Yvan BARAT, Anaïck SAMZUN
A LATE-ROMAN GERMANIC SETTLEMENT (4th CENTURY)
A long rectangular post-holed building with three naves was discovered at Les Essarts-le-Roi (Yvelines) during an archaeological evaluation in 2004. The finds being too sparse to give a precise dating, the building had initially been dated to Late Prehistory
The building was excavated and the pottery found in the post holes dates the structure to the Late Roman Empire (4th-5th century AD). This type of large rectangular building is practically unknown in the Île-de-France region for these later periods. However a similar construction (orientation, configuration and dimensions) discovered in Normandy at Saint-Ouen-du-Breuil (Seine-Maritime), also dating from the last centuries of the Roman period, was interpreted as a type of architecture associated with the Germanic military stationed in the area (GONZALEZ, OUZOULIAS et VAN OSSEL 2001). This type of architecture is well-known in the Rhine area, in Germany, in Belgium and in the Netherlands. The pottery found at Les Essarts-le-Roi is also of Germanic tradition so it seems that this could be an analogue building to the ones found further North.
The presence of the Germanic military in the Île-de-France region, if it is proven, becomes of significant interest and one can only hope that further discoveries of this kind will be made during the next few years in France.