In 44 BC, the first Roman colony was founded on the Rhine: Augusta Raurica. It reached the height of its splendour in the 1st and 2nd century AD. Excavations started in 1957, since 1975 by the state. Excavations are still ongoing. It is one of the best documented Roman colonies North of the Alps.
It was decided by the Kanton Basel-Landschaft to turn the ancient colony remains into an archaeological open air park and nowadays, there is both an indoor museum and the outdoor archaeological park, filled with original remains, some of which restored, some (re)constructed. The park also houses several domesticated animals. Outside, there are over 20 series of buildings or remains, including the best preserved Roman theatre North of the Alps, opened to the public in 2007 after years of restoration work. Tourism, education and research are almost equally important.
One of the (re) constructed buildings is a Roman House, opened first time in 1955, and completely refurbished in March 2001. It is very detailed in its presentation of the domestic rooms, the garden, the workshops and the public bar, at the same time discussing the Roman house and family as well as artisans and trades people. There are Roman festivities in Summer time, which include gladiator fights and theatre. There are demonstrations of experimental archaeological work, like when a Roman pottery kiln is fired or when the association AEAS is invited.