Archeology: Agriculture at the beginning of our era

Every year, the European Archeology Days draw us to explore the past. In Famari, in the Valenciennes region, excavations over the past few years have allowed us to open agriculture at the beginning of our era.

Archaeological excavations in Famars with Rafael Klotyush and Jennifer Klerje from Inrap. © LT

Given the density of the remains found when we were making trenches for diagnosis, we suspected we were going to find things “, Says Jennifer Clairge, archaeologist at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap). On this street Famars (59), a few kilometers from Valenciennes, diggers, wheelbarrows and shovels dig the ground in search of ancient traces. ” We are saving the remainsadds the archaeologist. What is found is washed, sorted, inventoried, photographed and preserved. “When Inrap teams leave the premises, a person will build his house on this land of history. He is currently patient while Jennifer Clairge and her colleagues investigate. ” We are on the edge of the road, we still need to find out what borders it. »

Beer or cervaise

This key dates back to the Late Bronze Age (between -930 and -800) and was used to make haystacks. © INRAP

Rafael Klotyush has been researching this sector for almost 20 years. ” Already the works of XIVe to prove that there are things in Famars He remarks. Under Louis XIV, the artist Antoine Watteau brought to Paris what the peasants found in the fields during plowing: we have the head of an eagle, a goat, a statue of Apollo. These objects take us back to antiquity, to Ie century AD, when Famars was called Fanum Martis. Scheldt and Ronel are navigable, the land is quite good, the location is strategic. The city covers up to 200 hectares, 10% of which has been explored by Inrap, making this ancient agglomeration the most excavated in France. Raphael Klotyush is inexhaustible on this topic. It describes the past life, each found object allows to comprehend more aspects. ” Remains of threshing grain crops, traces of horse breeding, pieces of pigs were found, so they are intended for export. “, – he quotes. Traces of the presence of large tax inspectors have been found: we conclude that then important economic activity is concentrated in the city. ” More than 1,000 hectares of grain crops are directly dependent on the city, – continues Rafael Klotyush. They feed the city and go for export. Famars also produces ceramics from Bavarian clay, and the amphorae it later makes are located on the German border, in Switzerland and across the English Channel. Inside we store liquid made from cereals… ” Beer or beer “, Suggests an archaeologist. For about 100-120 years the city has a square shape, a sign of the density of its population, during archeological excavations there is a forum and a theater. ” Glue is also made from the bones of oxen slaughtered in Famars. They come from a neighboring village, probably from unexplored areas. On the other hand, there are no traces of full chickens left in the already excavated areas. ” They certainly arrive dismembered after being killed elsewhere. »

Hipposandals take care of horses’ feet. © INRAP

The city becomes a village again

And then the Lower Empire marks the transformation of the city into a military center. Fortifications are being built, the population is moving we do not know where “Soldiers – peasant soldiers – come to cultivate plots when they are not mobilized in the army. ” Batches of fava beans charred in the fire have been found, and this shows us that faba have already been grown. Some traces of the Carolingian period and the Middle Ages. Famars is once again becoming a small village. A chance for archeology. ” This is what allowed to preserve Roman traces. “Today, scythes, fossils, saws, boots with hooves and sickles are preciously preserved by Inrap in Ahikur (62).

Louise Tess

Read also: National Days of Agriculture: open the door to get to know each other better

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