Bordeaux and its Moon Harbor are now a major tourist site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to this fame, economic and urban development has enabled archaeologists to discover new places and to renew our knowledge of the history of the city of Bordeaux. The latest issue of Archeology Files provides an update on the current state of knowledge about the city of Bordeaux from ancient times to contemporary times.
Bordeaux: the revelations of archeology
After an introductory article on Bordeaux archeology, Christophe Sireix and Vincent Mistrot present the state of our knowledge of the protohistoric Gallic agglomeration. Christophe Sireix, Xavier Charpentier and Cécile Doulan then present the agglomeration in Roman times.
Xavier Charpentier recalls the latest discoveries at the port of Burdigala and demonstrates that the facilities were more modest and contrary to the image of a sumptuous port transmitted by local scholars. An article is devoted to recent excavations of the amphitheater, also known as the Palais Gallien, which have provided a better understanding of the monument and its history and confirms the dating to the 2nd century AD. Two articles are devoted to the Bordeaux habitat during the Bordeaux period through the excavations of a district located outside the castrum or those of a rich Bordeaux residence in the rue du Hâ which revealed Pompeian-style frescoes .
Ézéchiel Jean-Courret and Sandrine Lavaud present the urban development of Bordeaux during the Middle Ages. The various evolutions are illuminated and show an evolving city with evolving geography, interests and powers throughout the period. Articles are devoted to excavations of medieval cemeteries, the royal portal of Saint-André cathedral and Saint-Seurin basilica. More recent periods are not forgotten.
Christian Block presents the city in modern times. The old Bacalan porcelain and fine earthenware factory has been rediscovered during preventive excavations. Articles are devoted to the various activities of the Aquitaine museum, an archaeological and scientific actor, in particular through an article on the rediscovery of the tomb of Montaigne, the mediation and collaboration of the museum in archaeological research.
This dossier is a successful synthesis of the archeology and history of the city of Bordeaux. The rich iconography, always of very good quality, embellishes and enriches the reading. The end of the Dossiers d'Archéologie is, as usual, devoted to various news. One article deals with Nefertiti's success in popular culture. Studies using MRI would tend to show that works of art and symbolic thoughts may have existed in human species even older than Neanderthals. The Kensington runestone does appear to be a fake, but interest in Viking settlement in North America remains unresolved. Finally, the exhibition "Rare animals, unexpected game - Reflections of Biodiversity" from the National Museum of Prehistory of Les Eyzies is presented. A good synthetic and accessible number of the Dossiers d'Archéologie.
Bordeaux, the revelations of archeology. Archeology files, October 2019.