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.

Medias

Interactive document - The farm in the first century CE

The farm in the first century CE

The estate, which succeeded a Gallic farm, took shape in the early 1st century CE.
S. Cugnet / La Forme © MCC
Interactive document - The Loupian Villa under the Early Roman Empire

The Loupian Villa under the Early Roman Empire

In the late 1st century, the estate had the appearance of a villa, organised around three courtyards, with the estate owner's residence in the centre.
S. Cugnet / La Forme © MCC
Interactive document - The Loupian Villa in the early 4th century CE

The Loupian Villa in the early 4th century CE

In the 4th century CE, in a previously-constructed architectural setting, activities were reorganised, which required the construction of a new wine warehouse and stables.
S. Cugnet / La Forme © MCC
Interactive document - The Loupian Villa in Late Antiquity

The Loupian Villa in Late Antiquity

The 5th-century villa bears witness to a break with the past. It was organised around a single peristyled courtyard, and the residential apartments were richly decorated with mosaics.
S. Cugnet / La Forme © MCC

The Loupian area, a patchwork of watersheds

Excavations and site prospecting have allowed archaeologists to sketch out the major occupation phases of the lands within the Loupian space. After a phase in which farms were scattered, in the 1st century BCE, the Early Empire villa phase began. The Late Antique period was witness to the construction of a veritable estate, which around 1000 CE would be the site of a feudal castrum.
© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon