In Chartres, the miraculous discovery of a Gallo-Roman ceiling in carved wood

ARCHEOLOGY – The excavation campaign has led archaeologists to an inestimable booty: more than 1,500 pieces of ornate woodwork dating from Antiquity. Their perfect state of preservation is due to the water present in the Apollo basin, discovered under the charred beams.

This sunny October afternoon will long be remembered by archaeologists. And their unusual discovery. Carried out until the end of the month, the campaign of the great Gallo-Roman sanctuary of Autricum – the current Chartres – led the team to a discovery that some do not hesitate to qualify as “pure miracle”.

The wasteland where the old sanctuary was located was occupied by slaughterhouses between 1836 and their destruction in the early 2000s. Since then, the space has been used to see a nursery and an Olympic swimming pool rise. But before summoning the backhoe loaders and concrete mixers, preventive archaeological excavations must be carried out. All the more important since the diagnoses carried out from 1995 to 2001 are categorical: this a priori harmless space preserves the remains of an ancient sanctuary of eleven hectares. It brings together several buildings, linked to the procession and to devotion. Bruno Bazin, archaeologist and now in charge of archeology

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