“Au revoir mes amis de Bibracte!”

Posted on Jun 15, 2010 in category

I was so pleased I could catch up with the many people from Bibracte Research Centre who have made my stay here so memorable. Right to the end Joelle was still organising visits for the rest of my study tour! Bibracte is a great model that demonstrates the value of archaeology and a nation's heritage that all people can share and enjoy.

My journey took me several hundred kilometres west to the Department of Indre, and particularly the township of Argenton-sur-Creuse.

At Decize, a former Celtic settlement on the upper Loire River, we stumbled upon another market! Although parking was a bit of a problem (we went the wrong way up a one way street!), we were able to enjoy the great variety of stall typical of French 'marchés'. Popular stalls were those selling bread and croissants, black pudding (a type of sausage), roasted meats (rabbit, pork, and chicken) and ham. Definitely the most popular was the 2 euro wine degustation stall – at 11am it was overflowing with merry patrons.

Our le petit-dejeuner Practising my French with Pierre

Travelling in the French countryside does present one problem – one wants to stop at every magic village that emanates charm. Drevant caught my attention mainly because I had read about its Gallo-Roman past. After surviving a near head-on with a BMW driving on the wrong side of the road (well done Wendy) we were astounded to find a magnificent Gallo-Roman theatre at Drevant. The theatre's construction combined both the theatre and amphitheatre functions. It was a Gallo-Roman innovation.

A lonely gladiator!

A final stop before we called it a day was Chateaumeillant. It was a Celtic 18 hectare oppidum that became the Gallo-Roman town of Mediolanum. Excavations by Jacques Gourvest in the1960's uncovered 200 Italian amphorae and many other artifacts that revealed the everyday life of its inhabitants.

Amphorae and storage vessels galore Loom weights used in weaving

Considering we had so many kilometres to cover, we were lucky to come across two terrific Celtic and Gallo-Roman sites. The goddess Fortuna was on our side!


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