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BANASSAC Lozère, France.

in the ancient territory of the Gabales, Banassac lies on what is now the boundary of the departments of Aveyron and Lozère, at the confluence of the Lot and the Urugne beside Route Nationale 9.

Local craftsmen were attracted to the site at the beginning of the 1st c. A.D. by the quality of the clay, the proximity of the Causses forests, and the plentiful supply of water. Besides ordinary ware, they turned out painted bowls with a white slip and geometric patterns. The arrival of the Gallo-Roman potters, however, and especially their novel technique, enabled Banassac to change from a local craft workshop to a true center of industrial production.

These artisans came from La Graufesenque and settled in the Urugne Valley about the middle of the 1st c. A.D., setting up a secondary workshop. The wares were exported as far as Budapest, Antioch on the Orontes, Poland, North Africa, and England.

The Banassac workshops were active from A.D. 60 to 190, with marked growth taking place between 70 and 120. The export area shrank little by little after 150, although Banassac ware crops up again at Javols in a stratum dating from 190.

An archaeological depot is under construction, where all the finds will be housed.


Excavation reports: Bull. Soc. Lozère (1860) 47-317; Balmelle, in Cévennes Républicaines, 27 Feb. 1938; Compte-rendu du groupe d'archéologie antique du T.C.F. (mimeo 1962); Revue du Gévaudan (1962) 180; Gallia 24, 2 (1966) 482.

“Haches et monnaies romaines,” Bull. Soc. Lozère (1839) 158; Congrès archéologique, Mende (1857) 29; Fabre, Bull. Soc. Lozère (1875) 33; (1899) 136; (1900) 62; J. Barbot, “Zigs-Zags en Lozère,” ibid. (1901); J. Déchelette, Les vases céramiques ornés de la Gaule romaine (1904) 117; Bull. Soc. Lozère (1906) Chroniques et Mélanges; C. Morel, “Céramique à Strasbourg,” ibid. (1947) 280; (1948) 363; id. in H. Boullier de Baranche, Feuda Gabalarum I, app. 1; id., “Quelques aspects des céramiques Gallo-romaines de Banassac (Lozère),” Revue du Gévaudan (1968) 78-86; id. & P. Peyre, “Les exportations des céramiques sigillées de Banassac en Provence et dans les pays Rhodaniens,” Provence Historique (1968) 66-76; P. Peyre, “Autour de Banassac-La Canourgue dans Gévaudan, Decembre 1961,” ibid. (1962); id., “Exposition Gallo-romaine. Les ateliers de céramique sigillée de Banassac-La Canourgue,” Catalogue d'Exposition (mimeo 1963); Balmelle, Bull. Soc. Lozère (1949) 486, bibl.; ibid. (1955) 136-61 passim; ibid. (1956) 231, 234, 251, 257; M. R. Thevenot, “Rapports commerciaux entre la Gaule et la Mauritanie tingitane,” Congrès des Sociétés Savantes, Dijon 1959 (1961) 185; M. Cavaroc, “Epigraphie inédit sur céramique de Banassac (Lozère),” Ogam (1961) 431I; id., “Les marques de potiers gallo-romains,” Revue archéologique du Centre 10 (1964); “Banassac-La Canourge, Août 1961,” Revue du Gévaudan (1961) 5; ibid. 162-99 passim; Merovingian coins pl. 189.


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