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ALETO (St. Servan sur Mer) Ille et Vilaine, France.

The ancient city was set on a granite promontory overlooking the English Channel and linked to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. It was probably occupied from the Gallic period on, and is mentioned in the 5th c. A.D. as the seat of a garrison responsible for defending a section of the Arinorican shoreline. Towards the end of the 3d c. A.D. the city acquired a strong circuit wall; only a small section of it remains today, on the cliff edge opposite the modern port of St. Malo. Recent excavations have uncovered the base of this wall for some 20 m, as well as three curious semicircular structures that were an integral part of the defense system.

The rock underlying the rampart had been hewn (deep perpendicular notches and small square basins) to accommodate the walls of a small religious building. The same method of working the rock was used in a cove W of Aleto, where a series of rectangular ditches cut in the rock was recently found. One of these ditches contained a large wooden machine construction of undetermined purpose.


A. Dos, “Cinq campagnes de fouilles archéologiques à la Cité d'Aleth à St Servan sur Mer,” Annales de Bretagne 76, 1 (1969).


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