Vieil-Evreux (Eure)

An ancient settlement with a religious vocation

The archaeological site of Vieil-Évreux is a secondary religious settlement. It is located on a plateau, 6 km east of Mediolanum Aulercorum (Évreux), the chief town of the Aulerques Eburovices tribe.

Project leaders: Jules Michard, Sandrine Bertaudière, Mathilde Osmond, Michel Dabas, Christophe Batardy.

Project being finalized

Institutional Partners

AOROC - UMR8546-CNRS/ENS Département de l’Eure Gisacum

The first archaeological research in Vieil-Evreux, carried out by F. Rever, dates from 1801-1804. He drew up the first plan of the town. Subsequently, successive archaeologists visited the site in order to refine the research of their predecessors on the various monuments of the town. The Eure department resumed excavations on the site in 1996 with the aim of developing it. In parallel with the research, geophysical and aerial survey campaigns have contributed to a better understanding of the settlement. In 2021, Jules Michard, a student at the ENS, took over all the data collected in order to integrate them into the GIS.

Aerial view of the Vieil-Evreux site

The archaeological site of Vieil-Évreux, is a secondary agglomeration with a religious vocation. It is located on a plateau, 6 km east of Mediolanum Aulercorum (Évreux), the chief town of the Aulerques Eburovices tribe. During the first century AD, at least two poles (settlements) were created. One developed around a first sanctuary and the second near a large public square. Under Trajan, these districts were progressively abandoned and a completely original urbanism was put in place. The agglomeration then adopted an exceptional polygonal shape and reached a surface of 230 ha, of which nearly 45 ha were occupied by a built-up strip forming a ring around the monumental heart. In the latter, baths, a temple and a theatre are present in the centre of the agglomeration. A public square as well as two other temples with a centred plan, a network of aqueducts and some streets complete this space which covers an area of about 185 ha.

The agglomeration of Gisacum

At its peak, in the 3rd century, major expansion and transformation works were undertaken in the agglomeration. A new monumental sanctuary was rebuilt on the remains of the previous one. At the same time, the baths and the theatre were enlarged. A macellum was also built near the baths around 240-250 but it remained unfinished. Some repairs, or even reconstructions, were also carried out in certain parts of the built-up area. Around the middle of the 3rd century, the work was interrupted and the settlement was abandoned. The sanctuary was closed and many buildings were demolished. At the end of the 3rd century, it was transformed into a fortified settlement. The whole complex is completely demolished and recovered during the 4th century.