previous next

BLICQUY Belgium.

A vicus of the civitas Nerviorum which grew up at the point where the road going N from Bavai forks, the right fork proceeding to Velzeke and Ganda (Ghent), the left to Oudenburg. A great many scattered finds have been made there over the years, among them an arm belonging to a bronze statue that must have been ca. 1 m high, and a bronze statuette of Mars. More systematic digging has been done since 1953. In the vicus itself a rectangular structure was found, with a hypocaust; also a cellar, its walls made of large blocks of stone from a nearby quarry and its mud floor covered with a layer of sand that showed traces of many amphorae; and a storage pit simply hollowed out of the clayey soil. The main excavations concern the necropolis and the industrial quarter. The necropolis lies W of the ancient street, between the site of the vicus and the modern village of Aubechies. About 100 tombs had been cleared by amateurs before systematic excavations were started in 1960. About 400 more tombs were investigated, but a good part of the necropolis still remains to be studied. All the tombs are cremation tombs, ranging from the middle of the 1st c. A.D. to the first half of the 3d c., but they vary in structure—some are of local stone or tile, some are lined with wood, some are simple pits. The grave gifts are all very rich, each tomb averaging a dozen pottery vases (mainly local ware) as well as very fine glassware, quantities of fibulas (a good many of enamel and tinned bronze), bronze mirrors, beads of glass and clay belonging to necklaces and diadems, small boxes of bone, bronze bracelets, and, very occasionally, strigils and weapons. Some of the tombs probably were surmounted by funerary monuments decorated with reliefs but only small fragments of these remain.

Between this necropolis and the Bavai road, also to the S of the vicus, was an industrial quarter. Three potter's kilns have been found there, along with their rubbish pits, but some 20 more have been located by proton magnetometer. Recently a shaft-furnace belonging to a forge or ironworks was uncovered in the same area. The potter's kilns were in use between ca. A.D. 50 and 150. A little farther S, underneath the Romanesque church of Aubechies, was a large bath building; it was separated from the vicus by the necropolis and the industrial quarter. A hexagonal nymphaeum has been excavated there, also two rooms (tepidaria?) over a hypocaust. The fact that the Dendre spring is close by and that the baths are located at some distance from the vicus suggests that the baths had a religious purpose. In the 19th c. a bronze statuette of a pantheic god was found near this site. Lastly, it has long been known that there were several substructures at the spot called Ville d'Anderlecht, about 1 km E of the necropolis. A well has been uncovered and restored there, and quite recently a bronze-founder's furnace, trapezoidal in design; also a wooden trough where bronze objects were stored ready for recasting, among them statuettes of Mars and Mercury, handles of chests, phallic amulets, rings, and harness ornaments.


R. De Maeyer, De overblijfselen der Romeinsche Villa's in België (1940) 47; S. J. De Laet & P. Moison, “Une statuette de divinité panthée découverte à Aubechies,” La Nouvelle Clio 4 (1953) 1-4; De Laet & H. Thoen “Etudes sur la céramique de la néropole gallo-romaine de Blicquy,” Helinium 4 (1964) 193-218; 6 (1966) 3-25; 8 (1968) 3-21; 9 (1969) 28-38. De Laet et al., La nécropole gallo-romaine de Blicquy (1972)=Dissertationes Archaeologicae Gandenses


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: