Evidence of the Roman legion military camp found in Israel
**The article below reported the 2013 archaeological fieldwork at Roman Legio during the excavation season. In a web-exclusive report on Bible History Daily, Legio excavation directors Matthew J. Adams, Jonathan David and Yotam Tepper describe the first archaeological investigation of a second-century C.E. Roman camp in the Eastern Roman Empire.**
According to historical sources, the Legio Sexta Ferrata, known as the “Ironsides,” was based in the Galilee in the second century A.D. The Sixth Legion was most likely stationed there in response to the Jewish antagonism that eventually resulted in the Second Jewish Revolt of 132–136 A.D. From their headquarters, 3,500 Roman soldiers ruled over Galilee and part of Samaria. The city that grew around the camp became known as Legio during the Roman Empire and later as Lajjun after the arrival of Muslim forces in the seventh century. The actual camp site of the Sixth Legion, however, remained unknown. According to Matthew Adams, director of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, “If [Tepper’s] right and we locate the camp archaeologically, it will be the first time in the archaeology of the Roman Empire that a Roman camp of this period has been excavated in the Eastern half of the Empire!”
Vassilios Tzaferis, “Inscribed ‘To God Jesus Christ’: Early Christian Prayer Hall Found in Megiddo Prison,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2007.
Werner Eck, “Hadrian’s Hard-Won Victory,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2007.
Hanan Eshel and Ro’i Porat, “Fleeing the Romans,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2006.
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