Southern France: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (Paperback)
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Short Description for Southern France Covers the Midi from the Massif Central to the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees. This work concentrates on the rich archaeological heritage of this region, from the cave art of the Paleolithic period through to the end of Roman Gaul, including tourist centres such as Carcassonne, Arles, Avignon, and Nice.
- Published: 01 June 2001
- Format: Paperback 250 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780192880062 ISBN 10: 0192880063
Full description for Southern France
The Midi, between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean, is the region of France that is richest in archaeological treasures, and these are described in the OAG to South France. The earliest of these date back to the Palaeolithic period, some twenty thousand years ago, when our ancestors were decorating caves and rock shelters with dramatic depictions of hunting and ritual. Later human cultural evolution in the region is represented by strongly defended hilltop settlements and by impressive funeral mounds and dolmens. Greek colonists arrived around 600 BC and set up towns along the coast, trading with the local peoples, and these are the origins of the main towns of the present day, such as Marseilles, Nice, and Arles. The region was annexed by Rome in the 2nd century BC and the prosperous new province was endowed with many fine public buildings, such as the amphitheatres and theatres at Arles, Nimes, and Orange, the network of roads, and massive towns walls, as at Carcassonne. In addition, there is plenty of evidence of more mundane aspects of daily life, such as the water-mill at Barbegal, the potteries of La Graufesenque, and the houses of the town dwellers at Vaison-la-Romaine.