Louis CHABOT - L'Oppidum de La Cloche (Les Pennes-Mirabeau, Bouches-du-rhône),2004, 347 p., 350 ill., 9 tabl. (ISBN : 2-907303-77-5)
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The history of the settlement of La Cloche, a site founded in the Middle Iron Age in the Lower Rhone valley, might have passed by smoothly. However, situated in the hinterland of Marseille, the oppidum was accused by Julius Caesar of supplying the besieged town with food, and, one day in 49 BC, Roman soldiers attacked the site, easily broke through the defences, ransacked the settlement, and carried off the inhabitants. This brutal interruption had the effect of fossilising the life of La Cloche. For two millennia the village slept beneath the earth walls of the broken-down houses.
L. Chabot, who has dedicated 33 years of his life to its excavation, gives here for the first time an overview of the entire site. The volume is in two parts. The first is concerned with describing the site, in all its aspects, and its buildings. Brutally destroyed, with no later reoccupation, the oppidum of La Cloche is a fundamental reference point for all future studies of settlements in southern Gaul at the end of the Iron Age. The second part of the book is a review of the different categories of artefacts ; here the conditions of their abandonment on the violent destruction of the village has produced a rare harvest, for each group provides a fixed point in our knowledge of ancient finds assemblages.
This long-awaited monograph provides an irreplaceable well-documented statement of the way of life and of material culture in the first half of the 1st century BC, and also of the hinterland of Marseilles, and, in general terms, of the oppida of southern Gaul.