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Bibracte, a city of the Gauls (1) 

in the first century B.C.E., located on the Mt. Beuvray

The pictures refer to findings that are exposed in the museum

(2)   - The walls and buildings
(3)   - The metals (findings)
(4)   - The metals (techniques)
(5)   - Strange trees
(6)   - Writing
(7)   - Religion , Gallic War
(8)   - Other findings
(9)   - Coins

Mont Beuvray is a hill in the mid-east part of France, in the Bourgogne district, close to Dijon, Alésia and the sources of the Seine (see map France below). It is not a large hill; it measures about 1 km by 1,5 km, and is about 820 m. high.

Still, this hill dominates the surrounding area which influenced its economic and political meaning. In the iron age the Celts dominated a large part of Europe, at least that is present days opinion, even defended by a large amount of archaeologic scholars. The Celts themselves, or Gauls as they are called on the European mainland, may never have considered themselves as 1 tribe with 1 ethnic background. Gaul was probably just a large gathering of small tribes (see map "tribes" below), sometimes peaceful but maybe also with conflicts. In the later iron age sometimes with extensive trading contacts with the Romans and Teutons, sometimes with a hostile attitude towards the Romans.

There is something very strange about Bibracte. Although it's located on top of a hill, Mount Beuvray contains 16 natural water springs! This natural advantage, in combination with the mountain, made it an excellent place to live and defend against armies. Especially when one imagines that there were hardly any trees present which attacking armies could use as a camouflage...

The astonishing findings on this location, like the first proof for the use of cellars in Europe, and the first proof for the use of mathematics during the contruction of a basin, illustrate the vast knowledge of the pre-Roman Celts/Gauls.
After the Romans, led by Caesar, defeated the armies (the so-called "Armee de secours") of Vercingetorix  in 52 B.C.E. in Alésia -which lies about 60 km from Bibracte, the city was eventually abandoned and the people were (forced by the Romans?) to live in the nearby city Autun.

Bibracte, Parc archéologique - centre archéologique européen - 
Bibracte en Bourgogne 

Musée de Bibracte
71990 Saint Léger-sous-Beuvray
Opening dates: March (3rd week)- November 12 (2nd week)

The museum is located on the Mount Beuvray itself, near the path to Bibracte.
Phone: 0385865239
Fax: 0385825800 

Locations of 3 of the most interesting Gaulish places: 
Musée de Bibracte (), Alésia (below Fontenay) 
and the Archéodrome (below Beaune)

Impressions of the city

This is a reconstruction of the area of Mount Beuvray in the 1st century B.C.E., 
based upon excavations (2001), showing the surprisingly lack of trees.

The "Parc-aux-Chevaux"; a district which contained large houses. 
A proof of local aristocracy...

The ramparts of the city

(This larger map opens in a new window)

Trade routes 

The main tribes in Gaul, 1st century B.C.E.

Iron Age European tribes and expansions

Location of the tribes before the Roman conquest of Gaul. 

The dotted line are borders with Roman Gallia Transalpina.

Information about the writer / editor