Ancient sanctuary of Mars unearthed in France

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(ORDO NEWS) — The team of the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research of France (Inrap) during survey work in the suburbs of the city of Rennes unearthed the ruins of an ancient Roman sanctuary dedicated to the god of war Mars.

The discovery was made in the town of La Chapelle de Fougères, a few kilometers from Rennes, on the site of which the city of Condate stood in the Roman period. Archaeologists found the first evidence of structures from the Gallo-Roman period here in 2022.

Since then, excavations have been carried out, which have brought significant results. So, the researchers have already found the remains of a vast sanctuary, thermal baths, residential buildings, as well as a necropolis. Thousands of ceramic, glass or metal objects have been found and are currently being catalogued.

The sanctuary aroused particular interest among scientists. The findings made it possible to restore its evolution. Apparently, the temple was erected at the very beginning of the Roman period, and it was abandoned in the fourth century AD.

A figurine of the god Mars was found among the ruins. Therefore, the researchers suggested that the sanctuary was dedicated to this Roman god of war.

Subsequently, this hypothesis received new evidence. So, during the excavations, numerous fragments of weapons and ammunition were found, including swords and spearheads.

According to researchers, these were offerings to the gods, which were left in the temple by Roman soldiers in exchange for divine protection, patronage and good luck.

Not far from the sanctuary, the remains of thermal baths and a small number of houses were found. The latter were probably built of earth and wood, so few traces remain of them. Archaeologists also quite unexpectedly, according to their confession, discovered a small necropolis, consisting of 40 tombs.

The increased acidity of the local soil did not allow human remains to be preserved, so it will not be possible to find out who exactly was buried here.

However, burial items were found in the burials, including glass and ceramic vases, as well as the remains of shoes, from which only soles with metal spikes remained. Some of the tombs stand out for their richness – silver bracelets, pins and belt buckles, as well as glass beads, were found inside them.

In the richest of the graves, in which a man was probably buried, archaeologists found a dagger and elements of horse harness. By the way, the necropolis turned out to be a little younger than the sanctuary, and it was abandoned in the fifth century AD.


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