Archaeologists work on a mosaic on July 31, 2017, on the archaeological antiquity site of Sainte-Colombe, near Vienne, eastern France. Remains of an entire neighbourhood of the Roman city of Vienne have been uncovered in Sainte-Colombe, with lavish residences decorated with mosaics, a philosophy school and shops. The dig of the site, discovered prior to housing construction on a parcel of 5000 m2, began in April 2017 and was due to last six months, but have been extended to December 15, 2017, after the site was classified as an "exceptional discovery" by the French Culture Minsitry
[Credit: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP]
A "little Pompeii" is how French archaeologists are describing an entire ancient Roman neighbourhood uncovered on the outskirts of the southeastern city of Vienne, featuring remarkably preserved remains of luxury homes and public buildings.
"We're unbelievably lucky. This is undoubtedly the most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years," said Benjamin Clement, the archaeologist leading the dig on the banks of the Rhone river, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Lyon.
The city of Vienne -- famous for its Roman theatre and temple -- was an important hub on the route connecting northern Gaul with the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in southern France.