The Gallo-Roman necropolis of Sagnes

The commune of Pontarion is located about 20 km from Guéret in Creuse. In 1843, a note mentions the existence of a temple dedicated to Priape, destroyed 25 years earlier during the construction of a house.
Then in 1904, a Gallo-Roman cemetery was uncovered by a ploughman who discovered a cavity filled with ashes and bones, buried only a few centimeters away, and brought to light a granite block.
Since then, about fifteen blocks of the same kind, some cylindrical, others cubic, have been discovered... One of them contained a completely crude medal.
At the end of January 1986, the town hall of Pontarion reported the discovery of Gallo-Roman burials with incineration on the territory of the commune. The discovery was caused by the recultivation of an uncultivated parcel of land, known as Les Sagnes.
The excavation of this site, carried out from 1986 to 1990, allowed the discovery of 296 cremation burials.
The necropolis of a modest Gallo-Roman village was used for a century and a half, between 150 AD and around 300 AD. The 296 burials excavated were all cremation tombs.
The deceased was placed on a pyre with personal objects, ceramics broken during the funeral ceremony and food offerings. After burning, the remains that remain (charred bones, charcoal and debris from the offerings placed on the pyre) constitute the residue of the cremation. Often the charred bones were sorted and placed in a vase (cinerary urn) or in the receptacle of a stone chest.
As always in antiquity, this public necropolis was located near an ancient road. A low dry-stone wall delimited the necropolis, which contained three types of burials.


Necropolis of Sagnes
23250 Pontarion



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La nécropole gallo-romaine des Sagnes à Pontarion

"La fouille de la nécropole antique de Pontarion s'est déroulée de 1985 à 1989. Cet ouvrage nous présente l'étude exhaustive d'une nécropole qui a été utilisée du Ier siècle de notre ère jusqu'au IIIe siècle. Chacune des 300 tombes, qu'il s'agisse de coffres funéraires en granite, de dépôts en fosse en pleine terre, ou dans des urnes céramiques a été analysée : mode de mise en place des dépôts, mobilier funéraire, étude anthropologique, archéozoologique et paléobotanique." Martine FABIOUX, Conservateur régional de l'Archéologie.

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