In France, experts from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), while carrying out excavations on the banks of the Doux River in the Drak Bourgogne-Franche-Comte commune, discovered a settlement that arose in the Neolithic era and stood until the Gallo-Roman era.
A short report on the work done is published on the official Inrap website. Large-scale excavations were carried out by order of the state in the Pierre-de-Bresse quarry. They started in the fall of 2020. The study covered a vast area of 10 hectares.
As a result, archaeologists discovered a previously unknown settlement, and the found artifacts and burials indicate that people have permanently lived here for more than five millennia.
The oldest finds date back to the Early and Middle Neolithic (period from 5200 to 3500 BC). In particular, burials from that time period have been excavated. The dead were placed in the graves in twos, laying them on their side in a bent position. The study of the discovered remains showed that the bodies of the deceased were specially prepared for burial. In particular, they were wrapped in something to give them the desired embryo position.
During the excavations, the only tomb of the Bronze Age (period from 2200 to 1450 BC) was discovered. The skeleton in it also lay on its side in a bent position. In addition, an Iron Age burial complex (period from 600 to 450 BC) has been excavated. It consists of two monumental structures surrounded by moats. In the center was a cremation burial. According to experts, this complex was intended for the elite, in particular for outstanding warriors.
Later burials were found, which allowed archaeologists to trace the evolution of the settlement and establish that people lived here continuously, although several periods were noted when the population was declining to a minimum. The main phase of settlement fell on the period from 1500 to 1000 BC.
Also, during the excavations, the remains of various structures were discovered, including artificially created reservoirs and wells, fragments of adobe buildings, numerous shards of ceramics, details of wooden products, including stairs, and seeds, which testifies to the conduct of agriculture.
This city was probably an important settlement during the time of the Romans. It was clearly developing, as indicated by traces of large-scale construction. For example, artificial reservoirs were dug here in the third century AD, and large houses and public buildings began to be built in the first century. Archaeologists have found a large number of tools and coins from that time period. The city was abandoned, apparently, in the IV century AD.