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ISARNODURUM (Izernore) Ain, France.

A Gallic oppidum, later a Roman vicus of the city of the Ambarri, in the middle of a large plateau on a road leading to Lugdunum. It flourished from the Augustan era on. A stratum of debris apparently reflects the disorders of 68-69. In spite of destruction in 276, at the time of the invasions, the site was occupied to the mid 5th c. It has been frequently excavated since 1730, especially a Temple of Mercury which has a rectangular cella (18 x 12 m) surrounded by a wide columned gallery. The simple cella, with no pronaos, places the temple in the Gallic tradition, while its classic peripteral arrangement mark it as Roman. Nearby are some baths, covering ca. 30 x 25 m.

A section of the early vicus has been found NW of the modern village, also traces of roads and various structures. Among these is a large building, clearly a farm and workshop (a foundry and potter's kiln have been excavated there). To the SE is the villa known as de Bussy, Gallo-Roman with a galleried facade that faces W towards the Izernore plain. In its hypocaust system a symmetrical series of low walls, covered with limestone slabs, edges the flow channels. This villa was occupied from the second half of the 1st c. to the end of the 3d c.

In the center of the village a rubbish dump and some banks of earth reflecting several periods of occupation have yielded much material, including a gold ring with the intaglio design of Diomedes carrying off the Palladium. The local museum, recently rebuilt, houses the finds.


Grenier, Manuel III (1958) 403-6; P. H. Mitard, “Les monnaies de la villa gallo-romaine de Perignat,” Le Bugey (1965) 128-34; M. Leglay, “Informations,” Gallia 24 (1966) 488; 26 (1968) 560-62; R. Chevallier & C. Lemaître, “Note sur une bague d'Izernore,” Hommages à M. Renard, Coll. Latomus 3 (1969) 124-45.


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