Villa at
Villers-sous-Ailly
(Somme).
 
The main and secondary residences are constructed according to the same plan, with a gallery façade flanked by two corner towers. Model by H. Bernard (Abbeville Museum).
 
At Marchelepot (Somme), the villa's two main residences, with nearly identical layouts, are located in the same courtyard.
 
At Etalon (Somme), the villa's two residences, of nearly equivalent size but having different layouts, were located in two differnet courtyards.
Gallo-Roman settlements: Houses
A very elaborate architecture
A B C D E F G H
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Villa at Villers-sous-Ailly (Somme).

The main and secondary residences are constructed according to the same plan, with a gallery façade flanked by two corner towers. Model by H. Bernard (Abbeville Museum).
For a long time, archaeologists were not very interested in the agricultural and crafts outbuildings of Gallo-Roman villas, but only in the main residence, which was all too often called a "villa", thus mistaking the part for the whole. This main residence, a veritable chateau, could be as long as ninety meters and as wide as thirty meters overall. Nevertheless, even on a more modest scale, the main residence always had a very sophisticated, perfectly ordered layout.

Its strict geometry is such that one can speak of a genuine architectural sophistication. The fifth-century writer Sidonius Apollinaris, , speaking of the Gallic villa of his friend Consentius, remarked:
"The house cuts a fine figure due to the artful arrangement of its walls, producing a symmetry worthy of the architectural science".

At Marchelepot (Somme), the villa's two main residences, with nearly identical layouts, are located in the same courtyard.

At Etalon (Somme), the villa's two residences, of nearly equivalent size but having different layouts, were located in two differnet courtyards.
And indeed, aerial research has revealed perfectly geometric and remarkably orderly layouts. This is the case at Villers-sous-Ailly (Somme), which from the air is a perfect architect's sketch! Two corner towers flank the gallery façade.

In the major villas, the main residence is always located along the villa's central axis, and is often much more imposing. It is not unusual for the lateral residence, probably that of the vilicus, , to be a smaller copy of the main house. Sometimes the two dwellings are located in the same courtyard, and, less frequently, they are almost the same size.
Finally, the secondary residence, placed lateral to the main house, can sometime have a different layout.



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