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LE PEGUE Drôme, France.

An oppidum on the W edge of the Alpine foothills bordering the plain of the Rhône, between Nyons and Dieulefit. The site lay at the crossing of several prehistoric roads leading to the Rhône valley by way of the Drômois plateau, to the Po valley through the pass of La Madeleine, to the Massif Central by Donzère, Viviers, and Alba, to Marseille and the Mediterranean by way of the hills bordering the Rhône, and to Languedoc through Roquemaure.

The oppidum was built on a promontory surrounded by two valleys, now called the Colline Saint-Marcel. Excavations since 1955 have revealed successive periods of habitation from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

From the 6th c. B.C. come some very fine vases (oinochoai, cups) of pseudo-Ionian ware; some fragments of black-figure Attic cups and imitation Phokaian ware; fragments of pithoi. About 500 B.C. a great fire, probably connected with the Gaulish invasions (Livy 5.34), left a thick layer of debris. In the 4th c. B.C. some terraces were rebuilt, yielding red-figure Attic potsherds, fragments of pre-Gnathian cups and black-glazed vases. A settlement in the plain took the place of the one on the hill (on the site of the modern village school of Le Pègue); in 380-370 B.C. it was destroyed once again. New terraces were built, as well as an aqueduct and cisterns. Quantities of potsherds of Campanian ware and Massaliot obols come from the 3d to the middle of the 2d c. B.C. After 150 B.C., the site was once more partly abandoned, although fibulas and Campanian ware, sometimes with Gaulish graffiti in Greek characters, are evidence of some human activity. In the early Gallo-Roman period (50 B.C. to the end of Augustus' reign) there was some occupation (lamp fragments). In the Late Empire and the Middle Ages traces of walls and a few objects (potsherds, bone pins) indicate occupation at least until the 12th c.

The local museum has a fine collection of pottery and fibulas.


A. Perraud, Le Pègue, préface de Marseille? (1955)I; J.-J. Hatt et al., “Le Pègue, habitat hallstattien et comptoir ionien en Haute Provence,” Atti del settimo Congresso intern. di Arch. classica (1961) III, 177-86PI; M. Leglay, “Informations,” Gallia 22 (1964) 526-31; 24 (1966) 512-15; 26 (1968) 589-91; 29 (1971) 431.


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