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The sarcophagi quarry of Pied Griffé in the Anglin valley (Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé, France)

Abstract : The Jurassic limestones of the Anglin valley, on the border between the provinces of Poitou and Berry in the center of France, were exploited from Antiquity to the late Middle Ages. An important center for the production of trapezoidal sarcophagi was installed at the beginning of the early Middle Ages. About a thousand sarcophagi were made in the ten quarries of the site, then export in the near region (ca 40 km). The Pied Griffé quarry, located north to the Anglin valley, is the largest and best preserved of the whole site. It is an alcove-shaped quarry of 10 m side and almost as high, including 4 m under the ground level. Ceramics and charcoal removals date the quarry of the 6th-7th century. The sarcophagi produced could easily be exported by water via Anglin, which flows a few meters from the hillside. The quarry was discovered and partially excavated in the 1960’s and is the subject of new archaeological research since 2012: excavation of mining embankments, traceological study, observation of the walls, 3D modeling, survey between the hillside and the river. The study of the quarry fronts and the stratigraphic excavation show a rational organization of the site (direction of exploitation, ramps and retaining walls, etc.) and a great technical mastery to extract blocs of very large dimensions (2 m x 60 cm). The many blocks broken during extraction or cut make it possible to apprehend the production line and the tools used by the craftmen.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03029633
Contributor : Daniel Morleghem <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 6:27:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 5:42:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03029633, version 1

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Daniel Morleghem. The sarcophagi quarry of Pied Griffé in the Anglin valley (Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé, France). 13th annual Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium, Apr 2019, Durham/Newcastle, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-03029633⟩

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