More on Roman tavern unearthed in south France
|Three clay ovens, likely used to cook flatbread and other food |
The finding is a valuable one, said study co-researcher Benjamin Luley, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology and classics at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Before the Romans invaded the south of France, in 125 B.C., a culture speaking the Celtic language lived there and practiced its own customs.
view of the excavated tavern. Note the kitchen, which held the bread
and millstones, and the dining hall, which has a bench around three of its walls
For instance, the new findings suggest that some people under the Romans stopped preparing their own meals and began eating at communal places, such as taverns.
|The layout of Lattara (modern Lattes) at the end of the second century. |
The tavern is located in Zone 75 [Credit: Antiquity]
The newly excavated tavern is located at Lattara, an archaeological site that's been known to modern researchers since the early 1980s. But Luley and his colleague Gaël Piquès, a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, were specifically looking for artifacts dating to the end of the Iron Age, when the Romans arrived, the archaeologists said.
|A millstone, likely buried as an offering to the gods, that the archaeologists |
found in the courtyard [Credit: Antiquity]
At first, the researchers weren't sure what to make of it. But a number of clues suggested the site was once a bustling tavern, one that likely served fish, flatbread, and choice cuts of cows and sheep, Luley said.
|A view of the ash-filled oven next to an insert (lower right) of a modern tabouna |
(Tunisian bread) oven from Souidat, Tunisia [Credit: Antiquity]
"One side, they're making flour. On the other side, they're making flatbread," Luley said. "And they're also probably using the ovens for other things as well." For example, the archaeologists found lots of fish bones and scales that someone had cut off during food preparation, Luley added.
|Three stone bases that likely held a millstone used to grind flour |
The dining room also had "an overrepresentation of drinking bowls," used for serving wine — more than would typically be seen in a regular house, he said. Next to the two rooms was a courtyard filled with more animal bones and an offering: a buried stone millstone, a drinking bowl and a plate that likely held cuts of meat.
|Cow and sheep bones discovered in the courtyard outside the tavern |
Perhaps some of the people of Lattara needed places like the tavern to provide meals for them after the Romans arrived, Luley said.
"If they might be, say, working in the fields, they might not be growing their own food themselves," he said. And though the researchers haven't found any coins at the tavern yet, "We think that this is a beginning of the monetary economy" at Lattera, Luley said.
The study was published in the journal Antiquity.
Author: Laura Geggel | Source: LiveScience [March 10, 2016]