Martberg Gallo-Roman temple

The Martberg Gallo-Roman temple is a partial reconstruction of an ancient temple site, undertaken along with other reconstructions of the Celtic settlement in the Martberg Archaeological Park

Martberg Gallo-Roman temple

At the highest point of the Marberg, a sacred precinct existed during the Celtic era, which was expanded and modified in multiple phases during the Roman period. The earliest evidence of religious activities dates back to the mid-1st century BCE. At that time, a rectangular trench measuring 10 × 12 meters was excavated where numerous ritual objects were deposited.

In the early Roman Imperial period, the central cult site was replaced by a representative temple constructed of wood, complemented by additional temples and a rectangular enclosure. The expansion of the temple site reached its zenith in the 3rd century CE. At this point, a substantial stone colonnaded temple in Gallo-Roman style occupied the center, surrounded by three smaller temples. During the Christianization process around 400 CE, the temple precinct was abandoned, and Cardena, located below the Martberg, emerged as the new religious center.

Numerous votive offerings found during excavations bear witness to the religious practices on the Martberg. In the Late La Tène period, offerings primarily included coins, brooches, and weapons, some ritually destroyed before deposition. In Roman times, the Celtic custom of offering coins and jewelry persisted, as evidenced by thousands of coins, hundreds of brooches, and jewelry items. A new addition was the offering of numerous terracotta miniature vessels. Two inscribed stones of particular significance confirm the worship of the Treverian deity Lenus Mars within the sanctuary.

Another notable aspect of the Martberg’s findings is the immense wealth of coins, with over 10,000 coins in museum collections and countless more lost over the centuries. Approximately 2,000 of these are Celtic mintings, making the Martberg one of the key sites for the study of Celtic numismatics.

In 2004, a partial reconstruction of the temple site was undertaken, and along with other reconstructions of the Celtic settlement in the Martberg Archaeological Park, it is open to visitors. Many archaeological artifacts from Martberg research can be viewed at the Stiftsmuseum Treis-Karden and the Landesmuseum Koblenz.

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