Georges Fouet and Montmaurin

A supplement to the review Gallia, published in 1969, provided a summary of the excavations at Montmaurin (Haute-Garonne). This publication, as well as the increased interest in the site, quickly became a key – if not the sole – reference for discussing villas in Gaul. When he began to explore the site in 1947, the excavator, Georges Fouet (1922–1993), was a schoolteacher who was keen on the history of the Comminges region. He joined the CNRS in 1954, and continued to excavate the villa until 1960, which was acquired by the State and given listed monument status.

Fouet carried out an exhaustive excavation of the pars urbana, but paid only fleeting attention to the pars rustica, merely acknowledging the existence of agricultural outbuildings. He calculated that the villa, which stretched across 18 hectares, had undergone two major development phases, one in the early Empire, and the other "around 350". He postulated that there had been two successive models for the estate. The first was a residence organised around a peristyle, combined with a rectangular agricultural courtyard with outbuildings arranged along the two long sides. Four hundred farmhands and some forty pairs of cattle worked a thousand-acre fundus. In late Antiquity, a sumptuous home was built that featured a wide, semi-circular entrance peristyle. The estate, which then covered seven thousand hectares, was worked indirectly by farms scattered across the fundus.

Medias

Interactive document - Georges Fouet's excavation notebook, 1965

Georges Fouet's excavation notebook, 1965


Conseil général de la Haute-Garonne / Archives départementales 62_J_ 948
Interactive document - Excavation of the Villa de Montmaurin

Excavation of the Villa de Montmaurin

Georges Fouet at work.
Conseil général de la Haute-Garonne / Archives départementales 62_J_40
Interactive document - Georges Fouet's excavation notebook, 1965

Georges Fouet's excavation notebook, 1965


Conseil général de la Haute-Garonne / Archives départementales 62_J_ 948
Interactive document -


© K et J.-L. Schenck-David.

Layout of Montmaurin

After G. Fouet, resumed by A. Bouet.
© Alain Bouet