Roc Gris Hillfort   Leave a comment

We have climbed this steep and slippery slope countless times over the years – and have remarked on the stone heaps we pass as we near the top of this dramatic peak – which is still only half-way to the summit of Alaric Mountain itself. It required an improvement in my French before I realised that the Camp Rolland was not au dessous, but au dessus :  not below – but above the rock striations.

camp rolland above Moux 1

This is the eastern end of the wall : it runs for 200 metres in an arc, enclosing the summit of Le Roc Gris promontory [418 m.]

reconstructed section of roc gris oppidum wall

Here above, my friend Sue is helping with the scale of things : the wall has been researched and partly reconstructed.

roc gris oppidum wall

The wall has collapsed for most of its length and is blending into the rest of the stoney hillside. Parts of interior wallings and constructions are impossible to show – it all looks like random rubble.

roc gris oppidum wall looking northwest

The wall is about 1 m. wide and 2m. high – here the view is northwest out over the Aude river valley towards the Montagnes Noires.

repaired wall of roc gris oppidum

Above is a short section that has been reconstructed, and probably searched with metal detectors.

Le Roc Gris is just that : an extremely arid environment with no water and little vegetation. We still can’t identify this humble flower.

Archaeological searches have revealed that the hill fort was not inhabited for long periods – and seems to have been a place of retreat or safety – or a look-out post commanding the entire Aude valley.

More oppida can be found/will be posted in the Page column to the right.

Posted May 15, 2008 by Richard Williams

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