In western Germany, near the city of Bad Ems, well-preserved, sharpened wooden stakes were found that protected Roman legionaries in a fort from barbarian attacks.
Interestingly, the use of “wolf pits” are mentioned by Julius Caesar himself, who used them during the siege of Alesia in 52 BCE. Caesar describes them as lilies, because, as he says, they look like lily flowers.
Before these, which were arranged in oblique rows in the form of a quincunx, pits three feet deep were dug, which gradually diminished in depth to the bottom. In these pits tapering stakes, of the thickness of a man’s thigh; sharpened at the top and hardened in the fire, were sunk in such a manner as to project from the ground not more than four inches; at the same time for the purpose of giving them strength and stability, they were each filled with trampled clay to the height of one foot from the bottom: the rest of the pit was covered over with osiers and twigs, to conceal the deceit. Eight rows of this kind were dug, and were three feet distant from each other. They called this a lily from its resemblance to that flower.
– Julius Caesar, Gallic War, VII.73
Where did the presence of the Romans in this region come from? According to researchers, the Romans used the fort to secure silver mining in the 1st century CE. The Roman camp was to cover an area of about 8 hectares and had as many as 40 wooden towers. Near this camp (at a distance of 2 km) a smaller fort for about 40 people was discovered.
Roman coin from 43 CE was also discovered in the area.