Now, according to Live Science, a student team from Goethe University in Frankfurt uncovered the oldest known examples of the defense along the old Roman frontier at a place between the modern-day German cities of Bonn and Mainz.
The site is a little over a mile away from an already-known site of an ancient Roman fort, first uncovered in 2016. The new find is located at Blöskopf Hill, which contains the first preserved examples of the wooden spike defense yet discovered.
Alongside the spike a Roman coin dated to 42 CE was discovered, putting the spike around 100 years after Julius Caesar, but also earlier than later Roman fortifications along the empire’s northern border.
Camp might have been protecting an ancient Roman silver mine
The site appears to be a fortified camp built to defend a nascent silver mining operation being carried out by the Romans in the area.
In the area, previous digs have uncovered a major Roman fort, though one with few permanent structures, along with silver ore, metal slag, and evidence of a large contingent of soldiers.