Stratigraphical Problems of the Roman Kind

I’ve reposted this since Blogo disappeared the previous one. It’s a bit shorter as the two references describe it adequately. My interest is geochronological.

An archeological investigation of the heavy mineral content of the Holocene sediments of the Rhine Valley west of Cologne at the working open pit brown coal mine at Elsbachtal published by Boenigk and Hagedorn during 1997 noted the existence of a roman aqueduct under 7 metres of sand and gravel in profile FR 126, (H/T Malaga Bay and Q-Mag).

Tim Cullen has commented on this before and all I want to add is that if this aqueduct is buried under Holocene sediments, then that places the demise of the Roman Empire at 11,700 years BP.


The standard explanation is that the romans buried this particular aqueduct underground to minimise freezing and frost.


As the only reference to this ‘find’ is in an obsure german language archaeological book, one has to agree with Tim Cullen that this archaeological fact is very inconvenient.

In a stratigraphical sense we have Holocene sediments overlying roman water works.

This suggests the demise of the roman period occurred after the cataclysm of the Pleistocene event, though one would need to find further stratigraphical control of this archaelogical find.

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. Trained by Western Mining Corporation and polished by De Beers.
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