Dept. Eure, France.
Situated 100 km W-NW of Paris and 32 km SE of
Rouen. Since the 18th c. traces of the Roman occupation have been found in the lower section of the modern
town close to the church (fragments of sculpture, columns, coins of the 2d c.).
From 1910 to 1969 ruins of a Gallo-Roman theater
were excavated on the S side of the Lieure valley, at
mid-slope, in the Bout de Bas quarter. The theater wall,
which runs W-E, was uncovered over a 50 m length;
originally it must have been 82 m long. Thirty m along
its S face it is joined by the orchestra wall, which starts
to curve from the 5th m. The scena, which is 12.30 x
4.10 m, extends from the great theater wall from the
34th to the 47th m. The wall surrounding the cavea has
a doorway in its lower section; it is built up the hillside and curves to the E. This wall has been excavated
to a length of 30 m.
The theater is rustic in construction. Building materials are of local origin (flint or chipped limestone
blocks embedded in yellow mortar). The remains of
plaster can still be seen on the inner faces of the walls.
The floors of both the orchestra and the scena are of
beaten earth, unpaved. The tiers most probably were
cut in the earth of the hillside or made of wood. The
theater appears to have been built some time in the
1st or late 2d c., then reused as a farm or country
house. Sigillate ware from Lezoux, and everyday pottery in the 2d c. style have been found on the site; also
bronze, enameled peacock's tail fibulae (3d c.), writing
styli, and a small bronze plaque with inscriptions and
the figure of a god (Sucellus?). Coins range from Trajan to Valens. Six newborn-infants' tombs were discovered in the floor of the orchestra and scena; one of
them contained a glass oil flask, another a coin of Constantine II. Many food remains were also found there.
This theater can still be seen; it is in the process of being
excavated. The objects found there are kept at Lyons-la-Forêt. Remains of Gallo-Roman dwellings have also
been uncovered in the same part of the city, opposite
In the Lyons section 3 km to the S, in Forêt de Lyons
(Canton du Gouffre), a 2d c. dwelling with hypocaust
was excavated from 1951 to 1954. Scattered over a 1-ha
area around it is a large quantity of everyday pottery
of the 2d c., gray or pinkish, suggesting that there was
a potter's workshop in the area and that the excavated
house was his.
In Forêt de Lyons (Canton du Robinet Cuit) a treasure store of 1st and 2d c. coins was found at the end
of the 19th c. The collection is at the Musée des Antiquités de Rouen.
M. A. Dollfus, “Etude arch. du Canton
de Lyons la Forêt,” Bull. Soc. Normande d'études préhist
. 25 (1922-24) 126-48; id., “Découverte d'habitat gallo-romain à Lyons la Forêt (Eure),” Rev. des Stés sav. de Haute Normandie
, 2 (1956) 41-46; id., “Découverte d'un balnéaire gallo-romain au canton du
Gouffre en Forêt de Lyons,” Bull. Soc. Normande
., vol. 37.2, pp. 34-37; id., “Compte rendu des fouilles gallo-romaines du quartiér du Bout de Bas
à Lyons la Forêt,” ibid., 39.2 (1968) 72-75; id., “Le
Théatre gallo-romain de Lyons la Forêt,” Sté Nationale des Antiquaires de France
(March 1970); Dollfus & A.
Guyot, “Sepultures de nouveau-nés dans les fouilles de
Fleurheim à Lyons la Forêt,” Annales de Normandie
4 (1968) 283-300M
M. A. DOLLFUS