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L'ESCALE Basses-Alpes, France.

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.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

“Informations,” Gallia 20 (1962) 657f; 22 (1964) 550-51; 25 (1966) 393.

C. GOUDINEAU

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