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SCOLIVA (Escolives-Sainte-Camille) Yonne, France.

On the left bank of the Yonne valley, 180 km S of Paris and 10 km S of Auxerre (along national road 6). No historical document mentions the site, which was discovered by accident in the spring of 1955. The origin of the settlement seems to lie in a Vauclusian spring called Le Creusot. In its immediate vicinity, excavations have brought to light burials going from the Neolithic to the Iron Age period. The remains of the Gallo-Roman settlement extended over several hectares. The Merovingians placed their burials in the Gallo-Roman ruins.

The investigations begun in 1955 are still in progress. A bathing establishment has been brought to light at Le Pré du Creusot. Two stages have been described in detail. The first is mainly attested by a rectangular basin whose bottom and sides were lined with slabs of white marble. The second, probably dating to the beginning of the 4th c., consists of several series of swimming pools with their adjoining rooms. It is all connected by a rather large courtyard, partly flagged. East of this courtyard is located a large basin (9 x 5 x 0.8 m) flanked by two small semicircular pools. To the N can be seen the remains of two rooms with hypocausts; they end in apses. Near them stand the latrines, whose floors were made of large limestone slabs which have been preserved intact. To the W, the largest baths consist of three semicircular pools, each preceded by a room heated by a hypocaust. The whole is under the shelter of metal sheds.

What gives this site prominence is that the walls of the last period were built on foundations made of architectural blocks from one or several monuments whose location, plan, and function are unknown. These pieces have been extracted, cleaned, given protection, and put on display conveniently in a warehouse built on the site, where they may be studied. More than 100 blocks have been stored up to the present, not counting the many fragments collected here and there during the work on the totality of the excavated area. They consist essentially of bases and drums of columns, keystones, architraves, friezes, and cornices. They are worked or carved on two sides, which makes them even more attractive. Most of them seem to belong to one and the same monument. It must have consisted of a series of arches, each with an opening of less than 2 m. For that reason and also because it was ca. 0.4 m thick, it must have had a certain elegance. Seen from the outside it presented a series of engaged columns. The frieze must have been illustrated with scenes which changed at each bay. Thus, one can see themes of the vine, of palmetto decorations, of animals, or mythological scenes. This group can be compared to the portico at Vienne (France), but the similarity is in any event a distant one. One may suppose the date to be in the 2d c. Besides these blocks, the following should be mentioned: a stela dedicated to the goddess Rosmerta alone, with an inscription (185-215); a votive altar dedicated to Smertulus (?); a block depicting a hunting scene; several funerary stelae; and some pyramidal tombstones.

From the remains which have been found, the site seems to have been occupied from the 1st c. to the end of the Gallo-Roman period. The latest piece of evidence seems to be a gold coin of Arcadius. The site was destroyed by a fire, which brought an end to the prosperity of ancient Scoliva. The Roman road named after Agrippa passed nearby and served the site.


C. Bémont, “A propos d'un nouveau monument de Rosmerta,” Gallia 27.2 (1969) i; R. Martin, Reports in Gallia (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968) i; R. Kapps, Escolives-Sainte-Camille Gallo-Romain (1974).


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