U.S. military community volunteers help uncover Roman history

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They came, they dug, and they sifted through thousands of years of European history.

With construction crews chomping at the bit to lay the foundations for a new $133 million U.S. Army housing area just outside Wiesbaden Army Airfield, time is running short for German archaeologists seeking to uncover remnants of past settlements.

After having spent several months in the fall and spring sifting through soil which revealed several Roman wells, the foundations of a villa rustica (Roman farm complex) and various artifacts, members of the Hessen archaeology team put out a call for volunteers in the U.S. community to join in the documentary project.

Working from aerial photographs and knowing that thousands of Roman legionnaires were stationed nearby in the Taunus Mountains along the Limes boundary and in nearby Mainz and Mainz-Kastel, the archaeologists said they were glad to have the opportunity to prove their long-suspected speculation that Roman civilian settlements must have been located in the vicinity. An added benefit was the opportunity to unearth evidence of even earlier and later settlers in the area.

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