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Ludna et Asa Paulini

Jean-Claude Béal
Catherine Coquidé
Richard Tenu


Traduction de Jamie Furniss

Texte intégral

1To the north of Lugdunum on the northward leading road are two stopping places, Ludna and Asa Paulini, located at Saint-Georgesde-Reneins and Anse. Somewhat overshadowed in research by the capital of the Gauls, these two sites have been the object of new work in recent years, as part of planned and preventive digs, the results of which are presented in this volume.

2At Saint-Georges-de-Reneins, the Ludna site, the remains of which are highly degraded, is built on Patural Hill, to the south of the present-day village. Ludna appears to be a small borough traversed by the road. It had, as early as the first century A. D., small islands of dwellings, no doubt of the “long house” type, which were then replaced by a first warehouse. A sanctuary serving the local region is also in evidence. Durant the last third of the first century, the surface area of the borough doubled, through the construction of a major artificial terrace bordered by the road. On this terrace, buildings were erected, in particular new warehouses of a “raised” sort (granaria, horrea pensilia), different from the earlier ones. The presence of these storage structures is obviously connected to the road. But no crossroads or intersection has been uncovered. What is more, the Boitrait backwater that passes along the foot of Patural Hill was dry during the Roman period, and the Saône is more than 1 kilometre from the borough. The traces of occupation found along its banks and lowlands evoke agricultural use of the fertile soil rather than an area for fording the river or loading boats.

3At Anse, to the north of the present-day town, the slope down to the Saône was densely occupied from the time the road was opened, during the period of Augustus. Recent archaeological diagnostics and excavations have uncovered a hamlet and crossroads at La Fontaine, a settlement no doubt linked to the road at La Citadelle, as well as a villa at Bancillon. The latter’s evolution can be traced all the way to the Early Middle Ages ; an oratory and later a cemetery were established in it. To the southwest, the principal site is the villa of La Grange du Bief, established later and less well known. The size of the residence is remarkable ; a nymphaeum, and later thermal baths, were built in the garden, below the elevation of the dwelling. Tombs were built at the end of Antiquity.

4In the town itself, the Roman wall of the Late Empire is still partially in elevation. It is a fortress of small surface area, which remains poorly dated. It was long believed, incorrectly, that it protected part of a “vicus”. It is no doubt rather a place for stockpiling merchandise, in proximity perhaps with a canal that would have connected it to the Saône, and an intersection between the road leading north from Lyon and a road connecting the Saône and Loire valleys. Subaquatic prospections revealed that the bank of the Saône was used, but no vestiges of a ford were found.

5The two stopping places along the road thus appear to have also served, perhaps successively, as storehouses for goods, one at the edge of a borough at Ludna, and the other, at Anse, in the heart of a pleasant suburbium of Lyon, consisting of residences and agricultural plot.

© Alpara, 2013

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