Landscape and archaeology



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Impor­tant roman roads in the region of Niederanven

The land­scape between Nieder­an­ven, Mens­dorf and Roodt/Syr is char­ac­terised by the flat hills of the Pseudo­mor­pho­sis Late Tri­as­sic lay­er, orig­i­nat­ing 220 mil­lions of years ago. This lay­er is formed by vari­coloured clay with gyp­sum deposit, which gives a red to a brown gray colour to the weath­ered soils. The heavy and cold mud­dy soils are often cov­ered with woods or are used as pas­tures. Typ­i­cal for this Pseudo­mor­pho­sis-Late Tri­as­sic land­scape are the so called “Mardellen”, round basins in the ground, part­ly filled with water.

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View on the Kréckelsbierg

In very old times the Keu­per land­scape was still cov­ered by the Lux­em­bourg sand­stone lay­er, which had how­ev­er been ablat­ed over mil­lions of years. The only left­over wit­ness­es of the for­mer Sand­stone lay­er are the Wid­de­bierg and the Kréck­els­bierg, pro­tect­ing the Late Tri­as­sic lay­er against erosion.

The Roman Road

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Flat undu­lat­ed moun­tain ranges are char­ac­ter­is­tic for the land­scape. The for­mer Roman road between Mens­dorf and Nieder­an­ven today is an appre­ci­at­ed bicy­cle lane.

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A tomb­stone with roman inscrip­tions found in Hostert.

Nieder­an­ven, the for­mer Ande­thanna, was sit­u­at­ed at on of the most impor­tant Roman roads of the region. The con­nec­tion road (Kiem) between Treves and Reims came from Lux­em­bourg City over the Sen­ninger­bierg to Nieder­an­ven, where it crossed the actu­al route de Trèves, rue de Mens­dorf and rue de Muns­bach in order to con­tin­ue to the Moselle region. The Kiem had prob­a­bly been con­struct­ed dur­ing the reign of the emper­or Claudius around the year 44.

Clay bricks discoveries

04_NA_LA (1)Roman roofs were made of clay roof­ing tiles in form of a plate (tegu­lae) and a cov­er­ing tile (imbrices). The cov­er­ing tiles were rest­ing on the plates in order to keep every­thing in place on a wood­en roof rack. Only few tiles were fixed by iron nails, as the cov­er­ing tiles were fixed with mortar.In the dis­tance of this old Roman Road, between Mens­dorf and Nieder­an­ven were dis­cov­ered many of those tiles, prob­a­bly pro­vid­ing from one sin­gle out­build­ing. The tile man­u­fac­to­ries had first been run by mil­i­taries and lat­er on also by pri­vate indi­vid­u­als. The deriva­tion of the tiles can nor­mal­ly be deter­mined by the stamp put on by the manufacturer.

04_NA_LA (3)The tile dis­cov­er­ies were made on a site called “Uecht­en”. The sur­round­ing site names, often com­bined with the word “Uecht” (for exam­ple Uecht­en, Rouduecht) indi­cate us the pres­ence of a coun­try estate in the Mid­dle Ages, sub­or­di­nat­ed by the com­pul­so­ry labour. In fact those domains had most often been set up where once Roman vil­las had stood before. This is why it is sup­posed that Roman farms had been present once on this site.