Vitudurum is the name of a Roman Vicus, those remains are located in Oberwinterthur, a locality of the municipality of Winterthur. The majority of the remains of commercial, residential, religious and public buildings are situated around the St. Arbogast church.

Vitudurum was established nearby productive resources and a prehistorican route from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance in the late first century BC or early first century AD. The Roman timber buildings were dendrochronologically dated around 4 BC. In 7 AD the Romans rebuilt the passageway in the Oberwinterthur area into a road. Starting from the village's center on the church hill (St. Arbogast) at the beginning of the 1st century AD, a street village stretched at a length of about 500 metres having several districts. The open settlement had its flowering time in the 1st and 2nd centuries. During the Alamanii invasion, the vicus was replaced respectively fortified by a castrum (fort) on the present St. Arbogast church hill, surrounded by a wall. The date of the construction of the fortification around 294 AD is documented by its inscription stone. At the same place the predecessor building of the St. Arbogast church was erected in the 6th/7th century.

A masonry temple in the center was built in the 1st to 2nd century, surrounded by a sacred precinct, the spa, three houses and a building of public character, and on the opposite side other larger stone buildings. To the south east, a residential and commercial district were situated at Unterer Bühl, which consisted entirely of wooden houses or clay-half-timbered structures. There were found organic materials in a very good condition: besides basket fragments, scrap leather and wooden objects, also a threshold beam and other parts of the house structures. About a wooden spring capture and wooden fresh water pipes were conducted in different houses. Elaborately constructed and parcarefully covered wooden channels were used for sanitation. Comparable with the southwesternly area, two rows of houses stretched towards the north-east.

North of the church hill there were on 2,000 square metres more residential and farm buildings made of wood, but also one of stone, fresh water pipes and sewers and latrines, established in the 1st to the 3rd century AD. Fire hazard exposed buildings and imissionary trades were situated at the edges of settlement in the west and east: in the 1st and 2nd centuries at least 14 kilns and tanneries in the southwest and northeast. Individual staves of six vats, embedded in the floor of the tannery date back in the 1st century,and show bear stamp and graffiti. The numerous single finds, mostly from the 1st century, include wooden writing tablets with inscriptions, pottery fragments and a pair of shoe bars.

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Founded: around 4 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Switzerland

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