From Roman villa to medieval village
Starting in the 1st century BCE, the watersheds in the area, which had been cultivated since protohistory, witnessed the arrival of a new type of rural establishment. These habitation points were dispersed as widely as possible, with each landscape unit occupied, if not cultivated, by one of these farms. During the first two centuries of the Common Era, under the Early Roman Empire, an initial concentration can be seen with the abandonment of the sites closest to the Via Domitia
in the northern section of the territory.
During the 1st century CE, the Près-Bas
site definitively took on the appearance of a villa. The decline in the number of active sites was still high in late Antiquity. The villa, which returned in the early 5th century
, was the primary structure in an estate consisting of a seashore installation and an edifice dedicated to the new Christian religion.
This upturn came to an abrupt halt in the 6th century, when the seashore site and the villa were abandoned. Only the basilica, the last surviving trace of the estate, was able to attract the local population. Families clustered around the religious edifice, and a new site of some importance sprang up close by. This initial resettling of people increased with the building of a feudal castrum
, mentioned in written sources as of the early 11th century, in the centre of the future village.