A Gallo-Roman settlement (1960-62) in the Le Bourguet quarter
of the commune of Escale revealed by building excavations. On the left bank of the Durance at a point where
the river narrows and can be forded, the settlement was
a crossroads for the route from the Rhône to Italy
through Mont-Genèvre and the secondary Riez-Digne-Sisteron route.
The settlement was built on terraces covering ca. 5 ha,
from the river up to a hill that was occupied in the Iron
Age and the Middle Ages. The city, probably built in
the Augustan period (Italic sigillate and La Graufesenque
ware), was destroyed in the 3d c., then again inhabited
up to the 5th c. The buildings discovered do not indicate
a strict city plan: the streets are narrow, the ground
plan irregular. The walls are of quarry stones bonded
with mortal. Floors of the houses are simple, but painted
stuccos and some fragments of marble facing have been
found. No complete house plan has been recovered.
Many coins were discovered (including one extremely
rare denarius of Maximianus Hercules minted in Lyon
in 293 for the decennalia of Diocletian), and a few
bronze statuettes. A funerary inscription mentioning a
sepulcher built at the expense of the public treasury of
the Vocontii proves what has long been disputed, that
the civitas of Segustero (Sisteron) belonged to the confederation of the Vocontii and that the latter occupied
the left bank of the Durance.
20 (1962) 657f;
22 (1964) 550-51; 25 (1966) 393.