Text, graphic, model and photo: Heinz Birkenheuer

5. Public Utilities

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The Supply Magazines

There were 3 different types of supply magazines in the Novaesium legionary fortress. A mixed-cargo magazine was located close to the PORTA PRINCIPALIS-SINISTRA. Ground residuals from 3 granaries were detected close to the PORTA PRAETORIA, together with an all-purpose magazine of 5.400 mē size. These magazines were equipped to store the supply of food and equipment of the entire legion for a two years period. The demand of supply for legionnaires and horses, equipment, arms, tools and raw materials was stored here.

5. 1 HORREUM - The Granaries

The legionary camp of Novaesium got 3 different types of granaries, all of them located close to the PORTA PRAETORIA, the gates that were facing the river Rhine. Characteristics of the Roman granaries were the lateral supporting pillars, which compensated the pressure of the overhanging tiled roofs. Masonry supporting pillars, respectively wall frames carried suspension floors. Louvered vents were integrated into the wall-frames to keep temperature and humidity of the corn at a low level.

Longitudinal section of a Roman Horreum

Graphic: Heinz Birkenheuer

Reconstruction of the Granary Nr. 13 in the Camp of Novaesium

Model and photo: Heinz Birkenheuer

Clerestory windows along the entire longitudinal axis ensured the roof ventilation of the magazines. Due to the upper suspension floors, the granaries rose above the flat barrack buildings. Each magazine got an overhanging roof, which provided protection from hostile burning darts.

5. 2 The Mixed-Cargo Magazine of the Legion

Two large, combined blocks of buildings located at the VIA PRINCIPALIS and in direct neighbourhood of the PORTA PRINCIPALIS SINISTRA point towards a storage building and according administration. The location of this magazine was very suitable for delivery of raw materials and mixed-cargo. The long corridors with plenty of single closets in the magazine building are conspicuous. These were very useful for safe storage of small pieces of equipment, weapons, and valuable raw materials.

Possible longitudinal section through the two-storied mixed-cargo magazine in the Legionary Camp of Novaesium

Graphic: Heinz Birkenheuer

Closets and corridors were aligned towards the defensive wall. No ditches for water drainage or pavement were detected in the middle aisle of the 3 rows of closets. Therefore we can achieve that the building stood on a basic elevation. The two-storage architecture provided additional storage room, and the rainwater could be drained across the length of the magazine's cascaded roofs. Windows located in the upper floor guaranteed lightning and ventilation

Ground plan of the mixed-cargo with additional administration buildings in the Legionary Camp of Novaesium

Drawing: Constantin Koenen

Reconstruction of the Mixes-Carco Magazine in the Camp of Novaesium

Model and photo:: Heinz Birkenheuer

5. 3 The Multi-Purpose Magazine Nr. 21

The circle building (66 x 77 m) at the corner of the VIA PRAETORIA formed a unit of different types of buildings. The one-storied front part was the so-called MANSIO - a legionary inn -, whereas the double-storied rear part could have been a HORREUM - a multi-purpose magazine. Residuals from cereals and the large earthen storage vessels found in excavation compound nr. 22 indicate, that there used to be a Roman storage building in this place.

  Graphic: Heinz Birkenheuer

Rafter plan of the 14 m wide self-supporting magazine building nr. 21

Reconstructing the circled building became a challenge. We have to assume a double-storied usage in order to store a one-year's emergency allowance. The 14 m wide roof-construction without supporting pillars in the centre required a particular rafter construction at which the hanging galleries on both sides were highly exacting for the Roman architects.

The large multi-purpose magazine Nr. 21 in the legionary camp of Novaesium

Model: Heinz Birkenheuer - L. Kirchmeyer

Photo: Heinz Birkenheuer

Ground-plan nr. 21 in the legionary camp of Novaesium

Drawing: Constantin Koenen

Cleaning: Heinz Birkenheuer

The excavated residuals could not be logically coordinated prior to a couple of attempts to reconstruct the possible construction of the rafter. Residuals from the foundation, which had originally been overseen, provided a possible solution. There must have been a ground-based supporting construction in the centre of the ridge-corners, to support the approx. 20 m wide diagonal rafter. Residuals at this place point towards arcades.
The small foundations conclude a mixed architecture. It can be assumed that the entire building consisted of a self-supporting timber construction, with masonry works in the bottom part. The advantage of this construction was the possibility of shunting two carriages without problems in the hallway that did not need to be supported by columns. In addition, large amounts of dried fodder could be stored in the galleries above.