Infrared view of a large
|Model of a large Gallo-Roman villa characteristic of large farms in northern Gaul. |
H. Bernard (Abbeville Museum).
|The Gallo-Roman villa at Estrée-sur-Noye (Somme) was used as a base for the model, following excavations led by R. Agache.||
|Gallo-Roman settlements: Developing the land|
|In the fertile plains of the Artois or the Oise, we find establishments that are designed exactly like the one at Estrées-sur-Noye and sometimes much larger. This is the case at Francières-Hémévillers (Oise), where large parallel structures have been added to the pars urbana|
. The villa at Athies (Somme) is even larger but, at present, only the main residence has been excavated.
Among the great villas with imposing main residences, some, like the one at Warfusée-Abancourt nord (Somme), have a pars agraria that is shorter but wider, and of very elaborate design. In addition, several non-aligned buildings have been located well outside the villa, as Roman agronomists recommended for workshops dealing with odorous or dangerous materials.
|A: First courtyard (pars urbana)|
B: Main residence
C: Second courtyard (pars rustica)
D: Enclosing wall
E: Small square structure: communicating door
between the two courtyards
F: Second habitation (probably where
the overseer lived)
G: A number of annexes line both
sides of the courtyard
X: non-aligned buildings that have been relegated to
the outside, probably for workshops dealing
with odorous or dangerous materials
There are also large, very long villas that are perfectly straight-sided, but with a more modest main residence, like at Cappy, Warfusée-Abancourt, and so on. The similarity of their layouts have allowed us to create a model, an attempt at reconstructing the basic form of these large rural structures from the early third century CE, taking into account the excavations at Estrées-sur-Noye (Somme). The presence of enclosing walls and abutting straight-sided enclosures is perfectly visible in photographs.