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Burnt clay tiles were the most important building material, next to stone and wood. "Later coctus" referred to the simple wall tiles that were produced in standard sizes. Stone buildings and timber-framed buildings were generally covered with tiles."Tegulae" and "imbrices" are the terms for the Roman interlocking tiles and the rectangular roof tiles. The construction of hypocaust heating systems required special tile forms, for example the "tubuli", hollow bricks for wall heating in which the air could circulate.

The tempered, matured clay was applied to wooden models. After they had dried the tiles were fired in kilns. The huge demand for tiles required that parts of troops be assigned to tile production The troops marked their final products with a stamp. This enables us today to follow their
distribution around the empire.

Several tile factories could be excavated at the Main Limes. They were erected by the military near to clay deposits. We know about the tile production of the "cohors Vindelicorum" in Großkrotzenburg, which replaced the factories in Frankfurt-Nied. Proximity to transportation routes was also at hand: the tiles were shipped down the Main.

Steidl 2008, 120ff. "Militärziegelei", Limes-Lexikon 2009, 87. Brandl-Federhofer 2010.

Military tile factory, diorama in Museum Großkrotzenburg
Tile stamp, Museum Großkrotzenburg
1 Military tile factory, diorama in Museum Großkrotzenburg © Museum Großkrotzenburg 2 Tile stamp, Museum Großkrotzenburg © Museum Großkrotzenburg

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