I had never been to an event in my home town of Houten before! But for everything there's a first, and it so happened this was it. Through my work for the council I heard of the unveiling of four works of art from artist Marijn te Kolsté for our local touristic cycling route, known as the TRAP-route (see map). Unable to get another group within the short time available, I stepped in myself (although it's not Late Roman). And since this was work for my bosss, I was now aslo officially employed as a Roman!
The site is right in the middle of a very modern town, where during the delopment phase dozens of Roman finds turned up. Near here were found the remains of a Roman villa, but also of a Roman funeral monument, erected in the 1st c. but later cut in smaller blocks and re-used, still in Roman times. That made it Late Roman enough I guess. The modern work of art that was unveiled had the shape of a couch, to symbolise the relatively luxurious life-style of the Romans and Batavians who lived here.
The unveiling was a short but nice affair - between 40-50 people listened very interested to what the archaeologist (Wilfried Hessing) had to say, after which the text for the plaque was read out by a young girl and the artist also said a few words. Then it was pictures time. We had plenty of interested people asking question (and press coverage too, see below), and we were back home just before the heavens opened!
The description of the artwork in Dutch:
2006 is bij de fietstunnel, locatie nummer 8 van de
TRAP-route, het object 'de Sofa' feestelijk onthuld met
de hulp van een Romeinse soldaat en zijn schildknaapje.
Bij de aanleg van de fietstunnel is een heel bijzondere
Romeinse grafsteen gevonden. Hij behoort tot de oudste
grafstenen in Nederland en was van een Romeinse soldaat.
Het origineel is te vinden in het gemeentehuis. Daarnaast
zijn ook resten van muurschilderingen opgegraven en delen
van het vloerverwarmingssysteem dat de Romeinen in
villa's toepasten. Dit betekent dat er waarschijnlijk een
Romeins gebouw heeft gestaan. De Sofa herinnert aan het
luxe leven in Romeinse villas uit die tijd.
Some newspaper clippings:
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