Archaeology / Cultural Heritage / History

[Archaeology] [twocolumns]

Anthropology / Human Evolution / Linguistics

[Anthropology] [twocolumns]

Palaeontology / Palaeoclimate / Earth Sciences

[Palaeontology] [twocolumns]

Evolution / Genetics / Biology

[Evolution][twocolumns]

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes


A monumental Celtic sanctuary has been discovered in the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes in the Mercantour park at an altitude of 1800 metres in the extreme southeast corner of France.

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
View of the Alps from the Cime de la Tournerie sanctuary
[Credit: Franck Suméra MCC SRA CCJ]
Discovered in 1996, the Tournerie site has been the subject of in-depth excavations since 2014. It consists of a monumental building, with towers, surrounded by a deep moat. "The large 500 square metre enclosure has the shape of a snail. Ditches have been dug in the rock to a depth of 4 m. and the excavated material was used for the construction of walls that are 5 m. wide," explains Franck Sumera, excavation manager, curator at the Ministry of Culture and researcher at the University of Marseille. "A total of 4,000 cubic metres of rock was extracted at a time when excavators and pickaxes did not exist." The Tournerie site dates back to the Iron Age.

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
The sanctuary was discovered at 1,800m altitude, in Roubion in the Alpes-Maritimes
[Credit: Isabelle Lhommedet-Mercantour National Park]
"Inside the enclosure, archaeologists found remains of meals, remnants of weapons (spears, shields) and a deposit of 41 bronze coins struck in Marseille. These links with Marseille are very surprising because we are very far away. This can be explained by the very important mining resources of the Tinée valley, especially copper," he explains.

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
Bronze coin with head of Apollo and bull [Credits: F. Suméra]
Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
Zoomorphic ring representing a wolf [Credit: Frank Suméra MCC SRA CCJ]
In the sanctuary, which was in regular use between the 6th and 2nd centuries BC, the researchers also found splendid burials and more modest ones, the dislocated remains of nearly a hundred humans, and the "roasted skull" of a young adult displayed in the entrance of a cavity. "One also imagines heads planted above the spears," says Franck Sumera. "This association of human remains and weapons had only been identified once in the Mediterranean."

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
Small objects and jewels discovered on the occupation floors
[Credit: Franck Suméra MCC SRA CCJ]
Remarkably preserved thanks to the collapse of its walls, the site will continue to be excavated until 2019 with a budget of 300,000 euros over three years. The objects and bones will be kept in a regional depot centre before being integrated into a museum in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Monumental Gallic sanctuary discovered in France's Alpes-Maritimes
Human jaw deposited in a cavity and bearing traces of fire on the incisors
[Credit: Aurore Schmitt Aix Marseille Univ CNS EFS ADES]
The aim is to complete the excavation and to begin rebuilding the walls next year, to restore the first Iron Age monument in the Southern Alps," says Isabelle Lhommedet, Cultural Heritage Officer at Mercantour Park.

Source: 20 minutes [May 29, 2018]

TANN

Post A Comment
  • Blogger Comment using Blogger
  • Facebook Comment using Facebook
  • Disqus Comment using Disqus

No comments :


Exhibitions / Travel

[Exhibitions] [bsummary]

Natural Heritage / Environment / Wildlife

[Natural Heritage] [list]

Astronomy / Astrobiology / Space Exploration

[Universe] [list]