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CHÂTEAU-PORCIEN Ardennes, France.

Site on the Aisne near the Roman road from Reims to Cologne. Excavation has yielded traces of Neolithic occupation and, some distance away, some Gallo-Roman objects and traces of buildings. Most of the digging has been carried out at La Briqueterie, near the old Ecly road, at L'Aiguillon, and on the Nandin plateau overlooking the Aisne valley.

In the lower part of the site a well-furnished incineration necropolis has been found (terra sigillata and common ware, fibulas, bracelets and an oinochoi of bronze), some harness pieces and a horseshoe by the roadside, and traces of a Gallo-Roman villa containing frescos and mosaics. On the plateau were found not only coins (Tiberian aureus) and quantities of sherds, but also traces of craftsmen's workshops (fibula molds, bronze-founding crucibles) and the cellar of a house.

Aerial photographs show that there was a city on the plateau covering at least 20 ha, with buildings arranged on a grid plan, several of them very large. A number of complexes of individual buildings have also been located on the outskirts of the city. Work on the site itself has uncovered pits dug in the clay, the basement of a house with clay or limestone walls where many potsherds were found, and the foundations of a square fanum. The floor of this building had about a dozen pits dug in it which held a variety of objects: one pit contained about 100 bovine horns and nothing else. The pottery was varied, consisting mainly of common wares, metalized black ware, Gallo-Belgic ware, the pottery with a crackled appearance and bluish tone often found in Champagne, and a smaller quantity of imported terra sigillata. When it is possible to date them, the wares in every case go back to the 1st c. A.D., sometimes to the beginning of the century. The early finds are housed, in part, at the Musée de Rethel; recent ones are in the depot of the Service of Antiquities in Reims.


A. Larmigny, Bull. Soc. Arch. Champenoise 2 (1908) 54ff; 7 (1913) 18f; 18 (1924) 13; 20 (1926) 78-80; 21 (1927) 70f; 22 (1928) 52f; 30 (1936) 33f; E. Bosse et al., Travaux de l'Académie de Reims 129 (1910-11) 219-26; M. Maquart, Bull. Soc. Arch. Champenoise 30 (1936) 18-25; Bull. du Comité des Amis du Musée du Rethelois et du Porcien 9 (1939) 30f; E. Frézouls, Gallia 27 (1969) 291ffI; 29 (1971) 278-80I.


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