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SAINT-DIÉ Vosges, France.

A Gallo-Roman settlement, no doubt of commercial character, existed on the site of the modern town, on the left bank of the Meurthe at the crossroads of several routes traversing the Vosges range. The ancient remains collected by the local museum during the 19th c. were destroyed in the fire which devastated the town in 1944. The museum is being rebuilt.

Since 1964 systematic excavations have been under way on a blocked-off projecting ridge in the mountainous massif of La Bure, ca. 4.5 km from the center of Saint-Dié as the crow flies. The site could simultaneously control the routes of communication and protect mining installations. In the period of Gallic independence it was used as an oppidum; it later became a place of cult and refuge for the Gallo-Romans. The Gallo-Roman rampart, whose final construction seems to date to the 4th c., made use, among other materials, of large sculptured pieces which apparently date to the 2d c., and in particular of funerary stelae, occasionally complete. Other pieces of sculpture were found scattered in the talus and ditch. Inside the oppidum a number of cisterns have been discovered; they seem to have been linked to native cults. One has yielded an inscription dedicated to the Dianas (Dianis); near another, sculptures were found which evidently belong to groups of a snake-footed riding god.


M. Toussaint, Répertoire archéologique Vosges (1948) 148-50; Bull. de la Soc. Philomatique Vosgienne 68 (1964-65ff)MPI; R. Billoret in Gallia 24 (1966); 26 (1968); 28 (1970)PI; 30 (1972).


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