An initial farm

The creation of a farm, in a watershed of some 200 hectares, is one of the tangible signs of the founding of an estate that overlapped with one of the largest land units in the Loupian area. These lands, which were clearly farmed since protohistory for the benefit of the nearby settlement of Mesua, may have been where the first arrivals set up, with the constitution of fields and a parcel structure for new agricultural practices.

The farm, which is in a poor state of preservation due to later reconstructions, appears to have been a simple structure measuring some 1,500 sq. metres. It did not make use of stone, but rather featured lightweight constructions of earth and wood. The installation of storage areas used the same simple techniques, with underground storage areas and a granary built on poles. Ditches delimited the occupied area, thus providing a framework for the rather careless organisation of the buildings. We see in this the outlines of a enclosed farm, a rural establishment typical of northern Gaul, but which is increasingly being discovered in the Romanised south. Possibly occupied by the Roman equivalent of serfs, it served as a base of operations for the cultivation of extensive swaths of farmland, for one of the large estates created by the Gallic upper class favoured by the new Roman authorities.

Medias

Interactive document - Mèze, a town with protohistoric roots

Mèze, a town with protohistoric roots

The site, which is located on a steep slope overlooking the Etang de Thau, has been identified as Mesua from ancient sources. The old part of the town was occupied as early as the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. A good number of sources exist for the Gallo-Roman period, even though we do not know the status of this occupied area, nor how it was organised.
© Sandra Lebrun, CCNBT
Interactive document - An early Gallo-Roman farm

An early Gallo-Roman farm

Towards the mid-1st century BCE, an initial farm was built on the site of the future villa. Later reconstructions removed all but a few traces, such as post holes, grain silos, a section of a large ditch and traces of plantings.
© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
Interactive document - Watercolour of the Jaux site

Watercolour of the Jaux site

Reconstruction of an enclosed farm in southern Gaul from the Late Iron Age (Jaux/le Camp du Roy, Oise).
© Jean-Claude Blanchet

Map of changes in occupation of the Loupian site


© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
Interactive document - An enclosed farm in the Romanised south of Gaul. An important site in the département of Aude

An enclosed farm in the Romanised south of Gaul. An important site in the département of Aude


© Michel Passelac, CNRS-UMR 5140