Mont-Beuvray (ancient Bibracte), Bourgogne

Geophysic and topographic mapping

Bibracte was the ancient capital of the Eduens, a Gallic people who occupied a territory located between the Saône and the Allier, in the 1st century BC. Abandoned around the turn of the century, the town occupies one of the highest peaks in the Morvan, Mount Beuvray. Bibracte is an emblematic historical site, where several major episodes of the Gallic War took place. It was intensively explored in the second half of the 19th century, which made it one of the main reference sites for Celtic archaeology.
The Bibracte oppidum is located in the communes of Glux-en-Glenne and Larochemillay (Nièvre), Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray (Saône-et-Loire).

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Partenaires institutionnels

AOROC - UMR8546-CNRS/ENS Bibracte - Centre archéologique européen - Mont Beuvray

Header photo : aerial view of Mount Beuvray in autumn © BourgogneLive / Aurélien Ibanez 2015 photo library Bibracte : n° 104601. Arnaud Meunier, archaeologist-geomatician, BIBRACTE (Contact).


Since 1984, the site of Bibracte has been the subject of an ambitious international archaeological research programme, which is run by a public establishment, BIBRACTE EPCC, which is also in charge of managing the site, classified as a historic monument and labelled a Great Site of France. It is developing an active policy of raising public awareness of archaeology through the Bibracte Museum and the presentation of the remains in situ on Mount Beuvray.

Digital Bibracte

Responsible for the conservation and sharing of the site’s archaeological archives, since 2018 BIBRACTE EPCC has been developing Bibracte numérique, a digital equipment programme and the development of digital tools that concerns its various professions and the different categories of its users (archaeologists, students, researchers and the general public), with a view to an integrated approach and experimentation.
This approach is based on four fundamentals
 a collegial approach widely shared with the archaeological community ;
 The sharing of know-how and its networking ;
 The opening of data according to the FAIR principles ;
 Permanent archiving of data in secure warehouses based on the TGIR Huma-Num infrastructure.

Bibracte Numérique aims to develop a digital archaeological ecosystem, i.e. an area for experimenting and learning new digital practices in the various fields of activity covered by the site (archaeology, but also museography, education, tourism) to facilitate encounters, communication, exchange and transmission between the internal and external players who visit the Bibracte site.
Bibracte Numérique is based on four projects :
 Disseminating knowledge through archaeological mediation using the potential of digital technology [MEDIATION] ;
 Developing digital equipment for excavation sites for the benefit of archaeologists and visitors [TERRAIN] ;
 Build a production chain for archaeological knowledge based on the potential of digital technology and organise knowledge for dissemination to different audiences [RESEARCH] ;
 Set up an appropriate digital infrastructure [INFRASTRUCTURE].

The web GIS

The main purpose of this web GIS is to visualise the results of the geophysical surveys carried out on the site and its surroundings (in particular on the Sources de l’Yonne site) since the 1980s, while proposing links with the corresponding data deposited on HAL.
By the number of measurement campaigns, as well as the diversity of the deployed techniques and the number of their authors, the file of the geophysical prospections of Beuvray is indeed representative of the evolution of the discipline since the appearance of the first devices dedicated to the archaeological applications.
We count about fifty measurement campaigns, which made it possible to cover an area of more than 40 ha, most often by means of several complementary techniques.

These campaigns mobilised numerous teams of prospectors from French and European laboratories (notably the universities of Ljubljana and Brno). It should be remembered that the site has various particularities that are as many challenges for geophysical prospecting : heavy forest cover, very inhomogeneous geology and strong affectation of the soils by periglacial phenomena, archaeological sedimentation that is often plurimetric.

The actors

The dataset is completed by a high resolution digital terrain model resulting from a LIDAR survey campaign carried out in 2007 by the German operator TOPOSYS on behalf of BIBRACTE.
The web GIS data were compiled and prepared by Michel Dabas (CNRS, AOROC) and Christelle Sanchez (Bibracte project manager) in 2019 and 2020. They are partially freely accessible, and partially in controlled access for the most recent surveys for which the data are being prepared (work by the University of Brno).


 Alix 2000 a : ALIX (St.). — Synthèse sur les prospections géophysiques réalisées au Mont Beuvray. Dijon : université de Bourgogne, 2000. DESS « Archeo-Sciences ».
 Alix 2000 b : ALIX (St.). — Bilan Des Prospections géophysiques au Mont Beuvray : 1985-1999. In : Rapport annuel d’activité 2000 du Centre archéologique européen du Mont Beuvray. Rapport 2000, p. 279-281 [En ligne :].
 Dabas, Mušič 1997 : DABAS (M.), MUŠIČ (B.). — Bilan des prospections géophysiques. In : Rapport annuel d’activité scientifique 1997 du Centre archéologique européen du Mont Beuvray. Glux-en-Glenne : Centre archéologique européen du Mont Beuvray, 1997, p. 199-210 [En ligne :].
 Dabas, Gruel, Cartereau, Riahai - Chronocarto, un Web-SIG libre pour les archéologues (pas seulement…), Archéologies Numériques, 3, 1, DOI : 10.21494/ISTE.OP.2019.0350. hal-02188767.
 Sanchez, Dabas, Milo, Quiquerez, Thivet. - Récolement de la documentation géophysique sur l’oppidum de Bibracte, p. 61-66, in : Vincent Guichard. Rapport annuel 2019 du programme quadriennal de recherche 2017-2020 sur le Mont Beuvray : Synthèse. [Rapport de recherche] ISBN : 978-2-490601-03-5, Bibracte - Centre archéologique européen. 2020, pp.328, p.63-68. halshs-02922185.