / Cl(audius) Paternus / Clementian[us] / proc(urator) Aug(usti) / matri. –‘For his mother Claudia Clementina, daughter of Indutus, Claudius Paternus Clementianus, imperial procurator (of Noricum) built this monument.

Presumably Claudia Clementina received the Roman citizenship together with her husband, the father of the procurator during the reign of either the emperor Claudius or Nero. Claudius is known for the fact that he raised leading members of the Gaulish civitates into the equestrian order. Is it possible that the clients of the grave monuments from Kempten and Unterfahlheim, which are not known by name, were favoured in the same period with privileges of personal rights? And if this is the case, were these people members of the indigenous aristocracy of the Vindelici or were they immigrants from Gaul? The answer to this question is presently being hotly disputed by scholars (Zanier 2004, 240-242).

The grave monuments of more or less prosperous inhabitants of the provinces a social class below these Raetian prominents are a lot more modest. The contexts of Kempten have already been addressed above, further examples for fencing walls come from Brigantium/ Bregenz (Faber 2001, 3100 and Gontia/ Günzburg (Czysz 2002). Further examples of exedrae can be found in the cemeteries of these places, which can rather be interpreted as ‘architectural citation’s based upon their size and position inside the cemetery than as serious evidence for honorary graves. It is not as yet certain in what way the foundations of the grave monument at Günzburg which measures 7 x 6,5 m can be reconstructed.

In its interior four cremations were discovered, which makes it possible to reconstruct the grave monument as a variant of the usual fencing walls as in Unterfahlheim. However, in this case, a central monument would be missing. Attention should be paid to an alternative reconstruction suggestion as a grave temple or columbarium (dove-cote) with a dome-shaped roof , in which urns were put in niches and on shelves (Fasold/Weber 1985, 199; Czysz 2002, 161). There are parallels from Ostia and Rome, for open as well as roofed columbaria. This idea was inspired by the find of a portrait bust of limestone in the Danube near Günzburg. Edge acroters with volute decoration show that the small rectangular foundation walls on the cemetery street at Günzburg could have included temple-like super-structures or chapels (aediculae or memoriae).

Traces of carriage wheels on the stone foundations show that the grave monuments fell already victim to stone robbery during Late Antiquity. The cemetery at Günzburg shows clearly that stone grave monuments stood side by side on the ‘best places’ along the street front, whereas the lesser graves with fencing trenches came behind- either because the families could not afford ‘first row’ places or because they were built in a later period. A wooden memoria was also discovered in this area, which was built on top of four pillars. Two similar wooden grave monuments were also found in the cemetery of the road stations of Sontheim/ Brenz (Nuber/ Schaub 1991, 175f.).

The half-round foundation of 4,5 diameter in the cemetery at Bregenz is more difficult to reconstruct (as the aedicule?), since a stone porch appears to be missing and it is furthermore not facing the street. It is most likely that it can be reconstructed as an aedicula built with mortar, in which statues were possibly displayed. It could be the case that the accompanying grave garden was not recognised during previous excavations. Similar combinations are, for instance, known from Gallia Belgica. The will of a prosperous Gaul, the so-called ‘Testament of the Lingonian’ (CIL XIII 5708) provides that in a stone exedra a stone statue had to be erected.

The 2,1 x 2, 9 foundations of a memorial chapel with an exedra was excavated in the vicus of the cemetery at Dambach (Ldkr. Ansbach) on the Raetian limes, however, this tomb was only built during the first half of the third century AD (Leja/ Thoma 1990). A 4,2 x 4,6 m grave house with apsis on the cemetery street of Sontheim/ Brenz can be added to this context, in which centre a splendidly equipped female burial was situated (Schaub 1990, 160). This is dated to the second century.


A different East

Grave monuments and funerary customs display marked differences in the eastern half of Raetia. Secondary burials in prehistoric grave mounts were practice until the second century there. On top of that, new grave mounts were also raised, for example Mount B in the necropolis of Niedererlbach (Ldkr. Landshut), in the Isar Valley near the major route Augsburg-Moos-Burgstall, under which a tile panel grave was situated (Faber/ Koch 2004). In the western parts of the province, smaller grave mounts encircled by circular ditches are not unknown (e.g. Kempten, Oberpeiching), however, they are only encountered sporadically compared to the East.

Even if the stone surface is badly preserved the existence of former mounts of up to 7-8 m diameter can be reconstructed based upon the wide gaps between the graves. The middle part of the necropolis of Erdgolding (Ldkr. Landshut), which consists of 91 graves, there is a 4,7 m grave mount around grave 50, which is surrounded by a stone wreath (Struck 1996, 183). Since this stone setting on a rubble foundation was not able to carry very heavy weights similar to a true tambour of a tumulus it was probably a low, dry-wall encircling wall.

This extension phase with usage of stone dates to the late second or early third century AD. The assumption that the preference for mounts, no matter if as secondary or new burials, was influenced by the Roman tumuli, is probably justified. In any case, there was no such indigenous-pre-Roman tradition, in spite of the fact that grave mounts of the latest Iron Age (LT D2) have been discovered in Högersthausen (Ldkr. Freising). Their rectangular post ditches are reconstructed as wall support for a mount, in any case. Judging by the burial gifts found there, the deceased persons stood in contact with the ‘Germanic’ culture on the other side of the Danube (Gebhard 2004).

This secondary burial custom in or under mounts was also practiced by the so-called ‘Heimstetten group’, which can be defined by inhumations with unique traditional dress gifts in female burials and weapon gifts in male burials in the Upper Bavarian-Suebian foothills of the Alps c. 30-60 AD (Keller 1984). The controversy regarding the origin of these people- indigenous or re-settlers from the central Alps (‘Raetians’) is still existent. It has also been suggested that these people can be identified with the first wave of recruiting of Raetian and Vindelicicohorts. The inventory of a male burial with cingulum buckle under a grave mount of 5 m diameter on the Via publica Augusta from Augusta Vindelicum/ Augsburg to Iuvavum/ Salzburg near Munich-Feldmoching strengthens this argument (Mackensen 1987, 159f.).

Establishment- grave monuments of the second and early third centuries

The next ‘generation’ of grave monuments, which can be dated by burial gifts can only be grasped from c. AD 100. Monstrous stone monuments remain mainly restricted to larger urban settlements and their surrounding countryside (Kempten, Augsburg, Epfach and from the late second century Regensburg), the shores of the Danube and the limes area. Almost always the monuments are situated on the major routes and crossroads, as for example in the area of the Danube crossings near Donauwörth (IRB 226; Czysz 1999, 52) and Neuburg. Some vicus-cemeteries in the foothills of the Alps never had a grave monument, not even in form of trench fencing, as for example the necropolis of Schwabmünchen, in spite of the fact that it counts 251 burials. This must have been due to the relatively simple life-style of the vicus of otters and also the lack of suitable building material to import, which is also reflected by the lack of stone buildings in the settlement. In spite of the fact that the seat of the governor had been transferred to Augsburg in this period, and Cambodunum was stagnant in its development, there are still testimonies of splendid grave architecture in the area. A 5 x 5 massive foundation block of several stone layers found at the Kaufbeurer Strasse, which has been uncovered c. 600 m north of the settlement border of Cambodunum, falls into this category. On a flat hill plateau on the cross-point between the major route Kempten-Augsburg and the Roman settlement ‘Bühl’, this monument would have been visible from afar.

An urn grave was immediately connected to the backside of the foundations, which is very likely identifiable with the foundation grave of this (family?) monument. Similar context constellations are discussed in the chapter on grave monuments in Lower Germany. The burial gifts allow a dating of the burial and monument to c. 100 AD.

Since no architectural remains have been found, only speculative statements can be proposed about the appearance of the monument. The examples of similarly built and dimensioned grave monument foundations in the German provinces and in Gallia Belgica show that it is possible that it was a mausoleum of the same type as the Poblicius-monument in Cologne. It cannot be excluded that it was a pillar monument, however, in this case this would be the earliest example in the province.

Another find also documents that more luxurious grave monuments may be expected in the area of Kempten from the early second century AD: c. 50 km north of Kempten, also on the River Iller, the late antique fortress of Caelius Mons/ Kellmünz is situated. In its walls several torsi of life-size clothed statues were found, which were built into the wall secondarily, which originally were very likely grave statues of a temple-like structure of one (or possibly more) mausoleum/s or which was erected on a grave temple without base. The four dressed statues and a statue in a toga (CSIR I1 No. 181-185) were sculptures of South Tyrolean marble of exceptional quality, which can be compared to the quality of Italian works of art.


The assumption that the statues were imported from Italy seems justified. The female torso with a high belt and knotted sleeves, which followed the examples of Hellenistic dressed statues, indicates this.

The depiction of a noble lady with lap dog is so also so far unique in Raetia.

The donator of these statues can probably be found amongst the politically and economically influential families of Cambodunum. The demonstrative exhibition of the Roman toga presumably highlighted the legal status of Roman citizenship. It is not certain where the statues were positioned. A mausoleum, such as the one in the ‘Kaufbeurer Strasse’ is a possible location. Together with the torsi two marble portrait busts were found (CSIR I, 1 No. 186-187), which undoubtedly have a religious context. If they shared a location originally, it is more likely that this was a walk-in grave temple without a foundation base or a columbarium. The ground plan of a building which could fit this description theoretically was situated in the north section of the cemetery street ‘Keckwiese’, which can be dated to the second century based upon the cross-sectors with older burials (Faber 1998, 166f.). it is not certain, however, if this rectangular building with an ante-chamber had a roof, which would have been necessary if there were statues. Walk-in underground grave chambers like on the Lower Rhine or in Gallia Belgica, which could also be taken into consideration as locations for statues (for example Cologne-Weiden) are missing here. Furthermore, the question if the statues were brought directly from Kempten c. 300 AD can not be answered as of today. Alternatively, it is being considered if the original location of the statues was the burial district of a rich country villa near Kellmünz. However, an adequate settlement context could so far not be localised there. There are examples from the countryside around Augsburg that members of the urban upper class preferred to be buried near their country estates, for example Stadtbergen and Wehringen (see below). Based upon stylistic criteria, the sculptures from Kellmünz are dated to the early second century, and earlier date is seen as unlikely.

At least in the northern part of Raetia, mausoleum building began as early as the second century AD, whereas they were already replaced by pillar graves during the Flavian period in the Rhineland. Since almost a hundred years the fragment of a toga-statue, two architrave fragments and an ante capital of the Ionian-Corinthian order are known from Großorheim near Harburg in the southern Nördlinger Ries (Wagner 1973, No. 214-216). The mausoleum was finally excavated in 2006.

A toga statue, which is preserved with the exception of the head and lower arms was discovered in Nassenfels (Ldkr. Eichstätt) in the area of a cemetery on the road leading to Kösching in a secondary context (CSIR I,1, No. 231). The chapel of St. Nicholas in this location is built on the foundations of a (large) Roman grave monument, perhaps a mausoleum. Several further fragments of stone portrait statues have been found in various locations, for example at Augsburg (CSIR I,1 No. 76), Hitzhofen (Ldkr. Eichstätt, probably carried from Pfünz (CSIR I,1 No 225) or Rennertshofen (Ldkr. Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Rieder 1984). Based upon unknown or secondary find contexts in these cases one cannot distinguish without doubt between funerary or public honorary statues.

The correlation between finds and context appears possible but has not been verified. A prestigious building must also have been borne by the massive foundation base built of stone blocks above the fort and vicus of Aalen (Ostalbkreis). Neither burials nor architectural fragments have been recorded, thus, the interpretation of the building is disputable. Because of its exposed position on a hill on the cross-roads of the Rems and Kocher valleys it was most likely a grave monument or a honorary monument (Luik 1994, 269-271). The pillar graves of the so-called ‘Igeler Säule’ type from near Trier stand out because of their wealth of architectural fragments and are found in the northern area of the province but are not encountered in alpine Raetia as of this date (Gauer 1978). In contrast to this type, which is 23 m high and in contrast to similar the monuments in the Rhine provinces the Raetian ones are considerably smaller and measure 10-11 m at most, usually 4-7.

As of today, two almost complete pillar graves have been found at Augsburg, which were situated on the funerary road north of the town. They collapsed during a flooding of the river Wertach and were submerged. The blocks of stone and architectural fragments were partly rediscovered when the gravel was quarried. We are dealing with a monumental marking of the family grave of Titus Flavius Martialis (IBR 123), about who’s social status nothing is said, unfortunately, and of the imperial cult priest (sevir Augustalis) and –as he stresses himself- freeborn legal scholar (pragmaticus) Marcus Aurelius Carus (Bakker 1998).

The pillar tombs usually consisted of six or seven sculpted lime stone blocks, which were usually plugged with lead clamps. The 7 m high Carus pillar is so far the largest example from Augsburg and consisted of nine architectural parts. The foundations were usually solid, deep, cast wall blocks, as have been uncovered in the eastern cemetery at Faimingen (Fasold/ Weber 1985, 198; Fasold/ Hüsser 1985, 293). A 4 x 4 m grave monument foundation Sontheim/ Brenz is said to have carried a building structure of at least 8 m height. The 1 m broad foundation walls were at least 1,1 m deep (Hagendorn/ Nuber/ Scheuerbrand 1993, 199). The lime stone for the relief-decorations of the architectural parts was largely brought from the Suebian Alb. Besides, relief-and inscription panels show that some pillars were built with mortar and plastered. This solution was not only logistically superior but surely also cheaper. 18th century engravings appear to reproduce the stumps of such pillars, built with brick and mortar. These probably still stood erect in this period, since their substance was less popular as building materials as the lime stone slabs of their panelling (Bakker 1985, 204 f.) Possible examples are the ‘shepherd relief’ from Epfach as well as the ‘dolphin relief’ with fitting plug-hole from Passau (dolphins were seen as messengers from the underworld in the Roman period).

The actual burials were either situated beside these buildings or-which cannot be attested archeologically- in perhaps once existing niches in the interior of the monument. In Augsburg and its surrounding area so far the majority of examples for this grave monument type were found. There are spoils of c. 30 different pillars. The coronation with Cubic capitals of the Corinthian order are evolving as characteristic types for (west-) Raetian grave pillars, an exclusive variant being the so-called ‘seasons Capital’ (Schromm 2003), which carries a stone pine cone. The latter must still have been frequently visible in medieval and early modern Augsburg, since they made their entrance to the Augsburg City code of arms. Since these top stones were hardly suitable as secondary building material in later periods, they often remained in the location after a monument had been dismantled. Thus, their existence gives archaeologists information about the distribution of pillar tombs, on top of which they were usually situated (with the exception of some cases which were on top of tumuli). Thus, several pine cones found near the forts at Heidenheim and Aalen allow to conclude that there as a correlation between grave monuments and the local families of veterans of Ala II Flavia milliaria, the strongest and rank-highest unit in the province until 170/180 AD. An c. 1m lime stone pine cone from the ‘Albhochfläche’ near Heidenheim –Großkuchen (‘Härtsfeld’), which was secondarily used as anvil during the migration period, proves that there was a localised villa in an area, which had previously been interpreted as inhospitable.

A further main focus of the distribution concentrates on Castra Regina/ Regensburg. The remains of at least four pillars are known from there, which were named after the mythological scenes on the preserved relief panels, the ‘Ajax pillar’, the ‘Aegis pillar’, the ‘Hercules-pillar’ and the ‘funerary meal pillar’. The first two had a total height of 10-11 m. An important indication for the determination of heights are the sizes of the relief figures on the upper floor, from which conclusions about the total proportions can roughly be drawn (Gauer 1978, 79; Schmidts 2003, 84)

The area of origin and distribution of this grave monument type is the Mosel area. It is justly assumed that the knowledge about these pillar graves was acquired from Treveri merchants, which were settled in the Augsburg and Regensburg area and which probably profited from trading with Italy (Gauer 1978, 88). The Treveran Sextus Attonius Privatus, who was a sevir Augustalis and who donated a temple renovation at Augsburg (IBR 108) was probably one of these. The assumed initial spark through imported examples of single immigrants from Gallia Belgica becomes more likely, since southern Upper Germany is a gap on the distribution map and thus, no continuous distribution could have been the case. In Noricum, pillar graves are considerably more scarce (Kremer 2001, 352-356).

A further grave monument type, which occurrence within Raetia is also restricted to Augsburg are niche grave monuments (CSIR I,1 No. 18-21). Typical for these are over-dimensional stele on a base, which relief’s show married couples in rough life size. Together with the pillar tombs, they seem to have been imported from Gallia Belgica.
When studying the grave monument inscriptions from Augsburg (no matter from which building type), it becomes noticeable that we are always dealing with carriers of two or three names, and thus in the majority with Roman citizens. If their professions, as far as mentioned and the social rankings of the commemorated individuals, are taken into consideration one finds two imperial cult priests (seviri Augustales), one of which was the already mentioned Carus stresses explicitly that he was not a freedman but freedborn (ingenuus). Furthermore, there are three soldiers and sub-ordinate officers of the legion at Regensburg (Legio III Italica, IBR 123; 125; Bakker 1984, 112), who had died during their service, one legionary veteran and a cavalry officer (IBR 129; 134). Furthermore, there are the textile merchant (negotiator vestiarius, IBR 127) Iulius Victor, the wine merchant Pompeianus Silvius (Bakker 1985a) as well as the crimson merchant (negotiator artis purpurariae) and sevir Tiberius Claudius Euphras who reveal a source of the riches as displayed on their grave monuments. The last mentioned funerary inscription of the crimson merchant and his wife Semilia Lasciva is known as the oldest attested ground find in Bavaria, however, unfortunately it is only preserved in a copy and very fragmentary description from the 15th Century (IBR 135). Finally, one inscription names the freedman Publius Frontinus Decoratus, who acted as representative of the mining contractor of the iron mines (manceps ferrariarum) of Raetia and who worked in three Dacian provinces (Nuber 1985). The modern description of his job sounds bureaucratic, it must, however, have been lucrative. His relief-decorated sarcophagus at least indirectly attests the existence of a grave monument (or temple), in which this inscription must have been situated. In conclusion, it can be said that we are obviously dealing with a ‘second row’ of the upper classes of the municipium Augsburg, but one that was economically successful. This is further clearly attested by well known grave reliefs from Augsburg which high-light several professions.

With few exceptions (f.e Bakker 1985b, 97), the political elite of the ordo decurionum preferred to be buried in their summer residences in the vicinity of the town. The inscriptions of the decuriones municipii Aelii Augusti are worth mentioning.

Caius Iulianus Iulius from Biberbach, 18 km north of Augsburg (IBR 136);

Publius (?) Iulius Pintamus, a Spaniard from Bracaraugusta in modern Portugal, who held a position of cavalry officer (decurio alae) in his former military career and who was finally put to rest near Leutstetten north of Lake Starnberg (Radnotti 1972) and

Marcus Titius Patruelis, a Gaul by birth from the civitas Sequanorum (the area covering north-western Burgundy and Western Switzerland), who’s titulus was chiselled into the church of Grundremmingen on the Danube (Ldkr. Günzburg) (Dietz/ Weber 1982, 411).

The titulus of Flavius Vettius Titus, a civil servant of the provincial tax office (advocates fisci Raetici) was discovered 8 km west of the town near Derching. The exceptional situation of the Wehringer Grablegen will be discussed below.


A fresh breeze from the South?- The arrival of the legion

The Marcomannic wars brought severe changes to the province, since the Legio III Italica was stationed in the newly constructed legionary fortress at Regensburg in 179 AD at the latest. Thus, Raetia received another metropolis in addition to Augsburg. This region had played no role in the development of grave monuments so far. The question obviously arises, what changes the new recruits, which, according to sources, came from Italy, brought to the Danube region. It shall be said from the start, that very obvious innovations were not the case, which was slightly different from the situation on the Rhine in the early first century AD. In Italy herself the mania to construct monumental grave buildings was already diminishing in the second century. One of the innovations introduced by the legionaries are definitely the grave stele with gable- and portrait friezes, in which the persons named in the inscription were depicted side by side as busts or half-figures (Kockel 1993).

The memory of Italian grave monuments with such portrait friezes may well have influenced this variant of stele. In comparison, the deceased family members of the upper floor blocks of the pillar graves at Augsburg are also depicted side by side but as full figures, which is more likely to be the result of influences by the niche grave monuments of Gaul.

It is certainly too much to speculate that the peculiar building style combinations of the monuments at Wehringen c. 200 AD (see below) were stimulated by the contact with soldiers of the first generation of Legio III Italica, since there is no certain evidence for this. However, because of the enormous economic power of the legion, a definite quantitative increase of already established grave monument types, especially grave pillars and funerary altars, is recognisable. Strictly speaking, one could even argue that grave pillars in the province cannot securely be dated to before 170/180 AD. This also applies to the pillars from Augsburg, which origin, nevertheless, as already stated, can be traced back to Gaulish immigrants rather than legionaries. Similarly, funerary altars were already known in Raetia upon the arrival of the legion; however their quantity (and size?) increased after 180 AD in particular and probably even only during the first half of the third century AD. It is worth noting that several of altars were set by individuals of Greek-speaking origin, which is also the case with the funerary altars of Lower Germany.

Without question, the legion was the cause of an economic upturn for the province, which is also expressed in grave monuments. Nevertheless, there are noticeable differences between the metropoleis Augsburg and Regensburg. While there are numerous architectural fragments of grave monuments from the areas of the cemeteries of Regensburg (v. Schnurbein 1977, 253-259), they are almost completely lacking from the surrounding countryside. The upper class in Regensburg must therefore have been predominately buried in the town, which means it remained within its location (Schmidts 2003, 87). A further difference manifests itself in the preference of certain pictorial programmes. This becomes obvious when regarding the military themes of the reliefs from Regensburg, for example the ‘horse presentation’ (CSIR I,1 No. 386), which is displayed on cavalry tombstones from the Rhine during the Flavian period and which was already ‘out of date’ in 200 AD. The grave stele of urban Roman imperial cavalry bodyguards (equites singulares) kept these variant of this cavalry representation for longer.

It has already been mentioned that in Augsburg scenes of every-day life prevail, whereas in Regensburg mythological scenes played a more important role (Kempchen 1995). In contrast to the hinterland of Trier, where mythological scenes went into regression from the middle of the second century AD, they persist in the area of Regensburg into the early third century AD. Different influences on the two locations by civilian trade and by the military were probably responsible for this development. Nevertheless, in Augsburg mythological scenes are not completely lacking and it is worth mentioning a dancing satyr (CSIR I,1 No. 66), a Bacchantian procession (op.cit. No 62), as well as the struggle of Odysseus and his comrades against the Skylla (op.cit. No 69). Family scenes and meals of the dead, which were virtually standard in Gallia Belgica and in the Rhineland, were scarcer in Raetia but the few examples were distributed equally in Augsburg and Regensburg. There are indications for further development: a relief from Regensburg displays some very crude humour in view of death, which normally demands piety, by reinterpreting the funerary banquet as a tavern scene, in which one participant pulls the dress of a lady or even pinches her bottom (CSIR I,1 No. 383)! Roman grave monuments also strife to depict the living and were usually built during life time (vivus fecit/ vivi fecerunt).

A different standard theme of grave monument reliefs on the Rhine is hunting scenes, which can be associated with an aristocratic life-style. In Raetia, there is an example on a relief block on a pillar grave in Risstissen on the one hand, and on the other hand, six skeletons of dogs were found buried beside a grave monument foundation in Sontheim/ Brenz. Presumably, they were burial gifts representing hunting dogs (Nuber 1992, 200). The old parish church of Risstissen (Alb-Donau-Kreis) includes three further relief-blocks besides the hunting relief (of the same monument?) with mythological scenes. They depict Apollo and Daphne as well as Apollo and Hercules in their quarrel over the tripod.

Full plastic grave monument decoration in shape of apotropaic figures (e.g lions, sphinxes, griffons: CSIR I,1 No. 392ff ff.) and was also distributed on the cemeteries of Raetia. Mythological figure groups (f.e. Ganymed and Aeneas groups), on the other hand, are not know from funerary contexts as yet, in contrast to Cologne, Gallia Belgica and Upper Germany.

Altars and grave pillars, more exactly: fragments of such (e.g. scaled roofs , capitals and pine cone), were largely combined with each other in Raetia from the second half of the second century. The spectrum of typically Raetian and also Eastern Norican ‘small and smallest’ pillars includes altars with scaled roofs or gables or pine cone coronations. The definition of, ‘grave monument’ (compare grave monuments in Lower Germany) has to be pushed to the limits of the justifiable here, if grave stones which consisted at most of two building components are to be taken into consideration. It is possible that the evolution of such monuments –in Raetia and in Noricum- coincides with the arrival of the legion.


One of the main problems is that the loosely found inscription blocks cannot always be securely attributed to grave altars or pillars. Edge acroters on the upper parts of altars are doubtlessly an influence from Italy, which echoed into Raetia and more intensely Noricum. The Raetian enthusiasm for combining also spread to other types of monuments. Thus, the fragment of a scale roof is not necessarily merely identifiable with a grave monument, as is the case elsewhere. The well-known altar from Augsburg for Sol Elagabal attest this (CSIR I,1 No. 28).

Climax- the splendid grave monuments from Wehrigen

The undoubtedly most spectacular Raetian necropolis is the one at a Roman villa( ?) near Wehrigen, c. 15 km south of Augsburg, situated on a road, which went c. 4,5 km north-west parallel to the Via Claudia. This is the case with the burial gifts in the graves as well as with the five grave monuments, which are at present the largest in Raetia (Nuber/ Radnoti 1969; Nuber 2000). The monument which has the largest ground plan, Grave Monument III is estimated to have measured more than 10 m (Fasold/ Weber 1985, 199). It dates to the period from AD 200. The fact that the foundations display clear break marks, high-lights that this was valuable stone material to be gained. The preserved contexts are disappointing, consisting mainly of robber trenches of the foundations; however, a reconstruction based upon architectural fragments, which were partly found in the filled ditch and partly incorporated in the walls of the church at Wehringen, can be accepted as plausible. Whereas the border walls consisted of lime tuff, the raw material of the for the limestone, which was decorated with reliefs, must have been transported from over 80 km from the area of the Suebian Alb.

Four of the grave monuments were tumuli with round or polygonal border wall, which were topped by half-roller-formed top stones. Facing the street, two storey-mausolea or over-dimensional altars were built in front of the monuments. Architectural elements were combine here, which is unique south and north of the Alps. The upper floor in form of a round temple (tholos) of grave monument III has no parallels in Raetia and even in the Rhine provinces there are hardly any (possibly in Xanten, compare also grave monuments in Lower Germany). Canopy grave monuments from Noricum, on the other hand, are usually smaller and are rectangular (Kremer 2001, 127-148). The second mausoleum with a narrow tambour is unique within and currently without parallels in Raetia.

But how can one categorize the reversed tumuli of up to 11,2 m diameter? Could they be a revival of the 150 year older ‘indigenous’ burial mounts of the ‘Heimstetten’ Group, an architecturally highlighted expression of an aristocratic taste for Classical, Late Republican-Early Imperial understanding of tumuli as honorary grave or simply an eclectic architectural choice? Presumably, all three factors played a role. The lining up of several tumuli is non-classical and does remind indeed of the burial mount group of the ‘Heimstetten Group’. Circular graves of stone are otherwise unique exceptions in Raetia, other than in Gallia Belgica or the Middle Rhine area. On top of the above mentioned example from Kempten it is worth mentioning another smaller circular grave of about 3m diameter on the cemetery street of Phoebiana/ Faimingen, which does not, however, take a very prominent position within the cemetery. (Fasold/ Hüssen 1985, 288 and 293). A further 23 graves joined these grave monuments without monumental elements. Since the graveyard has not been excavated completely, H.U. Nuber proposes that there were 100-200 graves, which is a considerable size, if we are indeed dealing with a villa cemetery. A longer period of use or a very large villa could be the cause of this. A group of male burials with weapons from c. 100 AD belongs are the eldest. The remaining burials follow in a hiatus of two to three generations, thus it has to remain open for the moment if the weapon graves can be identified with the founding generation of the estate or if there was no connection to the later grave monument clients (Nuber 1985a). For the moment, we can maintain that the building of grave monuments only began c. 200 AD. A group of individuals accustomed with Celtic after-life believes is documented by their enormous luxury of burial gifts. It would go beyond the scope of this study to attempt to list all finds, for this the specific literature can be consulted (Nuber 2000). The female burial alone included 200 items, including furniture, a wooden litter or rather its remaining metal parts, extensive and partly elaborately decorated dishes of metal and wood as well as clothes with gold threading. The cremation in the glass urn was wrapped into a silk cloth. The urn stood in a stone ossuarium at the chronological height of this Roman trend. Each of the tumuli only contained one grave with the exception of one grave monument with rectangular, open fencing which contained two. The inhumation of a personal physician as well as obvious further servants (slaves?) at his side highlight the economic power of the family from Wehrigen. The relative vicinity to the provincial capital makes it likely that we are dealing with the country estate of an economically and socially leading family, for example family members of the ordo decurionum. It cannot be decided without doubt if a folding chair from grave 13 can be interpreted as sella curulis and thus as official seat of office for a person of authority or merely as a symbol of a generally high social rank. Of course, other influential and rich social circles could also be taken into consideration. For example, a wall in Stadtbergen, south of Augsburg the grave contains the altar of a merchant (negotiator) (IBR 141). Surely, the area had other such ‘summer residences’ of rich city-dwellers at Augsburg. Only about 3 km from Wehrigen in Oberottmarshausen the so far largest pine cone in Raetia was found (CSIR I,1, No. 122). In preserved condition the fragment measures 129 cm and has a width of 91 cm, originally it was probably 150 cm high. It is well imaginable that it surmounted a tumulus or pillar grave. However, one cannot exclude the possibility that this architectural decoration was brought from Wehringen.

‘Middle Class’- Fencing and house-form grave monuments

The timeless form of fencing of open grave gardens remained the most common grave monument type during the second and first half of the third century AD and according to taste or financial power it consisted of a stone wall, wooden fence or simple ditch. Here, the family remained undisturbed while it commemorated the deceased in periodical memorial ceremonies. As an example for other contexts, the finds from Kempten (c. 100 AD) and Oberpeiching, south of the mouth of the river Lech are illustrated here.

The grave garden at Oberpeiching has another unusual feature, in the sense that in its interior neither a burial nor a trace of a grave monument could be found (Czysz 1999, 47). Perhaps the burial containers were stored above-ground here, for example in stone ossuaria, without leaving a trace on the ground. The conservation level of simple ground walls offer no reliable decision if the smaller square ground plans beneath c. 4 m side length were really open grounds or if they did carry buildings (namely grave temples, chapels or tower graves). If the building was larger, a stronger foundation would be expected due to the increased weight of the roof, however this is not absolutely necessary with smaller ground plans (c. 2 x 2 m). The type of grave monument in the interior does not offer a definite reconstruction aid either. One cannot automatically deduce the existence of a grave garden if an urn was buried in the ground, nor of a roofed columbarium if no burial was discovered in the interior, as was for example the case in Sontheim/ Brenz (Schaub 1990, 159).

The only stone grave monument of the above mentioned necropolis of Niedererlbach shows that grave-chapels-, temples and tower graves were very popular in Raetia. Due to the burial with stream sediments, its context was very well preserved. This is not only the case with the up to 90 cm high wall substance but also with remains of the collapsed brick roof in the interior, which would have eroded under other conditions or destroyed by ploughing. Thus, the walls inside the 9,5 x 10 m encircling wall derive without doubt from a building, which had been constructed as a tower grave following examples from Noricum (Christlein/ Weber 1980). The building was constructed during the second century AD and was in usage until the middle of the third.

A similar double ground plan from the first half of the third century from the cemetery of Veldidena/ Innsbruck-Wilten could be interpreted in a similar light, in spite of the bad level of preservation (Heitmeier 2005, 67).

The four almost square strips of foundations within the villa necropolis of Mochwangen in Upper Suebia, which was enwalled (29 x 25 m) were also very likely grave chapels (memoriae) (Meyer 2003, 579-581). Seven cremations are distributed amongst them, which date to AD 100-160 AD and which are therefore evidence for three generations.

The chapels were probably only slightly higher than the encircling wall, so that they would not have had a very prestigious effect. Their topographical position on a minor connection route of Upper Suebia would not have been an ideal setting for representative purposes in any case. The installation reproduces more likely the character of a private domus aeterna and family memorial. Here also, the wealth of Celtic-type burial gifts contrasts the Italian facade of the monuments. The iron poles of a folding chair belong to the furnishing of a female burial. In spite of the fact that it must have had a prestigious worth, this was hardly a Classical sella curulis. We can speculate if the family played an important political or social role in the administrative district of Brigantium/ Bregenz. As in the synchronous graves from Wehrigen or the older male burials of the ‘Heimstetten Group’, the ‘un-Roman’ weapon gifts are worth noting. Since one of them was a shield we can interpret these as military rather than hunting weapons. Depending on which importance is given to the metal fittings of a drinking horn, which also found, this could be seen as a Germanic element. Weapon graves, however, were distributed up to the southern Alps, as for example the already –mentioned early imperial grave chambers of Minusio-Cadra (see above). Thus, no definite origin of immigration can be determined for the inhabitants of this villa, nor can we definitely argue for an autochthonous component.

While similarly sized memoriae and columbariae in Italy had places to store the urns above ground (niches etc..), the human remains were buried here, as well as elsewhere in Raetia in the ground floor of the building: this aspect as well as the rich burial gifts highlight that we are dealing with a combination of Italian building type and indigenous burial rite. The marble inscription plate, which has been crafted out of an architectural spoil, of 40-year-old deceased Sicna confirms the Gallo-Belgic roots because of the name. Similar to Italian examples, the inscription would have been fixed over the door. It reads:

Sicna Cr/ispini f(ilia)/ vix(it) an(nos) XL/ Proc(ulus?) mar(itus) m(erenti) f(ecit)- ‘Sicna, daughter of Crispinus (lies buried here). She lived 40 years. Proculus (?), her husband had (this monument) built for his well-deserving (wife).

On the aerial photography of a villa with enwalled cemetery (Ldkr. Heidenheim), the cemetery shows similarities to the one at Mochenwangen.

Grave-chapels or-temples of the Niedererlbach- and Mochenwangen-type belong to the most frequent grave monument form of Raetia. On top of the already introduced contexts from Günzburg there are corresponding ground plans of the second and third centuries know from the burial road of the road station Sontheim/Brenz (Ldkr. Heidenheim) on the Donauordstrasse (Nuber/Schaub 1991, 174 with a note on the roof tiles), on the Donausuedstrasse south of Oberpeiching (Czysz 1999, 53) as well as the cemetery of the fort vicus Pfünz (ORL B 73, 17).In neighbouring Noricum these grave chapels were even more frequent. In Noricum their differentiation from more simple types of fencing is more easy than in Raetia because of inner walls with marble panelling as well as single cases of evidence for wooden or clay floors (Kremer 2001, 357-359).

Square to rectangular inscription plates are much more frequent than in the Rhine provinces and also speak for a popularity of such monuments in Raetia. Their sizes vary from 30 x 40 cm (Mochenwangen) to 122 x 54 cm (Pförrig, IBR 264).

However, this is not certain, since other monument types, especially grave pillars which were plastered and dressed in relief panel, could also have carried such inscriptions. The combination of context and ground plan as encountered in Mochenwangen is informative but so far unique in the province. Usually, inscription panels or their fragments have been reused as spoils, for example in late antique fortresses or medieval churches. If the inscription panels are grouped according to the thickness of the stone two groups can be discerned roughly, which could be described as panels (less than 30 cm) or blocks (more than 30 cm). However, this does not really help the attempt to attribute them to building types.
Some long rectangular inscription panels or blocks have frames in shape of a tabula ansata, which was usually used by the military. Two of these monuments were constructed for officer veterans (Kirchheim am Ries, IBR 304 ex centurione legionis III Italica and Pförring, IBR 264 ex decurione alae Aurianae), four further ones from Günzburg, Epfach and one of Vitalius Vigor from Augsburg. The latter cannot be evaluated due to their size or rather loss of text. The 60 x 90 m tabula ansata from the Günzburger Gräberstrasse also includes a plug-like attachment, with which the inscription was obviously fixed to the ground. No other such use as horizontal grave stele is known from Raetia. If this shaft had not been preserved, the titulus would undoubtedly have been attributed to a grave monument. The original inscription is, unfortunately, lost, as well a the tabula ansata from Epfach (IBR 89), which was used secondarily as a grave stele during the third century AD. If this, as is assumed, comes from a grave monument, this would have been eroded or destroyed during this time.

In two cases the inscription records sums of money, which were paid for the respective grave monuments. The imperial treasurer of Raetia (advocates fisci Raetici) Flavius Titus spent 14000 sestertias on his grave monument in Augsburg (IBR 176). A citizen from Augsburg, the decurio Publius Ceionius Laelianus gave a financial frame of 6000 sestertii in his will. Unfortunately, we do not know the prizes of building processes according to these numbers. Rough guesses can be made, if born in mind that a cavalry officer (decurio alae) earned 7000 sestertii per year, whereas a mine worker could only earn up to 480 sestertii.

Overview of the types of Raetian grave monuments

Only the very south of the province has produced evidence of grave monuments, which can be traced back to the pre-Roman Iron Age period. These more or less spacious chamber graves with living room- type interior design and burial gift niches are situated in the necropolis of Minusio- Cadra on Laggo Maggiore. The above-ground marking of these monuments is largely uncertain (grave altars or- chapels?). Walk-in grave chambers are totally lacking in Raetia, in contrast. No other stone grave monuments are known in the Raetian Alps region, however, at least in the case of Chur this seems to reflect the present research situation rather than reality.

Tumuli with mortar stone wreath occasionally date to before the Claudian period (Kempten) and were in use until the early third century (Wehrigen, Faimingen). In the urban cemetery streets of Kempten and Faimingen only one example each are known. The round building at Kempten can probably be interpreted as a kind of honorary tomb, based upon its position within the road. In the eastern half of the province, earth mounts are the only known grave monument form in the first century AD and were in use until the third century there. Stone buildings can only rarely be recognised by low encircling walls (Ergolding). Frequently, the earth mounts covered small, stone or brick, burial boxes. These were always single and not family burials. The so-called ‘Heimstetten Group’, which was characterised by inhumations with traditional dress or weapon burial gifts in the middle of the first century, also buried their deceased under mounts. Roman tumuli such as the one from Kempten, very likely served as examples, since no mount tradition can be traced back to the Late La Tène period in the foothills of the Alps. At first, secondary burials in the Hallstatt period mounts also took place. Whereas Roman tumuli were stood on their own, with the exception of the family necropolis of Wehringen where several tumuli stood beside each other, grave mounts formed small groups. The grave monuments are combined with other types (mausoleum proto-types, altars) and are, in any case, an exceptional appearance in the province. The wealth of burial gifts attests Celtic after-life believes. Two-storey mausolea with a temple top of the type of the Poblicius-monument from Cologne can only be reconstructed based upon indications. These include suitable foundations (Unterfahlheim,, Kempten, questionable: Nassenfeld and Aalen) and fragments of dressed statues, which, however, are almost always discovered outside their original context. The togatus from the Nassenfels and the statue fragments from Großorheim were discovered within the area of a cemetery and in the case of Großorheim were associated with a few architectural fragments. Other locations for such statues cannot be excluded , for example grave temples or exedrae of diverse other grave monument types (Unterfahlheim, Bregenz, Günzburg, Dambach, Sontheim/Brenz). There seems to evidence for the north of the Alps rare variant of the mausoleum with round temple in form of architectural fragments in Wehring. If the identification of these remains with mausolea is correct, they were built long into the second century in Raetia.

Pillar graves of the ‘Igeler Säule’ type were probably introduced by immigrated Treveri merchants, however, the dimensions of the name-giving example are not nearly reached. The examples from Augsburg, part of which are two almost complete ones, measured up to 7 m, some examples from Regensburg perhaps 11. These two towns were the main distribution centre for pillar graves. On top of that, they are encountered in the whole western half of Raetia, along the Danube as well as in the limes area. From the middle of the second and after the middle of the third century AD securely datable pieces of evidence are lacking. On relief depictions, if becomes obvious that the ones from Augsburg are broadly different from the Regensburg ones. Besides pillars, which were constructed from monolithic limes stone blocks, there were obviously others, which had a core that was made of cheaper material (brick, undressed stone, opus caementitium) and which were covered with relief panels.

The origin of niche grave monuments can also very likely be traced back to Easter Gaul. Their distribution is so far restricted to Augsburg. Grave altars of all forms including grave monuments in forms of altars and had their loom during the first half of the third century, but were known before that in the province. Architectural spare parts of pillar grave monuments and grave altars were combined into different micro-pillar monuments in Raetia and Noricum. This sometimes unconventional, eclectic combination of different Mediterranean architectural elements, seems to have been a characteristic of Raetian grave monument building. The majority of Raetian grave monuments were made of undressed stone. It is not always possible to reconstruct the numerous rectangular foundation ground plans as open fencing of grave gardens or as foundations of funerary temples, chapels or even pillar tombs. In some exceptional cases, the tiles are preserved as evidence for a roof (e.g. Niedererlbach). Several spoils of reused inscription panels probably originated of such grave monuments (e.g Mochenwangen).All of these grave monument forms held urns, which were either buried in the ground with the burial gifts or deposited above ground as a columbarium. Portrait busts as the ones found in Günzburg or Kellmünz also speak for the existence of columbaria.


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