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