Oppidum d’Affiac   2 comments

You have to enjoy poring over maps if you want to discover things in the landscape.

You also need time and curiosity. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular as I scanned slowly across the GeoPortail.fr map – but the word ‘enclave’ snagged my attention, and I zoomed in. There at the top of the hill, at 191 m. was an irregular shape.

Along the length of  le Basin de l’Aude I have been finding oppida perched on promontaries that overlook the valley-plain. So I zoomed in again, using the  Parcelles Cadastrales level :

Luck was in, and curiosity paid off : there was at least something there – it would be worth the trip, even if it turned out to be just a mediaeval fort.

The size and shape is indeed fort-like, and if I had not already seen the remains of the oppidum at Pic St. Martin, I would not have realised what it was I’d found.

Above is the outer wall looking east.

The ground-plan was similar : about 40 metres square with several internal ‘rooms’. The construction too was identical : roughly dressed stone in dry-wall form.

Below is a view to the west, commanding the Roman road to Carcassonne.

Inside is evidence of underground storage pits – for water or grain.

The Volcae Tectosages (a contemporary Greek name for the Gaullish locals) were probably the first to build here, as in other Iron Age strongholds. It is the better workmanship – revealed in this entrance sill – that distinquishes Roman construction from the earlier edifice.

Local hunters use one corner – possibly the remains of a lookout tower – as a hide. So I haven’t really ‘discovered’ anything – just identified it and named it.

Posted March 9, 2010 by MH

2 responses to “Oppidum d’Affiac

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  1. felicitation pour votre curiosité et votre interet pour notre belle region!! amicalement Lopez Romain

    • eh bien merci!
      c’est comment tu ma trouvé? je suis toujours curieux, parce que c’est un coin peu visité, le préhistoire de nostre régoun (pays des catharigoristes/cathariomanes . . . )

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