Marc GUYON - Les Fondations des ponts en France. Sabots métalliques des pieux de fondation, de l'Antiquité à l'époque moderne,(préf. de J. Mesqui), 2000, 253 p., 558 ill., tabl. et cartes (ISBN: 2-907303-30-9)
In the traditional construction of a bridge, the installation of the wooden foundation supports is one of the most difficult and technical challenges facing the builders. In the case of sub-aquatic foundations, the engineers and the builders must solve additional difficulties. These include the stability of the bridge, taking into account the vibrations from passing vehicles, the force of the current, the possibility that material might be eroded from around the supports and the preservation of the wooden supports that are subjected to various degradations in a wet environment.
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From an inventory of currently known sabots (large wrought iron reinforcing) in France, the author examines their technology and the history of their construction from the Roman period. These items have remained relatively unchanged up to the present day. Sabots are found in all areas of France and in other surrounding countries and the author observes the technology of these items and their evolution with time.
This technical study, using the perspective of the longue durée illustrates the ancient and sophisticated techniques brought to Gaul by the conquering Romans that have been preserved during the following centuries by craftsmen and artisans.