Mons Seleucus
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  Mons-seleucus 1.0,
publication Mars 2011.

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 Mons Seleucus Site


Welcome to this site where you will find numerous writings dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries together with more recent ones. This underground site has been known through the descriptions made by the different protagonists (archeologists, well-informed amateurs, and researchers), at different periods of time, and through the drawings Janson made during the 19th c. excavations (go to the "history" page for further

The Vicus
The Voltinia tribe
Cults in Mons Seleucus
A domus in Mons Seleucus
Building, materials, tools, decoration
Trade and industry
Agricultural installations
Recent discoveries : Le Comte Villa
Objects found at different times
Places where the objects are preserved
Within the current village


Mons Seleucus is located by Antoninus between Cambonum (in the Chauranne valley) and Davianum (Veynes). It is situated along an ancient route linking the Drôme valley to the Mont-Genèvre pass through the Cabre pass, at a natural crossroads leading to Cularo (Grenoble) and the Trièves; to Segustero (Sisteron) and the Middle Durance through the Buëch valley; to Vasio (Vaison-la-Romaine) and to the southern part of the territory of the Vocontii through the Aygues valley. The town is located at the bottom of La Batie Montsaléon, in the vast Lachau plain.

la batie

© Olivier Dalmon, in Mons Seleucus (2006)

Mons Seleucus was "a lowland town, which, though not defined by any ramparts, was fraught with an aristocratic presence". It was a vicus associated to a sanctuary. The northern part of the Buëch plain was a place of traffic, and of commercial and cultural exchanges. One of the grouped settlements was 6 km north of La Bâtie Montsaléon, at Serre La Croix (where stood a vast villa of many hectares and a fortified camp), and in the locality of Les Beaumette (certainly the "Mansio" used at the time, as a post house to all sorts of travellers). Within a radius of 2 to 3 km around La Bâtie Montsaléon, stood isolated buildings..."    .
A geograph notes that La Bâtie, situated in the Buëch countries, has an ?? open plain for the important development of a town and an economic activity (agriculture, transport, etc...).
Excavations carried out in 2005 allowed  to date the occupation of the site from between the 1st and 4th centuries.

  The Vicus

© olivier dalmon in Mons Seleucus 2006Pierre Gilet:
"The Roman town probably spread on the largest part of the places known today as  "La Commanderie", "Ponteillard", "Le Prélacour", "La Catellane"," la plaine de Lachaud" (where the main settlement was)... The Romans did not use to build their houses next to each other as we do."

Hericart de Thury:
"Through the size, the solidity and the magnificence of Mons Seleucus ruins, you can still appreciate today its ancient splendour... the ruins which were discovered show an unimaginable grandeur."
"...We can see an enclosure which is 200 m long and more than 120 m wide, and next to it, several others as large... tall and beautiful edifices, public buildings, the ruins of a temple, columns, the site of an altar, a vast field where corpses were burnt, a columbarium, tombs, well-built houses, aqueducts, the remains of a public fountain, a large factory, etc..." 
"... the buildings were separated by large streets. In the North, in front of the large peristyle there was a long avenue ending on a vast square. "

Philippe Leveau:
 "... on 2.5 ha, spreads a district where different spaces have been made out: several dwellings, a bath house, craftsmen's workshops and shops probably... However the plans evoke housing blocks organised around streets and open spaces (yards, squares, gardens) .... Discoverings along the path to Maraize have confirmed the existence of a necropolis clearly defining  the southward expansion of the town.
... The urban characteristic of this grouping is corroborated by the presence of a water conveyance system and a bath house... Most likely a square stood northwest of the domus (situated in the centre of the grouping), where the fragments of a monumental statue were found out.
...a building was located 40 m northwest of the current townhall... and a press between two wine storehouses... in this area, we can note the presence of antique structures.
The main element of the synthesis is the identification of a sanctuary associated to the vicus..."
"The area which seems to correspond to the centre of the town is only 6 ha or so, that is one fifth of the surface. The road network organising the grouping is not really known: JCF Ladoucette's plan and Héricart de Thury's descriptions correspond to some streets only.
"We note the presence of two different structures which may correspond to two phases... The town might have not had a regular plan."

Pierre Gillet's monography:
"... the sources in Diana's woodlands must have been part of a sacred wood called "Lucus" which certainly was a very pleasant place to stroll along.

  The housing

Héricart de Thury:
 "Indeed what makes us think it was a town, is the quantity and the variety of ruins, the arrangement of the buildings, the alignments which seem to be those of regular streets and squares, built in one go. The whole is quite regular.
...Among the large numfber of houses and rooms uncovered, I noted that several revealed wealth and refinement. In some of them, the walls were still roughcast with a fine, glossy and glazed cement; in others, this roughcast had been coloured; sometimes it was simple and plain, sometimes  it was adorned with several mouldings...
In the current state of these ruins, it is exceedingly difficult to say what these vast edifices and the multitude of small apartments of which they are composed were built for. The whole is characterised by an impressive size and the endless divisions that can be noted evoke a mere maze today. A main entrance decorated with a rich peristyle can be made out; there probably stood and altar, farther on were the kitchens; on this side, vast apartments seem to indicate military lodgings and shops on that side; on the right rooms adorned with columns and on the left plainer ones; at one end of this vast precinct, the lodgings of a doorman and opposite, a public square...
In some of these houses, we sometimes found marbles, sometimes granites or porphyres which had been used to decorate them... some were adorned with columns, many were colourful inside. Acqueducts, masonry conduits or lead pipes went under several houses to convey water to each of them, to the fountains or to the public baths."
All the painting fragments we found come from red-coloured frescoes. However I noticed that some must have been part of larger colourful paintings. These represent white and blue draperies on a reddish background..."

  The Voltinia tribe

Two inscriptions (in Mons Seleucus and Serres la Croix) evoke a so-called "Attius" inscribed in the Voltinia tribe listing the citizens of Narbonensis, which suggests that it is the same person or the same family.

There is an inscription in La Bâtie Montsaléon with the name of "L. Attius":
Diis Manibus, Lucius Attius Lucii filius Voltinia tribe, Tertullus sibi et vivus fecit

Pierre Gillet:
"...From the plans of the edifices discovered, it was a town and from L. Attius Tertullus's  inscription, it existed two centuries before Magnentius's defeat. The beauty and the shape of the signs, the names, the mentioning of the Voltinia tribe, and the objects found during the excavations related to pagan religion only, seem to give evidence of a more ancient existence..."
A marble block was found in Serre la Croix. It was 0.80m high and 0.45m wide and deep.

Héricat de Thury:
"... It seems to come from a votive altar; the upper part is slightly hollowed out; on one of the sides, there is quite a deep notch which probably held a lead-soudered tenon.
The examining of the letters which are from the right time, allows us to suppose that the inscription dates back to the middle of the Empire. Here is the reading that we will propose : Lucio Attio Maximo Voltinia Flaminicus Ex Voto.
... These two inscriptions prove that L. Attius must have held an important post or must have been famous, either in the Vocontii city or in Mons Seleucus (...).
...Other inscriptions confirm the name of the tribe to which the Vocontii belonged, that is, the Voltinia tribe, and consequently that they came under Latin law.

  Cults in Mons Seleucus                                                                                                                                  
"The tall columns at the entry of the Doric temple were made of a chalky granular stone composed of a large quantity of shell fragments; these columns were certainly well-proportioned and at least 10m high; as to the small columns, they were made of compact limestone from the nearby mountain..."

- Mercury:  a bronze statue representing the god sitting on a rock, with his coat splendidly thrown on his left shoulder; the wings of his hat are unfold. Unfortunately, that lovely statue is mutilated.
- Mercury:a superb statue of Mercury with his winged hat and a light coat over his shoulders.  He is carrying a bowl in his left hand; in his other hand, he seems to be holding a caducea which was broken. He is wearing brodequins on his feet.
- Aesculapius: this god is sitting on a rock. His face is deeply-wrinkled and thickly-bearded. With his left hand, he is helping a exhausted-looking child to his feet.
- Triton: this god is riding a fish. Both are made of bronze. He is holding a spear in his right hand.
- The Museum of Antiquities in Grenoble displays other bronze gods which were found in the plain of La Bâtie MontSaléon before the revolution.
- Two statues of Jupiter
- One of Mercury
- One of Diana
- Many of Priapus
- A white marble group... obviously linked to the cult of Mithras... representing a stout young man in a manly attitude who has just defeated a bull lying on the ground. With his right foot, the winner is pressing the bull's hind leg to the ground. The bull's tail is broken but most likely its tortuous coils were hitting the hero's body. A dog is rushing on the deep wound that the bull has just received on the right shoulder. A snake is rising from the ground, getting its head close to that wound. A scorpion seems to be devouring the bull's genitals. At the front and at the back, there were two statues, the front one is holding a torch upside down. This was the work of a famous artist whose name has been lost. It was discovered in the ruins of a house which, considering its building and the large number of odd objects found there, must have belonged to one of the richest inhabitants of Mons Seleucus.

- Two bronze chimeras with a woman's face, a lion's body and an eagle's wings.
- An Etruscan divinity wearing a bonnet with an old woman's face, two teats and wings. This bas-relief ends with the foot of a fabulous animal.
- Several heads of Medusa and Silenus.

- An intaglio ingraving on greenish jade representing Apollo's head. The god looks inspired with his eyes to the sky and his lyre awaiting the impulse of genius.

- Bronze or iron sacrifice utensils, hooks, cleavers, daggers, axes, knives and especially "victim knives" found by the main altar; charms, chains, censers...)

- A votive altar with a small niche to let the immolated victims' blood run and a scarrifying knife was found in Buzés (and sold to Mr Plat, an antiquarian in Orpierre).

Private cults:
" a statue of Terminus: this god is thickly bearded, he is wearing his hair up in a bonnet which envelops his head, he has a stooping back, his hands are leaning on his hips, his arms are bent, his legs and thighs are not proportioned (...), his caudal vertebras form some kind of a tail which contributes to making this lovely statuette even more original and bizarre."


  A domus in Mons Seleucus

Gillet's monography:
 "The plan of a typical Pompeian house surrounded with yards, warehouses and gardens clearly appears on the ancient plans. It has a northwestern and southeastern aspects, and a garden with a peristyle facing southwest.
This architecture is quite unusual in our harsh-wintered mountain latitudes ."

Philippe Leveau , Maxence Ségard…:
"The dimension (more than 3500 m∑) and the building quality of the domus in the centre of the agglomerated settlement are surprising."
"In the area limited by the Brieu path in the northwest, a group of quadrangular structures can be observed. These structures have a northeastern / southeastern aspect and cover a 50 m x 40 m space. We can recognize the plan of a domus characterised by the succession on the same axis of a portico yard and an atrium, themselves surrounded by rooms of different shapes and sizes.
A vast yard or a garden, 18 m wide and at least 24 m long, is situated in the southwest. It is bordered in the northwest and in the southwest with two long rooms or halls, around 3.5 m long, and in the northeast with a 6 m wide room extending the portico and stretching along the whole yard, that is, on 24 m at least. This room leads to a group of smaller rooms organised around a square atrium of 12.5 m per side and with a 5 m x 4.5 m central pool.
...We can see a complex group of rooms of different sizes and shapes... several rooms of a same length (9 m)... a room around 8 mwide framed with two narrow  rooms (less than 2.5m)... several larger rooms...  a 3.5 m x 10.5 m space right next to the atrium, divided in two rooms and bordered with wider rooms (around 5 m)... It is the typical plan of the Italian house. The rooms connecting the portico yard to the atrium would be a tablinium (the central room) and two fauces... the entrance is framed on both sides with two tall columns and eight smaller ones, all made of limestone. The main columns are wider and Corinthian style.
... several rooms appear northwest of the domus... we can recognise quite large rooms in the south, and a set of smaller and interlinked ones in the north... some are richly decorated (coloured coating, marble, columns) and must have been living rooms. Some of the larger spaces must have been yards or gardens. We can assume that the rooms situated at the front of the house were shops, whereas workshops and storerooms stood at the back."


The location of the buildings is not certain: "...this building was situated east of the living area, along the southern part of the so-called Roman road...". One of the buildings has been searched but quite incompletely. Janson writes: "when the main part filled with hachures was discovered, I started to make a plan of it but couldn't finish as M Duvivier took it into his head to give up that part of the excavations. When he whimsically resumed the work, I had left La Bâtie Monsaleon. So I sent Saulnier, my conductor, there to draw  the visible parts. "

Héricart de Thury:
"... Opposite the factory, there was a semi-circular basin of 4 m in diametre and depth. It was coated with 0,02 C* of lime and cement and carefully built on a square platform surrounded with conduits and acqueducts, completely coated too. Not very far, there were tanks coated with three layers of cement, the third of which was very fine..."

Isabel Béraud:
" Ladoucette's plan and descriptions make it obvious that these structures were thermae. A 5.20 m x 4.70 m central room with three apses can be seen:
The northern apse was occupied by a semi-circular basin coated with lime and cement. This swimming pool is 3.40 m in diametre and seems to have been coated with concrete consisting of lime mixed with brick rubble.
The two lateral apses of the same diametre communicated with the central room through a 0.50 m wide opening. In this room, we can see two hot-air vents which must have supplied the underground part of these apses. The central room and the lateral absides can be interpretated as a hot room with two hot swimming pools... The praefurniae (after praefurnium : furnace vents) which probably supplied these swimming pools are not represented on the plan even if they are mentioned by Ladoucette... Around these rooms whose plan is known, other thermal rooms have been uncovered. From the probable large scale of the buildings, these baths could be part of public thermae."
 * : metre probably

  Building, materials, tools, decoration

Héricart de Thury's writings:
 "The tall columns at the entry of the Doric temple were made of a chalky granular stone composed of a large quantity of shell fragments; these columns were certainly well-proportioned and at least 10 m high; as to the small columns, they were made of compact limestone from the nearby mountain...They are composed of 4 or 5 mixed samples ; they were rough on the surface and without any moulding. The walls are only 60 cm thick, hardly more than 80 cm; more often, 45 to 50 cm. As to the tall buildings situated east of these ruins, as neat as varied, I find it difficult to decide what their use was. In the centre, there is a vast room whose floor was perfectly unified  and in which a large quantity of coal was found. Aqueducts, masonry conduits or lead pipes went under several houses".

"... lying on a base without torus, and built out of five pieces gathered by a mortar or a cement as hard as stone.
... Near this building... we can see a semi-circular basin made of lime and cement which is 4 m in diametre and depth, ovens, and tanks coated with several layers of a very fine cement.
The materials with which Mons Seleucus was built come from the mountains and still rouse admiration.
...copper or iron scoria, lead bars or bars of old copper turned to red or brown oxide, or to green carbonate."

Tools were found in particular near the factory... such as pliers, tongs, chirurgical pincers, axes, hammers, a two-handled knife and other knives, iron spoons, hooks, brass or wrought iron doorbells, well chains, hinges, keys, paintings, furniture or door decorations, rings, porous lava millstones, baked clay weights etc,..."

MC Romieu: "Many a time, I saw  remains of curved and flat tiles in the whole area coresponding to the ancient station. These two different kinds of tiles even seem to have been equally used. Therefore, I can say that the roofs of this Roman station were the same as those from Italy."

Trade and industry

Pierre Gillet :
"... in Mons Seleucus, there probably were lots of civil servants, public figures, sollicitors, etc..
In this area, trade must be quite important, especially in the first years of the Empire. Importing and exporting were certainly made easier by the "viae publicae" near Mons Seleucus.
Importing consisted of:
- red pottery which must directly come from Italy.
- red  draperies and fine fabrics.
- fine wines.
- artistic pieces of work
- fine stones as marble, porphyry, grey sandstone, etc... for the monuments
The export industry couldn't consist of anything else than wool (untreated or fulled), local pottery, wheat and oil. The fourteen large urns found in 1825 probably came from an oil shop... the different workers employed in these industries were certainly numerous: "fullers", shoemakers, bakers, butchers and all sorts of salesmen, then emancipated slaves, free workers and public slaves (slave plates were found, some of which had inscriptions on them). Then the rich private individuals with their clients, their slaves, their families and their emancipated slaves. Then the middle-class citizens and finally the natives' descendants: Ligurians, Celts or Gauls living in the region before the Roman conquest.
The travellers stopping at "Mansio Montis Seleuci" were on their way to the town. The reasons for travelling were frequent and the travellers very numerous.

Héricart de Thury:
"... we found the ruins of a large factory made of molass-sandstone. The inumerable fragments of clay vases, lamps, urns and amphoras together with the shape of the ruins seem to indicate a vast factory in which, on one hand, metals were worked and cast, and on the other hand, different sorts of pottery were made. Not far from this factory... large apartments which seem to have been the managers' can still be found; the workers' flats are on another side;  behind the factory, there is a vast precinct where the gardens probably stood. Finally, in front of these ruins, we can see streets going to the grand-place and to the avenue where the main building stood.

Philippe Leveau , Maxence Ségard…:
"... The discoveries made near the tall building also consisted of metallurgy tools (pliers, pokers, pincers, sledgehammers), together with lead ingots, and copper and iron scoria. We can suppose these tools are linked to pottery and metallurgy."

  Agricultural installationsdolium

Philippe Leveau, La Cella Vinaria (le chai):
 "... In 1836-37, the diggers unearthed a building 30 to 40 m∑ north-east of the current townhall. It is divided in compartments. In the eastern part there are nine dolia (amphoras). They are 1.60 m high  and 1.50 m in diameter, big enough to contain two people. On the other side of the building there is another room containing five other dolia. Standing in three lines and 1m away from each other, all the dolia are linked one to the other by semi-circular conduits dug in the ground. In the center of the building, there is a large room with three 13 m long slabs dug to make flowing easier. These slabs might have been part of a wine press separating two cellars.
The tiled basin can be seen as a crush pad from which the must was distributed to the dolia through drains set in concrete consisting of lime mixed with brick rubble.The five dolia west of these blocks could be the containers designed to collect the press wine".
So there was a wine storehouse and therefore a wine activity in the High Büech."

Héricart de Thury:
Agricultural implements
"Agricultural implements such as scythes, sickles, billhooks, forceps, pickaxes, iron chisels, knives, or gardening scissors, were found. They do not look much different from ours.
The town supplies the villae around Mons Seleucus such as the one in Saxum (Le Saix) with clothes, fabrics, crockery, objets d'art, etc..."


Champuri Necropolis
Eastward, in the Champuri plain, bones, statuettes and medals were unearthed. The existence of the necropolis excavated in 1805 south-west in the Lachaud plain is confirmed by many inhabitants. It would be situated today under Mr La    til's metallic shed. During the building of this shed, a large quantity of antique objects, and especially glass and ceramic balsamaria, were found. 
Behind the church choir, a tomb was discovered. Between the two thighbones of the skeleton lied two purple glass lachrymatory vials, whereas a black pot, a lamp and a coin of Gallienus were found  at its feet.

La Commanderie Necropolis
One of the necropolises was situated outside the town in the locality of " la Commanderie". Funeral inscriptions confirm the presence of monumental tombs, three local sandstones which seem to have been part of a Roman monument. One of the stone is 1. 45 m long and 0.52 m high. It bears the following inscription:

Le Comte Necropolis (see below)
2 km north of la Bâtie Montsaléon, down the Sellas wood hill, Mr Yves Blache discovered several relics in 2003 while doing some excavation works :
Lead funeral urns, plain ceramic jugs, a large glass urn and glass balsamaria, two saucers made of extremely fine glass, an oil lamp and several nails, a fragment of bronze ear ring and of pottery.
It might be the burial site of a nearby unmarked rural grouping.

Les Combes Farm
A farmer living in Les Combes Farm, 2 km south of La Bâtie Montsaléon, unearthed a lead vase weighing around 12.500 kg, a big glass bulb with a wide neck containing charred bones and woods. Iron nails and lachrymatory vials filled the lead vase.


Gillet's monography:
 "The sepulture mode of Mons Seleucus inhabitants probably varied according to their wealth and importance or maybe to their beliefs and their customs or even to time.
The corpses were either buried right in the earth, or cremated (probably during the High Empire), or entombed along the ways (during the Later Empire and Christian times). There were some bottles which probably were funeral urns. A kind of lead coffin was found and given to a plumber from Laragne. "

Héricat de Thury:
"... a vast field was used to burn corpses . it was situated south of the town and at the end of the plain, on the right bank of the Maloise torrent. Numerous excavations were made and everywhere testimonies of the last honours that Mons Seleucus inhabitants had made to the remains of their parents or friends, were found.
From the excavations... I deduce that this ceremony consisted in digging in the ground, a round pit one meter deep and one meter in diameter maximum. In that pit, was built a pyre on which the corpse was put with very combustible substances. Different objects, expensive or dear to the defunct, made of gold, silver, bronze or even iron, were thrown onto the pyre with the lachrymatory vials. When combustion was over, a lamp and vases made of clay, new  lachrymatory vials and one or two urns were put in the pit and over all the gathered ashes. These sepultures lying at one meter from each other are quite numerous. Most of the time, the urns are all well-preserved, not too deeply buried, 50 cm at the utmost and right on the ashes.
Apart from this resting place, urns and lachrymatory vials can also be found in houses, gathered in kinds of columbaria not too deep underground."

JCF Ladoucette:
"...Urns containing bones or ashes were found in the resting fields where tombs are one meter from each other... human bones of a large size were unearthed in a castle overlooking Mons Seleucus. Brass and bronze decorations such as bas-reliefs and palmettes, etc were discovered near the altar."


Father Charton:
"... 800 medals made of silver, copper and some of gold were found. They represent the she-wolf, Romulus and Remus, the ox (an agriculture symbol), Julia, Juliana, Faustina, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Claudius, Vespasian, Aurelian, Antoninus, Hadrian, Philip, Probus, Maxentius, Constantinus, Licinius, Magnentius, Constantius and Marcus. The station still existed under that emperor (5th century)..."

Héricart de Thury:
"6 to 700 Celtic and Roman medals were excavated; some are made of gold, others of silver and most of themof bronze. Among the medals studied, many represented the she-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus, others featured an ox on the reverse. Some are known as Nemausus medals".

  Recent discoveries in Le Comte Villa.

Further to excavating works in Le Comte hamlet, which started in September 2002, gullies in a slope brought out two lead urns in Summer 2003. They were examined by Maxence Segard from the Regional Archaeology Department, who made the following report:
The remains are situated on the outskirts of the hamlet, down the Sellas wood Hill, on the right bank of Petit Buëch. The site is new.

Stratigraphic observations:balsamaire
The relics correspond to several coal levels: two funeral lead urns and five plain ceramic jugs. The coal and the artefacts are situated at the same level, but the state of the cross section (which is non vertical, very compact clay) did not allow  to define the stratigraphic relations.
Here are the observations that can be made though:
- Each one of the two urns is associated to a coal level.
- Each associated urn and coal level are at the same altitude.
- The jugs were arranged between the two urns.
- The coal levels contain many bone fragments and nails.
- The jugs and the urns are all set with their opening up [...] ”

The urnsurne
Both urns are made of lead.
The first one looks like a purse with the opening upward, but its closing system did not really protect the objects inside (a large glass urn and seven glass balsamaria). The fragment of an earring was discovered nearby.
The second urn was 1m50 away from the first one and seems more neatly made. It is cylindrical, with a sealed bottom and a round lid with perpendicular edges which allowed an excellent preservation of the contents. Indeed it was intact, except for the ash vase, probably broken by the impact of the excavation. The urn is adorned with branches and foliage on the lower part whereas a face is drawn on the upper part.
This urn contained another large glass urn identical to the one discovered in the first urn. In this glass urn, there were charred bones and a clay oil lamp decorated with a rooster over two small dishes made of very fine glass.

The following objects were also found nearby
- Several clay jugs, plain ceramics with an egg-shaped belly, a narrow  neck and a sole handle.
- Many nails.
- The fragment of a bronze earring.
- The fragment of a burnt ceramic, which may suggest the presence of gifts on the pyre.
- Small fragments of balsamaria, the possible evidences of other cremations.
To conclude, Maxence Segard says that" the existence of a Roman burial site is certain. The coal levels correspond to the remnants of a pyre, probably in a pit previously dug. A lead urn containing a part of the defunct's remains and a few objects was put in each pit. Jugs were arranged around that urn too. The absence of ferrous clay clearly indicates that the pyre had not been built on the spot. Consequently, we can say that it is a secondary cremation with the transfer of the defunct's remains and in this very case, of the whole  pyre.
Le Comte Necropolis cannot be the limit of Mons Seleucus Roman town as it is too far from it. It rather seems to be the burial site of a nearby unmarked rural grouping".


  Objects found at different times

Art , Statues, decorations

Héricart de Thury::
"...In the ruins of a house, a very large quantity of rough alabaster pieces which seem to have been chiselled were discovered. They may indicate the dwelling of a sculptor.
- A bronze she-wolf. From its attitude and its broken parts, we can say that it comes from a group composed of a cart carrying a figure, drawn by two she-wolves which had, each of them, a disc under one front paw. Thus we can strongly suppose that this figure evokes the city of Rome.
- A white marble finger of a perfect dimension which must have belonged to a statue about 2m27 high.
- A brass she-tiger, 5 cm high and 10 cm long.
- Fragments of well-preserved mosaics, identical to those we can find in every antique shop


"... In several rooms,  one meter under the surface of the ground, red painted glazes as smooth as marble were discovered. 
... as to painting, only one sample of blue and white drapery on a reddish background was found."

Héricart de Thury :
"Our painting fragments all come from frescoes and are mostly red. However, I noticed some which must have been parts of larger and more colourful works.
...Fragments of mosaics were found in several apartments of the tall edifice and the surrounding houses. They are well- preserved and identical to those we can find in every antique shop."

"They are designed to represent:
- gods
- famous figures
- sacred and pagan celebrations
- important events in history or in fable

Bas reliefs
- a bronze disc of 0.14 m in diameter which was the bump of a shield
- two bronze chimeras with a woman's face,  a lion's body and an eagle's wings
- an Etruscan divinity
- several heads representing Medusa and Silenus
- several fragments of marble bas-reliefs

Natural history objects
Natural history objects were found in houses situated near the factory which were probably shops. They consist of different minerals, sea shells from far away, the remains of earth animals and especially felines. There are many elephant and lion teeth, stag antlers, etc..."

balsamaire"A very large number or bronze, glass and clay vases for civilian or religious use were discovered. They are decorated with the most elegant drawings. Many represent hunting scenes, others bear the name and the brand of the maker. Several amphoras were found, one of which was still tinted with the colour of the wine it had contained...
Generally the glass works are quite curious. For instance, a gobelet artistically chiselled, whose base represents a strong head with the features of a Burgundy king."

Military equipment

Héricart de Thury:
"... parts of swords, spearheads, javelins, broken helmets and the fragments of a shield were discovered. The shield is 1m in circumference and 4mm thick. The iron it is made of is covered with copper and lined with silver, which proves it to belong to an important warrior.

Everyday instruments

flaconHéricart de Thuryboucle
"...Several instruments made of silver, copper, ivory or bone were found: toiletries and bath instruments, writing and geometry materials, musical instruments, toys, bracelets, earrings, enamelled hearts on bronze, metallic mirrors, plucking pincers, buttons, staples, pins, needles, awls, spindles, strigils of different styles and sizes and flutes. We can see an empty cylinder, bulbous in its middle, open at its two ends and its upper part. We can suppose this instrument was a water level..."

  Places where the objects are preserved

Most of the objects have been deposited in the Hautes Alpes Departmental Museum in Gap. This collection is composed of objects found during the XIXth c. excavations, and private collections. It includes 79 objects of all sorts (ceramics, bronzes, jewels, weapons, etc...).
A hundred objects have been deposited in Grenoble, in the Dauphinois Museum. This collection is composed of gifts from collectors, of items collected by Hyppolite Müller around 1900, of Paul Plat's collection bought in 1971, and finally of the objects found during the excavations achieved by Michel Colardelle in La Bâtie-Montsaléon in 1972.
This collection was recorded by Stéphane Bleu in 1998. Christophe Barbier provided the photo coverage of it.
Calvet Museum in Avignon received three objects recorded since the XIXth century: a sculpted group representing Bacchus and Ariadne, the bronze statue of a child, and a lead weight. Today, only the statue of the child is still in the museum; the other objects have disappeared.
The Museum of Mediterranean Archeology in Marseille possesses 22 bronze rings discovered during the 1805 excavations.

  In the walls  of the current village

Carved stones in the walls of the current village evoke the Gallo-Roman past.




La Bâtie Montsaléon

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