Remains of a Roman library have been discovered in Cologne
During excavations in Cologne, archaeologists came across the remains of a Roman-era library. According to the researchers, this is the first Roman library on the territory of present-day Germany whose existence can be unequivocally confirmed.
Archaeologists stumbled upon the library last year during construction work of a prayer center to be built at the site ¶roof the city’s Evangelical parish. Remains of massive masonry were then discoveredow.
– At first we thought they were the remains of a public assembly hall – said Markus Trier, head of Cologne’s department for the preservation of historical monumentsow. The attention of researchers was drawn to theohowever „strange niches” inside the walls. Only after intensive research and analysis of the poronvestigating with other ancient buildings, it was determined that it was the remains of a library. Similar structures have Roman libraries in Ephesus, Alexandria or Rome. They held papyrus scrollsow.
According to the archaeologistow, the structure was erected in the 2nd century AD. The building was 20 metersoin the length and 9 metersoin the width of. It was probably two-story and also had an annexowka. It was located in the center oearly Roman settlement.
– It certainly contained a few thousand scrollsoin publicly available – explained Trier, ktory is also director of the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne.
Researchers found at the site roalso an apse and well-preserved pieces of the floor, although it is primarily the remains of fragments of theoin the walloin and the foundationow. The latter were built from a mixture of limestone sandstone and trachyte. The material is equivalent in strength to today’s concrete. Christoph Meyer, construction manager of the emerging prayer center, praised the work of his antique colleaguesow. – We could see the reflections of the shutteringoin, whichorych was used to build. The Romans, on the whole, did not build any differently than we do today – admitted.
Dirk Schmitz, who is involved in the preservation of the monumentsoin Cologne highlighted that two-meter sections of the wallow, whichore unearthed, testify that the building was an impressive. According to him, it was between 7 and 9 metersoin the height of. In the apse – polar room – there may have been a statue of – most likely of Minerva – guesses. She is the Roman goddess of art, science and wisdom.
Since the library was located in the forum – i.e., in the settlement’s market, Schmitz assumes it was built with city funds – in no way a private investor and probably also no governor residing in Cologne – believes the researcher.
A medieval baptismal font of one of the orders was also found in the ruinsow begging. Pastor Markus Herzberg hopes that the baptismal font, even if not part of the Evangelical Church, can be displayed in the church as a witness to a long Christian tradition.
The foundations of the library are to be partially opened to the public. Bonesoł Evangelical has invested one million euros to change the planoin construction to protect the found ancient library.