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ETAPLES Pas de Calais, France.

In the Montreuil arrondissement; chief town in the canton. A little port at the mouth of the Canche. In 1842 excavations were carried out on the site of the chateau: several layers of tombs were unearthed as well as many foundations of rectangular houses dating from the Roman period. The excavators' plans show the site as a sizeable vicus. Furthermore, the foundations of a very large Roman tower have been interpreted as belonging to a fortification built in Diocletian's reign; these may be remains of a Late Empire castrum. A large number of fibulas were discovered in chance finds as well as hoards of coins. More recently a collection of coins was discovered by chance N of Etaples, along the Boulogne road (liards); now in the Quentovic museum in Etaples, it consisted of 3791 coins ranging from Septimus Severus to Postumus. The area called Les Sablins S of the city has been under excavation since 1965, and several isolated rectangular houses have been unearthed. Pebble floors and some large collections of shells have been found beneath the sand, and two wells have been located. The settlement appears to have lasted no later than the 2d c. To the N is a small cremation necropolis where some beautiful specimens of pottery with animal motifs, of the Castor type, have been found. Although these digs have made it possible to locate the vicus of Les Sablins they have not produced a decisive argument in favor of the thesis that Etaples was Quentovic.


G. Souquet, Histoire chronologique de Quentovic et d'Etaples 1 (1863); “Rapport sur les fouilles d'Etaples,” Bull. de la Coin. des Mon. Hist. du Pas de Calais 2 (1866) 270; A. S. de Ricci, “Note sur quelques antiquités romaines trouvées à Etaples,” BAntFr (1897) 338-50; J. B. Giard, “Le trésor d'Etaples,” RN 6 ser., 7 (1965) 206-24.


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