Archaeological prospections in the Roman vicus Belginum (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
The Roman vicus Belginum and the associated Celtic–Roman cemetery have been the subject of systematic archaeological research since 1954. Since 2004, archaeological prospections have been carried out in and around Belginum. Participants included students from the universities of Leipzig, Trier, and Munich as part of study-accompanying field work. This paper deals with the prospections of 2004 and 2016, when nearly 2 ha of land south of the federal road B327 (Hunsrückhöhenstraße) were surveyed. The study area is located on a NW-to-SE-running hillside. All non-local objects present on the surface were collected and three-dimensionally recorded. Previously in 2013, the area was geomagnetically prospected by Posselt & Zickgraf (Marburg). Both surveys revealed a hitherto unknown extent of the vicus about 200 m to the southwest. The findings date back to the late first to third centuries common era. All finds (ceramic, bricks, roof slate, glass, and metal) were recorded and analysed in a QGIS and ArcGIS environment together with lidar scans, the geomagnetic data, and other geographical information. The overall distributions of bricks and pottery were studied in detail. The distribution of bricks is in particular connected to the individual plots, while the pottery is mainly concentrated in the backyards. Regarding surveys in other Roman vici, the brick distribution could be a helpful indicator to identify plots, when no geophysical information is available.