Julia KOPF
(University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)

Abstract: The excavation on the Böckle grounds in Bregenz, carried out in the years 2009/2010, revealed a cross section of the main road of the Roman settlement Brigantium. These excavations are the first in Bregenz to be carried out by modern, stratigraphically oriented methods. Due to this the road layers can be investigated for the first time and owing to the finds from the corresponding road ditches can be reliably dated based on actual material.

The excavation showed that the main road of Brigantium was constructed as an auxiliary road running straight through the fort of the Early Imperial period. The road consists of a package of gravel which comprises several surfaces. In the south the road was accompanied by a road ditch of which 3 phases could be distinguished. The width of the main road varied during the Roman period because of the temporary existence of a porticus on the north side of the road.

An exceptional find in the area of the road is a well-preserved flat structure of wooden boards. The wood construction, certainly belonging to the Roman road, consists of a grate made out of four-sided cut wooden beams to which a layer of boards was attached using wooden pegs and iron nails. Pressed layers of gravel are found above as well as below the wood construction. As early as 1911–1914 there was documented a section of the road with exactly the same structure on the land situated to the east of the Böckle grounds. The excavated wood is being scientifically studied at the University of Innsbruck (Institute for Geography). In this way the wood type, age, date of felling and tool marks can be ascertained.

Keywords: Brigantium, Roman road, wood construction