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MAUVES Loire Atlantique, France.

The site, on a hill overlooking the Loire and covering an area of more than 20 ha, marks a small Gallo-Roman city that was inhabited from the 1st to the 4th c. A.D.

A number of luxurious villas has been uncovered, and the richness of the materials used to decorate the walls and floors (green, pink, and white marble, painted walls and stucco, mosaics) is evidence of the wealth of the inhabitants. In the 19th c. the remains of a theater were found on the city's N boundary. It is built, not on a slope as recommended in the Classical treaties, but on the top of the Coteau de Mauves overlooking the Loire and the surrounding countryside. The semicircular wall is built of mortared rubble faced with small blocks and having iron joints; it consists of broken sections placed end to end to form a series of 20 oblique walls. The diameter of the theater at the level of the stage wall is 44.2 m. The seats and the actual stage must have been of wood, since no traces of them have been found.

Some of the finds made in the early excavations are housed in the Musée de Nantes, more recent ones are for the most part at the Touring Club de France in Nantes.


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