Thionville. When archeology passes the Gaulish peoples to the revealer

By Toutatis, forget everything you think you know about the Gauls! “Besides, ‘the Gauls’ don’t exist! It is a Roman invention”, insist the municipal agents of the Heritage service. Except that the clichés die hard and have locked the general public (and also the students that we were) in a very stereotypical representation of these men and women in whom we believe we recognize our ancestors… The success of the comic strips of Goscinny has not arranged anything to restore the fair truth about this people assimilated to a band of hirsute brutes devoid of intelligence…

In reality, this is not the case and this is highlighted by the new exhibition of the Heritage Department of the City of Thionville until next September at the Tour aux Puces. But in fact, why be interested in the Gauls? ” And why not ! », retorts Benoît Touveron who finally put his team on an even more exciting track than it seemed.

Between myth and reality

The scenography of the exhibition highlights two aspects: in the center of the room, everything we think we know about the Gauls: the illustrated plates from the first part of the 20th century, where we see a blond and athletic Vercingetorix capitulate before Caesar at the Battle of Alesia. There are also history textbooks that have long conveyed the idea that the Roman conquest educated the Gauls and finally gave them access to a civilization worthy of the name.

All around the room, explanatory panels but above all the exhibition of objects recovered from several archaeological excavation campaigns set the record straight. One can admire fine jewelery in copper or bronze (bracelets, earrings, comb…), an elaborate craft capable of being mass-produced thanks to an ingenious system of moulds, and a number of different coins. And especially weapons found in a perfect summer of conservation.

“The Gauls are at the origin of the sword; they improve the lightness of the tanks thanks to a different wheel. They are far from stupid […] They are neat people, wearing short hair, sometimes a mustache but not always. It is a civilization that exported; they were at the same level as the Greeks or the Romans”, lists the guide. We are well informed.

The Gauls, received ideas, until September 25, from Tuesday to Sunday; from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. FREE ENTRANCE.