The Gauls and Gold (Archeology files)

The Gauls and Gold (Archeology files)


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"There is practically no deposit of silver on the land of Gaul, but gold in abundance that the inhabitants collect ..." (Diodorus of Sicily, V, 27, 1, after Posidonius) . The Gauls were associated with gold in ancient times. Although this link is weaker today, Gallic works preserved in museums remind us that Gallic gold was indeed a reality. Archaeologists and historians, thanks to their work, shed more light on the place of gold for this society. The number 399 of the Dossiers d´Archéologie offers a new assessment of these discoveries which allow this people to enter history.

The gold of the Gauls

Franck Perrin proposes in a first contribution to provide an overview of ancient sources but also the meanings of gold for the Gauls. Pierre Moret explores the question of ancient sources and in particular the Posidonius writings. He evokes the political issues, the Roman moral discourses on "Gallic austerity" in the face of Roman greed and rapacity embodied by the acts of Caepio and his army in the war of the Cimbri. The focuses that dot the issue deepen certain points and allow the reader to have a broader panorama on the subject.

Mining is approached through three contributions. Lemovice operations hold a special place because they were located in the largest gold region of independent Gaul. The excavations of 1985-1990 and the beginning of the 2000s contributed to a better understanding of the functioning of these sites. Béatrice Cauuet in her two contributions retrace the operating procedures but also the consequences and social implications of this industry. Frédéric Trément deals with the Arvernes mines and the research program that made it possible to find them and better understand their impact on the landscape.

The following contributions focus on the making of gold objects such as torques (Hélène Hautenauve-Juchs), gold treasures (Jean-Marc Doyen - Anne Cahen-Delhaye), coins from the example of Normandy (Pierre-Marie Guihard) and the famous Argis helmet (José Gomez de Soto - Stéphane Verger). The use of gold in funeral contexts is also mentioned in two articles, one devoted to the gilding of the chariot tomb of Warcq (Émilie Millet - Renaud Bernardet - Floriane Helias) and the other on gold in the tomb of Lavau (Émilie Millet - Bastien Dubuis). Marie Tracol's contribution concludes the dossier by providing an overview of Gallo-Roman objects found in treasures and deals with the evolution of the value and significance of gold objects in this space.

In addition to the latest research news and the latest publications, the issue addresses in a contribution by Sacha Kacki and Dominique Castex the question of the management of plague epidemics. Finally, a colloquium was organized on the steel industry following the exhibition "Striking iron. The art of African blacksmiths "at the Quai Branly museum sheds light on the African steel industry as well as European steel in protohistoric times. In the end, this very successful and always richly illustrated issue of Dossiers d´Archéologie constitutes a successful synthesis of the Gauls and their relationship with gold.

The Gauls and gold. Archeology files n ° 399. At newsstands and by subscription.


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