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Crafts

These animations are usually realized by our craftsmen every Sunday afternoon during the tourist season only (from mid-April up to mid-October). However since all of them take place on a voluntary basis, we cannot guarantee the attendance of all craftsmen every Sunday. We thank you for your comprehension. Demonstrations can nevertheless be realized any time during the week for groups and upon reservation only.

Roman kitchen garden

We have little information about the way gardens were set up in northern Gaul. A few well-known examples in England and Germany enable to notice that the garden and the kitchen garden were both situated near the villa, most often behind or in front of it. Right in front of the Roman villa craftsmen will show you our kitchen garden and let you discover lots of plants cultivated during the Roman period.

Coin striking

Coin striking and the use of coins developed throughout the Celtic world from the beginning of the 3rd century
B.C. on, under the influence of Mediterranean culture. During the 1rst century B.C. the system changes and diversifies. Every people strikes its own coins that bear most often
the effigy of the leader. A new coin particular to Gaul appears: a bronze-based alloy called “potin”, smelte in a clay mould and printed with a matrix. When visiting the Archaeological Site you’ll have the opportunity to
discover the technique employed to print those coins.

Working with vegetal fibres and wool; weaving

This form of crafts appeared in our regions as early as the Neolithic, some 5000 years B.C. Presentation of various plants used in dyeing, demonstration of carding and spindle spinning.Vegetal fibres and wool are woven with the finger technique, with “small plates” and with a vertical weaving loom.
Archaeology reveals only little information about clothing. Only a small number of cloth pieces discovered in peat bogs, bogs, lakeside sites or still salt mines as well as remains perfectly preserved by metal oxides are available. However several important discoveries allow to relate the history of clothing and its manufacturing processes.

Roman Bakery

The bakery reconstituted near the left aisle of the Roman villa contains a furnace (Furnus) composed of a vault equipped with a horizontal bottom whereon bread is laid down. A traditional baker will let you discover this way of baking bread as well as his production (white bread, wheat and bran bread, brown bread, special breads,…).

Roman Cooking

This is a presentation of Roman food cooked from the recipes of Apicius, a famous gastronome living at the time of Emperor Tiberius (1rst century A.D.). The visitor will get acquainted with particularly surprising specialities.

Celtic jewellery

The Celts used to adorn themselves with bracelets, necklaces, pendants, rings, fibulas, earrings, … The Celtic populations were particularly famous for the quality and the know-how of their metallurgists.A large number of metals were used: gold, silver, bronze, copper, tin, electrum (alloy of gold, silver and copper). Jewels were mainly worn by people with a high social status. Lots of manufacturing processes were used: carving, chiselling, hammering, embossing, lost wax moulding, riveted assembling.

Smithy

Ironwork appeared as early as the 7th century B.C. as a result of the development of iron ore extraction and reduction techniques.
The smith beats an iron ingot in order to make various objects. Iron is struck in order to get more resistant; this is a technique called “écrouissage”. As soon as he gets an object out of the furnace the smithy beats it and shapes it with a hammer. He puts it several times into fire and then plunges it into water in order to change the metal texture.
From the Iron Age on lots of weapons, tools as well as objects of everyday life were commonly crafted.

Bread

Various kinds of cereals were used as early as the Ancient Neolithic: starch plant (Triticum dicoccum), engrain (Triticum monococcum), barley (hordeum vulgare), wheat (triticum aestivum) and spelt (Triticum spelta). The first archaeological breads discovered in France (Charavines, Isère) looked like thick pancakes and were most probably baked during the Last Neolithic (round 2700 B.C.). The oldest risen dough bread in Europe dates back to 3500 B.C. and was discovered in Twann, Lake of Bieler, Switzerland.

The craftsmen of the Archaeological Site will show you how to make and bake unfermented pancakes as well as how to bake dough breads in the oven.

Pottery

Round 5000 B.C. various groups of people coming from Central and Eastern Europe sailed up the Danube and introduced the technique of ceramics into our regions. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the various ways ceramics was made from the Neolithic up to the Gallo-Roman period. Pots were usually shaped with the “coil” technique, then smoothed out, polished and decorated with various techniques, namely by excising, incising, printing, painting, carving or still stamping them. You’ll also experiment lathe-work. The small potter’s wheel first appeared as early as the Hallstatt period but the hand-activated rapid potter’s wheel did not appeared until the La Tène period and until the Roman period its utilization remained rather rare in our regions.
Pots are baked during festivities.

Bronze

This new technology first appeared in the Middle East between 3500 and 3000 B.C. and expanded throughout the whole European territory from the second half of the 3rd millennium on. The technique most probably results from research aiming at improving the copper quality by mixing it up with other metals. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin; its hardness qualities (resistance to pressure), its resilient properties (resistance to shocks) as well as its casting possibilities are far greater than those of copper. At the Archaeological Site you’ll discover two smelting techniques: lost wax and bivalve mould.

Tablet work

Shaping bone, cervidae antlers or still horn is a technique that was already known as early as the Paleolithic. While visiting the Archaeological Site you’ll have the possibility to discover various kinds of products representative of different periods: Prehistory, Bronze Age, Iron Period, Roman period and the Early Middle Ages. You’ll also enjoy a demonstration of the use of lathe-work as well as of a manual drill. Lots of objects were made out of those materials, namely weapons (sword handfuls, arrow heads,…), tools (hallmarks, needles, awls, styles,…), decorative and everyday life objects (hinges, combs, furniture pieces, drink horns,…), games pieces (dice, counters, pawns,…).

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