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Artist’s impression of the remains of the village revealed by LiDAR.                 Source: Côtes d’Armor Departmental Council

The Remains of a Circular Iron Age Village Revealed in France


A major archaeological discovery has just been made at Cap d’Erquy, in the Côtes d’Armor. The remains of a circular Iron Age village have been unearthed using revolutionary satellite imaging technology.

Developed by INRAE (National Institute for e-realistic Archaeological Research) and called “LiDAR”, this technology uses lasers to scan the ground and create volume reconstructions of unrivaled precision. This process makes it possible to detect buried structures invisible to the naked eye and without resorting to invasive excavations.

A Forgotten Gallic Village

The village discovered at Cap d'Erquy is made up of around twenty circular huts arranged around a central square. Archaeologists estimate that this village was occupied between the 8th and 5th centuries BC by a Gallic community.

“This is an exceptional discovery which allows us to better understand the daily life of the Gauls at the time of the First Iron Age,” explains Jean-Yves Peskebrel, archaeologist at INRAE. These technologies open up a new imagination, it’s very moving.”

A Promising Technology

The discovery of the village of Cap d’Erquy is another spectacular illustration of the potential of LiDAR technology for archaeology. This technology opens the way to major new discoveries and makes it possible to explore archaeological sites inaccessible through traditional excavations.

“LiDAR is a real revolution for archaeology,” enthuses Jean-Yves Peskebrel. “This technology will allow us to discover important parts of the history of humanity.”

“Of course, we are tempted to draw a parallel between these discoveries and the adventures of Asterix the Gaul, the comic hero. Fans of the saga will undoubtedly see it as confirmation of the Côtes d’Armor roots of the Irreducible Gauls. The craziest thing remains that the images and then the reconstructions carried out after the research at Cap d'Erquy made it possible to reveal incredible details of life in the Iron Age. And we were able to observe that the menhirs were decorative elements, that fish were often used as projectiles or that a huge pot must have been used if we are to believe the traces left by time and visible thanks to our equipment. other elements which also confirm the extraordinarily realistic imagination of the creators.”

Top image: Artist’s impression of the remains of the village revealed by LiDAR.                 Source: Côtes d’Armor Departmental Council

This article is a press release by Côtes d’Armor Departmental Council, titled, ‘Cap d'Erquy: The remains of a village unearthed’, and has been republished.

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