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Local stone was generally used as building material for the forts, for example red sandstone in the Miltenberg region and basalt in Forts Großkrotzenburg and Seligenstadt. Demand was enormous: for Fort Miltenberg-Altstadt a total of 15,000 tons was required.

The forts at the Main Limes had a rectangular ground plan, as was standard in the Mid-Imperial period throughout the Roman Empire. The fort walls, with abutting V-shaped ditches, enclosed a rectangular area. The size for cohorts was roughly 100m x 200m, and for the numerus units 80m x 120m. The longitudinal axis ("via praetoria, via decumana") and the transverse axis ("via principalis sinistra, via principalis dextra") divided the area into four parts. The crossing was also the central surveying point. Once the ground had been levelled ,the "groma", the surveying instrument, was set up here.

The roads led through fortified gates from the forts into the "vici", the civil settlements associated with the forts. Two towers and a covered passageway formed a gateway that was named according to the respective road: "porta decumana, porta praetoria, porta principalis sinistra, porta principalis dextra."

The layout of the buildings was based on a standard scheme. The "principia" (administrative office) was located centrally on the "via principalis". This stone building complex had many rooms grouped around a courtyard. Office rooms and weapon arsenals can be determined in many forts at the Main through the construction methods used and the finds. The "scholae" were lounges where the lower-ranked officers could gather. The shrine for the flags and standards was in the middle of the "basilica". This is where the soldiers swore an oath to the emperor. Troop emblems and standards were displayed here. An image of the emperor and altars also decorated the room.

The "horreum" was the granary. Workshops ("fabrica") were primarily used to forge weapons. The soldiers' barracks were generally timber-framed constructions.

Steidl 2008, 85ff. "Kastelle", Limes-Lexikon 2009, 68ff.

Excavation of stone blocks from Fort Miltenberg Altstadt at Springborn ditch
Plan of the features, Fort Saalburg
1 Excavation of stone blocks from Fort Miltenberg Altstadt at Springborn ditch © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 2 Plan of the features, Fort Saalburg

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung