Farms with regular floor plans

A new type of farm appeared around the beginning of the Common Era, i.e. only about a half-century after the initial construction. Buildings were more long-lasting, with stone foundations and earthen walls. They differed from previous arrangements by the use of a standard layout, in which a courtyard united the farm's various elements, thus responding to two primary functions. Basic housing areas with hearths were built next to production areas. Already at this stage, a storeroom with dolia holding some one hundred hectolitres had a building all to itself.

Here was a true concentration of men and means of production, and the new type of farm represented a break with the original type of establishment, and the next stage in the arrival of the estate. The choice of a central courtyard layout was clearly based on Mediterranean models, in reference to any number of examples in the Italian peninsula. The absence of residential areas cannot be ascribed to a superficial Romanisation. We know of houses in indigenous communities in the Languedoc area with plastering and luxurious floors from the 1st century BCE. The gap between these houses and rural establishments focused primarily on production shows that the master of the estate was still an absentee landowner.


Interactive document - The farm's storeroom

The farm's storeroom

Partial view of the farm storeroom in the first century CE. Excavation of this area, and of the circular holes in which the dolia were placed, was only possible after removal of the mosaics, which were from a later construction phase.
© Fonds ArchéOfactory, Loupian
Interactive document - Excavation of the Loupian Villa

Excavation of the Loupian Villa

View of various wall sections from the site's three main construction periods. While lime mortar was used for later work, the lower parts of the farm's walls were built with on a foundation of stones set in clay. The higher parts of the walls were made of unfired clay.
© ArchéOfactory
Interactive document - The Mediterranean-style farm in the early 1st century CE

The Mediterranean-style farm in the early 1st century CE

The original core of the farm was built at the top of a small valley that cut into the slope, which was turned into a courtyard. Various living quarters and work-related rooms were built around this, including a storeroom with dolia. The structures were extended to the east, possibly around a second courtyard.
© Christophe Pellecuer, Culture-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
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

Map of changes in occupation of the Loupian site

© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon