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ANTHÉE Belgium.

A Gallo-Roman villa, one of the largest in Belgium, excavated between 1863 and 1872 according to the rather summary methods of the time. We know the buildings in their final state, but it is impossible to establish time divisions in their construction. The group of buildings consisted of three courts, each surrounded by walls. In the middle of the SW court stood a luxurious H-shaped dwelling more than 106 m long. The villa had 90 rooms and chambers on the ground floor and probably had a second story. Several rooms had hypocausts. To the NE was a bath building. The NW enclosure contained no buildings and probably was used for livestock. Finally, the SE court contained several appended buildings in two parallel rows. Certain of these also had been used as dwellings (there were mosaics and hypocausts). Others had served as workshop, forge (to judge by the presence of large quantities of slag), barn, shed, stable, etc. The suggestion that Anthée was the main center for the production of enameled bronzes, especially fibulas and seal boxes has been accepted uncritically in most of the works devoted to the ancient art of enameling. However, a recent study based on a new examination of the archaeological finds and on the archives of the archaeological museum at Namur has proved that this theory must be abandoned.

The villa of Anthée goes back to the first half of the 1st c. It was devastated in A.D. 275 during one of the barbarian invasions, was rebuilt, and continued to be occupied until the end of the 4th c.


E. Del Marmol, “La villa d'Anthée,” Annales de la Soc. Arch. de Namur 14 (1877) 165-94; 15 (1881) 1-40P; A. Bequet, “Les grands domaines et les villas de l'Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse,” ibid. 20 (1893) 9-26; id., “La bijouterie chez les Belges ous l'Empire romain,” ibid. 24 (1902) 237-76; R. de Maeyer, De Romeinsche Villa's in België; (1937) esp. 77-83P; id., De Overblijfselen van de Romeinsche Villa's in België (1940) 229-37; P. Spitaels, “La villa gallo-romaine d'Anthée, centre d'émailerie légendaire,” Helinum 10 (1970) 209-241.


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