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SAXON-SION Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

The Côte de Sion, one of the high places (max. 542 m) of the civitas Leucorum, is ca. 35 km from the capital, Tullum (Toul). It is a sickle-shaped headland towering 200 m over the Xaintois plain, always a rich agricultural region. Numerous traces of ancient occupation from prehistory on have been noted. The presence of ramparts, towers, walls of houses, hypocausts, and sculptures has often been ascertained, all evidence of dense Gallo-Roman occupation. At least three Roman roads converge on the hill. Stray finds have been numerous: an inscription honoring Mercury and Rosmerta (in the Musée Lorrain at Nancy), a bronze hermaphrodite (at the Epinal museum; height: 0.5 m), and many coins, some of which have been collected in a small storage depot on the site. In 1937 a necropolis was investigated which contained both late (4th c.) Gallo-Roman tombs and barbarian graves. The cemetery produced many grave-goods. In 1964 upon the occasion of the straightening of a road and the laying-out of a parking lot, it was possible to establish, thanks to a precise stratigraphy, the following sequence: a Celtic settlement, a villa of the Early Empire, an arcaded building of the 2d c., and a concrete floor of the 4th c., which was finally destroyed by grave pits in Christian times.


E. Salin, Le Haut Moyen-Age en Lorraine (1939) 33-72I; M. Toussaint, Répertoire archéologique Meurthe-et-Moselle (1947) 57-62; L. Deroche, “Edifices gallo-romaine découverts à Sion,” Gallia 23 (1965) 242-44P.


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