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SOMMIÈRES and VILLEVIEILLE (“Vindomagus”) Gard, France.

Important pre-Roman and Roman town situated N of the Via Domitiana on the coastal river of the Vidourle, on a secondary road running from Nîmes to Lodève. The Roman road crossed the river on a bridge with 17 arches, which is still fully preserved but partially hidden by the progressive extension of the modern town into the river bed.

The Roman town, which is little known, appears to have stood for the most part on the Villevieille plateau overlooking Sommières. The plateau has yielded numerous ancient remains (dwellings, mosaics, statues, inscriptions). There was doubtless also a suburb on the left bank of the Vidourle, near the bridge, where the mediaeval town stood. The location of the pre-Roman oppidum, on the other hand, is definitely known to have been on the eminence overlooking the river, exactly W of the present village of Villevieille. The site, in a commanding and naturally strong position, is surrounded by a dry stone wall. Recent explorations show it to have been inhabited from the 6th c. B.C. on. The name of this ancient city of the Volcae Arecomici may have been Vindomagus (Ptol. 2.10.10).


Carte archéologique de la Gaule romaine, fasc. VIII, Gard (1941) 18-19, nos. 54-55; M. Py, “L'oppidum préromain de Villevieille (Gard),” Revue Archéologique de Narbonnaise 4 (1971) 917-32.


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