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Morphogenèse, fonctions et évolution de la centuriation B d'Orange et essai de restitution diachronique des paléopaysages du Tricastin (Drôme-Vaucluse)

Abstract : This work presents a study of the formation, function and development of the cadastre B (centuriation) of Orange, and a suggested chronological reconstruction of the ancient landscape in the Tricastin region which is located in the middle Rhône valley (Drôme-Vaucluse) France. This system of centuriation has long been the object of research attempting to determine its extent and manner of division. However, few archaeological excavations had been carried out before this study. Thus, its precise form, function and development remained to be defined. The archaeological excavations were part of a campaign of rescue archaeology, and enabled detailed investigation of several areas of the cadastre. Morphological analysis, satellite imagery, and estimates of the area of land divisions, together with the investigation of the soils and archaeology on the ground, allowed us to define the importance of the environment and sedimentary processes in the laying out, form and permanence of the field boundaries. We were able to demonstrate that the nature of the axes of the cadastre and the field boundaries varied according to their position and the underlying landform and soils. Indeed, the overall layout was very varied, throwing into doubt the idea of a strict and predetermined organisation of the grid - an idea which is still widely held. We also considered the process of preservation in the differential conservation of the field boundaries. This multidisciplinary approach led us to determine precisely the function of ditches which are the most widespread element of the centuriation. We demonstrate that they were important for water management in the Tricastin plain, and have drawn up a possible flow pattern for the Roman period. The sediments of the ancient ditches yielded environmental information from which the variability of the farmed landscape, and its changing cropping regimes could be discerned. The diverse body of data gave insight into the interrelationships of the various factors operating. Thus, periods with intensive agricultural activity correspond to periods when the ditch network was most active and the settlement pattern highly developed. In contrast, periods of agricultural decline correspond to periods when the ditches were abandoned and major changes in land use.
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Contributor : Cécile Jung <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 8:57:59 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 1:23:35 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 2:24:50 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-00595343, version 1

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Cécile Jung. Morphogenèse, fonctions et évolution de la centuriation B d'Orange et essai de restitution diachronique des paléopaysages du Tricastin (Drôme-Vaucluse). Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université François Rabelais - Tours, 1999. Français. ⟨tel-00595343⟩

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