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THE CITY UNDER THE CORN

Archaeological investigation into a mysterious Gallo-Roman settlement

In 2005, during a mission of aerial archaeology, the archaeologist Bertrand Dousteyssier, discovered a group of ancient structures visible while flying over fields of wheat, in the commune of Charbonnier-les-Mines. His photographs show a veritable town, organised around a large central thoroughfare. Over time, the investigation into this mysterious and hitherto unknown town progressed. In 2008, the construction of a crossroads gave Philippe Bet, an archaeologist from Inrap, the opportunity to probe a tiny portion of the buried town, revealing the exceptional state of preservation of the remains.

Bertrand's fieldwork led him to meet local residents, who for years have been collecting objects brought up by ploughs during ploughing. The entry of old collections into the repositories of the Ministry of Culture also enabled the archaeologists to expand their knowledge of the site.

Gradually, aerial surveys were supplemented by ground and geophysical surveys, confirming the importance of the Roman town and gradually completing the layout.

In addition to the threat of looting by clandestine prospectors illegally surveying the site using metal detectors, there was also the risk of the remains being destroyed by a sand quarry project. Faced with this double threat, local residents, elected representatives and archaeologists are joining forces to save this endangered archaeological heritage.

Technical details :
Director : David Geoffroy
Coproduction: Court-jus Production
& Conseil départemental du Puy-de-Dôme
Format : HD
Running time: 52 min
2015

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