ICCROM Mora Samples Collection
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Augusta Raurica: MRA-CHE-Aug002

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weight value (g)
sample weight + glass bottle

Geographic Location



Switzerland (CHE)
Augusta Raurica

Historical note about the site/monument

Augusta Raurica is an archaeological site located in the Rhine area and between the two villages of Kaiseraugstand and Augst, close to Basel (northern Switzerland). The place is popular as the most ancient Roman colony in the outskirts. Known as Augusta Raurica or Colonia Augusta Rauracorum, the colony was named after the Gallic tribe derived from the Helvetii and locally established, that were the Rauraci. Augusta Rauraci was founded in 44 BCE (in the Cesarian period) but the early happenings of the site are still not quite clarified, for there is no material proof of an establishment. Be it for turmoils of the civil war that followed Cesar’s death or due to a differing original location, the site was regained by the imperial power three decades after, in 15 BCE and re-colonized slightly later. Augusta Rauraci played some strategic role in Augustus’ plans of expansion as a stronghold for the creation of two further colonies to establish a norther frontier and was an important economic center up to the end of the 2nd century ACE. It was a trading center, renown for the import/export of pork meat. The place kept on being populated for the next two centuries until 250 ACE, when an earthquake largely destroyed the city and later, either barbarian tribes of marauding Roman armed forces raided the place and completed the its final destruction. The Romans re-founded then a military fortress, or a castrum, although its scale was considerably reduced. In the mid-15th century, the local community was assigned to two different administrative areas and the western part was assigned to Basel, that become a canton in 1501. Later in the 19th century (1833), the village of Augst became part of the same canton. To differentiate the two areas, the eastern and the western, the first one was named Kaiseraugst, and still maintains the name. Kaiseraugst became part of Switzerland in 1803, after the defeat of the Habsburgs during the Napoleonic Wars. The highlights of Augusta Raurica are the remains of the Castrum Rauracense and Roman colony and the civil constructions, particularly the Temple and the aqueduct. Important are also the sites of the Christian period, with the early Christian baptistery and the brick kiln at Liebrüti.

Further reading:
Tomasevic Buck, Teodora (2003). Augusta Raurica. Probleme, Anregungen und Neufunde. Bregenz: Vorarlberger Landesmuseum. ISBN 3-901802-13-4.
Laur-Belart, Rudolf (1988), Führer durch Augusta Raurica, Augst: Schwabe.