Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gallic elite prospered from Roman occupation

In 2010 French archaeologists carried out excavations on a 3.5 hectares site in Bassing, Moselle. Over a period of one thousand years – 200 BCE to 800 CE – this site had been occupied by a Gallic aristocratic establishment, a Gallo-Roman villa and several medieval buildings.

Elite farmer and warrior

Between 150 and 120 BCE, a large rural settlement was built at Bassing. A 3 metre wide ditch with sloping sides and palisade surrounded the habitation area (1 hectare in size). Inside this stood wooden farm buildings and a farmhouse. This group lasted until 14 CE.

The size of the farm and its ditches and the richness of the excavated materials has reveal the privileged status of the occupants. The jewellery featured bracelets of cobalt blue glass along with a piece of Baltic amber and123 fibulae, some of which had been produced on-site. In fact, the site produced evidence for foundry activities, spinning, weaving and shoemaking. It is also apparent from the discovery of many amphorae and Italian drink strainers that wine imported from the Mediterranean was drunk in large quantities.

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