(“Polygium”) Hérault, France.
site, called La Monédière, is 5 km N of Agde, on the
right bank of the Hérault and at the head of the delta
that the river formed in antiquity. Favored by this excellent geographical position, the site, which some historians
identify as the city of Polygium mentioned by Avienus,
became an important emporium in the 6th c. B.C., and
a port of call for Etruscan and Greek navigators. It is
also possible that Greek colonists settled Bessan before
Agde was even founded. In any case, the rise of that
Massaliot trading post in the 4th c. B.C. put an end to
the prosperity of Bessan: the settlement was partly abandoned at that time, but had a certain revival of activity in the 1st c. A.D.
Nothing is known of the plan of the city, which covered 4 ha. Excavations have revealed some huts built either of cobwork (6th c. B.C.) or basaltic stones (4th c. B.C.). The last occupation stratum (1st-4th c. A.D.) contained a cistern, in the S section. The importance and
wealth of the original city, however, can be seen from
the many Etruscan, Punic, and Greek imports: Attic
ware, in particular, is varied as well as of high quality,
and much of it bears graffiti in Greek characters. The
finds are housed in Agde and in the Institut d'Archéologie in Montpellier.
J. Coulouma, “La station grecque de
La Monédière prè de Bessan,” CahHistArch
9 (1936) 690-712; J.-J. Jully, “La céramique attique de La Monédière, Bessan.” Latomus