Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
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Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’

Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’

During the Roman era, it is very likely that there had been a fort near the limes, a castellum. It must have stood where De Bijland recreation lake is today. Scientists came to this conclusion because of the military items that were found here whilst dredging the former Bylandsche Waard.

Legio I Germanica
One of the prize discoveries was a silver-plated sheath belonging to a centurion of Legio I Germanica. The Legio Germanica was one of the legions that defended the limes in this part of the Roman empire in the 1st century. During the Batavian Revolt, which was led by Julius Civilis, this legion sided with Civilis. After the revolt had ended, emperor Vespasianus punished the defectors by disbanding the legion: Legio I Germanica ceased to exist.

Fort along the dam
The castellum was named ‘Carvium’. We know this from an inscription written on a gravestone that was discovered here. This gravestone was that of Marcus Mallius, a legionnaire in the First Legion. According to the text, Mallius was buried in Carvium ad molem, which means ‘along the dam’. It is supposedly the same dam that the chieftain Drusus ordered to be constructed at the beginning of the Common Era, where the Rhine and Waal rivers forked, in order to allow more water to flow through the Rhine. The historian Tacitus reports how Julius Civilis destroyed the dam in 70 AD. The castellum was used until 275 AD, and possibly up until the 4th century.

At first glance it may seem confusing that Carvium was situated on the right bank of the Rhine as this was hostile territory. However, we need to bear in mind that the rivers Rhine and Waal had different routes back then. Two centuries ago the place where the rivers separated was much further to the east and the Waal ran north of its present course.

Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’
Tolkamer – Roman fortress ‘Carvium’

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