(Les Granges-Gontardes) Drôme,
Narbonensis. A statio, set up
at the time Agrippa's road was built (which crosses it
like a cardo), ca. 35 B.C. It stood at a native crossroads
built possibly in the 4th c. B.C., judging from an amphora
of the Massaliote type, some sherds of painted pseudo-Ionian ware and some local bucchero found there. Some 1st c. A.D. baths (a room with a hypocaust has been found) were part of the statio.
Close by were two buildings, their walls built of
quarry stones bonded with mortar and faced with at least
two layers of paint: the first layer, which is Augustan,
is dotted to make the base of the second adhere well; in
the second coat, a floral design dates from the Flavian
era (late 1st c.). A number of white marble fragments
have been found there as well as some sherds of La
Graufesenque and Banassac ware. The second building,
which is filled with iron slag, contains a furnace for reducing iron ore. Remains of other furnaces have also
been located: the statio was a metalworking center. One
of the furnaces is now in the Musée du Fer at Nancy.
At the end of the 3d c. (250-280—the dates are known
from coins and pottery) the statio was destroyed and the
walls razed. This is corroborated by cremation tombs
and cineraria where several objects were found, including
a bone pin and coins, all post-3 13, and a store of 27
coins with a bronze key, dated 330-360. The statio was
not rebuilt but served as a necropolis for the new settlement.
What took its place was probably a mutatio, mentioned under the name Novem Craris in 333 in the Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem. It was discovered in 1961 S of the 1st c. statio, and it includes a central
building with annexes. Judging from the material found
here and especially the grave gifts—remains of iron,
bronze disks, a lamp fragment from the late 4th-early
5th c.—found in the tile-covered tombs of the necropolis
(oriented NW-SE), the site was probably occupied by a
barbarian garrison, possibly German. Many of the skeletons were those of women; often the skull was missing, suggesting decapitation, practiced in the Merovingian period.
The remains of some baths have been located in a
Gallo-Roman villa near the presbytery, including three
pools, separated by a courtyard 5.3 m long from a fourth
pool farther E. The walls of the first pool, which is rectangular, are of quarry stones faced with a thick layer of mortar (opus-signinum) with a fresco of red and blue; the floor is made of pebbles bonded with mortar. The
second, larger, pool is also rectangular, and the bottom
is covered with opus-signinum. The third is semicircular;
the presence of hypocaust piles and suspensurae show
that it was a heated pool. The fourth, beyond the courtyard, is rectangular; the bottom is of opus-signinum and the sides are covered with mosaics.
J. Sautel, Carte archéologique de la
(1957) 30, no. 39; C. Boisse,
“Rapports de fouilles à la Direction des Antiquités
Rhône-Alpes, Lyon 1961-1969” (unpubl.); A. Bruhl &
M. Leglay, “Informations,” Gallia
20 (1962) 648; 22
(1964) 532; 24 (1966) 518-19; 26 (1968) 593-94; M.
Leglay, “L'archéologie drômoise. Découvertes récentes,” Bull. Soc. d'archéologie de la Drôme
76 (1966) 352.