The residence in the early 5th century CE

In the early 5th century, the final traces of the initial topography of the slope, with its small intermittent valleys, were eliminated by earthworks designed to make way for a vast platform that was required for a new, more ambitious architectural design. The Early Empire layout with multiple courtyards gave way to a structure organised around a single courtyard with peristyle, whose longest side measured at least 40m. The surface of this open area is four times that of the garden of the previous residence. The dimensions of the porticos and colonnades were altered to adapt to this larger space and to buildings whose facades were more imposing. These are clear signs of the monumentalisation of the estate's centre. By bringing activities and occupants together around one and the same courtyard, this new arrangement also speaks to a new way of inhabiting the villa.

The owner's living quarters are found at the western corner of the peristyle. They occupy the space used for residences in the villa's previous incarnations, and the planners were unable to free themselves from its architectural legacy. The surface area of these quarters was doubled (670 sq. m), which represents a break with past practices. The winemaking installations and equipment, which in the 4th century CE took the place of the Early Empire baths, were preserved and integrated into the new floorplan.

Medias

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
Interactive document - The residence in the early 5th century CE – expansion

The residence in the early 5th century CE – expansion

The previous multiple-courtyard structure was abandoned in favour of an ensemble built around a single large peristyled courtyard, with a clear drive for monumentality.
© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
Interactive document - The mosaics being excavated

The mosaics being excavated

Uncovering the mosaics in the residential structure.
© ArchéOfactory
Interactive document - The residential sector after removal of the mosaic floors

The residential sector after removal of the mosaic floors

The early 5th century constructions were built over the older apartments, but appear to be a break with these earlier phases – ceremonial rooms were added, and the surface area of inhabitable areas was increased.
© ArchéOfactory

Map of changes in occupation of the Loupian site


© Ch. Pellecuer, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon