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Archaeology And The Late Roman Frontier In Northern Gaul: The So-Called Föderatengräber Reconsidered

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Chapter Summary

One form of evidence which has been used to illuminate the 'deepening' frontiers of the late Roman Empire, and the cross cultural Roman-German "Mischzivilization" of the frontier regions is the form of lavishly furnished inhumation burials which appear in northern Gaul, the so-called Föderatengräber. In later fourth-century northern Gaul, it became increasingly common to inter the dead with more grave-goods than had previously been common, with the deceased dressed in a costume more closely related to that worn in life, even if this was more like ceremonial clothing or 'Sunday best' than everyday costume. These burials are usually found in small groups in typical late Roman cemeteries. Some, like Vermand, are associated with urban centres, others are found by villas, and others still by forts, like Oudenburg, The cemetery associated with this fort contains probably the greatest concentration of furnished burials from this horizon of north Gallic archaeology.

Keywords: archaeology; burials; Föderatengräber; Mischzivilization; North Gaul; Oudenburg; Roman frontier; Vermand



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