5.3 Oberstimm

The auxiliary fort at Oberstimm covered an area of c. 1.75 hectares. It was occupied in two different phases between c. AD 40- AD 120. It was excavated by Hans Schönberger between 1968 and 1971, who suggested (1978, 148) that it was a supply station, near the border, for troops further to the east.

Figure 6
Figure 6: Oberstimm, distribution of gendered activities, according to activity. Key: A= Agriculture; CS = cutting and sharpening equipment; E = combat equipment; G = gaming items; SM = stone- and metal-working equipment; T = toilet items; W = writing equipment; WL = wood- and leather-working equipment; WM = weighing and measuring equipment.

Artefacts from Oberstimm are plotted according to associated gendered activities, as at Rottweil (Figure 6 - this plot has been updated since Allison 2006b, fig. 8). The most prolific material is combat equipment, and also stone- and metal-working equipment. The combat equipment was found mainly in Building 7, the commanding officer's residence, and in Building 6, the soldiers' barracks. The stone- and metal-working equipment, was found mainly in Building 1 and in the area of Building 3. Schönberger identified Building 1 as an industrial area, and Building 3 as accommodation for craftsmen soldiers, the immunes (Schönberger 1978, 45-6, 70-3).

Figure 7
Figure 7: Oberstimm, distribution of artefacts associated with women and children, according to gender. Key: FE = female-related; ZFE = possibly female-related; ZFE_CH = possibly female- or child-related; ZCH = possibly child-related.

Artefacts potentially associated with the women and children were scattered across the excavated areas of the fort (Figure 7 - this plot has been updated since Allison 2006b, fig. 5). Definite female- and child-related artefacts are concentrated in the area of Building 3, and on the west side of Building 1, particularly in the north-west corner of the latter building where a number of coins were found. This may have been a commercial area, just inside the main gate. Other definite female- and child-related artefacts were found in the Building 7, the commander's residence, and between Buildings 12-14, identified respectively as probably taverns and soldiers' barracks (Schönberger 1978, 118, 120). Less certain female- and child-related artefacts were scattered across Barracks 6.

As at Vetera I, there seems to be a relatively close association between definite and less certain female-related artefacts. If Schönberger's identifications of the various buildings and areas are correct, then the specialist craftsmen in Building 3 and the troops, or at least the centurion, in Barracks 6 may have resided with their families within this fort. Either these women, or possibly other women, were involved in commercial and perhaps industrial activities in the areas of Building 1 and Building 12. Given that this fort is identified as a supply station and was unlikely to have housed an active garrison, it is perhaps not surprising to find women integrated into this community as they would have been in a civilian community.


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Last updated: Mon Jun 30 2008