In France, experts from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) during excavations on the territory of an ancient abbey in the commune of Saint-Amand discovered the remains of a royal residence from the time of Robert the Pious and the ruins of an ancient glass workshop.
A summary of the excavation results is available on the INRAP website. The work was carried out in the north of the country, where the abbey was founded in 639. Archaeologists have unearthed several cultural layers in which some very impressive artifacts have been found.
One of the most important finds was the remains of powerful stone buildings that were built at the end of the 10th century. These structures have replaced the equally powerful, but wooden structures created a century earlier. Researchers believe that they managed to find the remains of the royal residence.
Probably, it was the abode of Susanna Rosalia of Italy - the widow of the Count of Flanders Arnulf II (961/962 - 987). lived together for only four years.
Rosalia is known for the fact that she was 12, and according to some sources, 20 years older than her royal fiancé, and that she first married before the birth of her second husband. It was a political union, since Robert became the stepfather of the young Count of Flanders Baudouin IV, in addition, Montreux and Pontier were Rosalia's dowries.
From historical sources it is known that Rosalia complained about the coldness and indifference of her husband, who, according to rumors circulating at that time, was celibate. It is also known that a year after the marriage, Robert sent his wife away from him.
Historical sources mention that a residence was built especially for her at the abbey, in which Rosalia lived in 991 and 992. Perhaps it was its remains that were excavated by French archaeologists.
Another notable find is the remains of an ancient glass workshop. Archaeologists found several handicraft furnaces, as well as a large amount of glass - one sediment left after sifting was found about 1, 2 tons.
Several hundred glass items, vessels and lamps, and glass "drops" - production waste were found. The workshop area was at least 70 square meters, but some data indicate that it could reach 200 "squares".
Excavations have shown that the site where the workshop is located has been used by artisans since around the 8th century. Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that the glass workshop began operating in the second half of the 8th century or at the beginning of the 9th century.