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BRIORD Am, France.

A small town on the right bank of the Rhône, on the borders of Gallia Narbonensis, Gallia Lugdunensis, and Gallia Belgica. It is near important roads and waterways, and 25 km from Augusta (Aoste). It became important in the 1st c. and continued so until the early Middle Ages, and the modern village shows many traces of ancient ruins beneath it. A large aqueduct under the Briarette hill carried water from the valley of the Brivaz. A theater (not located) is mentioned in an inscription preserved in the hamlet of Vérizieu.

The necropolis is at the foot of the Briarette hill on the plateau known as Les Plantés, 500 m from the modern village. Nearly 200 tombs from three different periods have been excavated since 1956. The earliest are pagan (1st c. and early 2d); oriented NW-SE and dug in open ground, they have no stone rings around them, but many have wooden coffins and some have votive hearths. Inhumation and incineration were both practiced. The tombs of the late Roman period (end of 3d c. and early 4th) are partly pagan, partly Christian; oriented W-E, they have tiled coffins. The latest tombs (5th-7th c.) are barbarian; they are ringed with stones or dug in open ground, and some have wooden coffins.

In the middle of the necropolis stands an Early Christian church with one aisle (10.35 x 8.65 m); it has a flattened chevet with a sacristy on either side. This cemetery church, built in the 5th c., was destroyed in the Frankish invasions of the 7th c.

There are many finds in the local museum.


A. Grange et al., La néropole gallo-romaine de Briord (Ain) (1960); id. et al. La nécropole gallo-romaine et barbare de Briord (Ain) (1963); id., La nécropole gallo-romaine et barbare de Briord (Ain). D'ouverte d'une basilique paléochrétienne (1965).


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