Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 3-1 (November 2011)R.J. van Zoolingen: Rural cult places in the civitas Cananefatium


Rural cult places are a widespread phenomenon in Roman times. They are found across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and England. In 1987 Slofstra and Van der Sanden published a discussion of such structures for the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt area. They argued that there are several similarities between the structures in terms of the appearance of the features and the accompanying finds. Although others have discussed open air cult places, so far the focus has never been on the western Netherlands. This paper intends to redress the balance by presenting an overview of Roman rural cult places from the area between the Rhine and Meuse estuaries (fig.1). Furthermore, this study identifies new criteria for identifying new cult places.