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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Bibracte environs and agglomeration of ‘Sources de l’Yonne’

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


The Late Iron Age site of Bibracte (Mont Beuvray, Burgundy, France) represents one of the most intensively studied oppida in Europe. Despite this relatively little is known of its landscape context and the nature of contemporary settlement. This project involves a multinational team, under the auspices of the Centre archéologique européen (CAE), examining the nature of Late La Tène and Gallo-Roman landscape development and settlement in the immediate environs of the oppidum of Bibracte. Recent years have focused on understanding the nature of a large unenclosed complex revealed at Sources de l’Yonne, close to Bibracte. This represents the discovery of an extremely unusual unenclosed settlement contemporary with Bibracte itself and has the potential to redefine our consideration of the scale and role of some Late Iron Age oppida (Moore 2017).


A combination of geophysical and molehill survey alongside excavation has revealed a Late La Tène unenclosed complex covering approximately 120ha located around the source of the Yonne river c 4km from Bibracte. Excavations in 2007 around the source, in co-operation with John Creighton (University of Reading), and on the terraces of La Grande Vente (2009-11), in conjunction with the Peter Haupt, Ines Klenner and Arno Braun (Johannes Gutenberg Universtat, Mainz) and Laura Cripps (Howard Community College, Maryland), have revealed occupation of La Tène D2b-Augustan (60/50BC-AD15) date. The size and chronology of the complex at Sources de l’Yonne potentially contrasts with the traditional chronology and role of many Late La Tène unenclosed agglomerations, adding further complexity to the story of the development of Late La Tène oppida in Gaul.

Current research is examining the Gallo-Roman sanctuaries central to the agglomeration and at the source of the Yonne river (a tributary of the Seine). In particular it is assessing whether these might overlie Late La Tène ritual structures, even perhaps explaining the reason for the location and role of the agglomeration (Moore and Hoppadietz 2016).


This project has been funded by Bibracte EEPC and Durham University. The 2007 excavation season was funded by the British Academy.

Published Results

Journal Article

  • Moore, T. (2017). Alternatives to urbanism? Reconsidering oppida and the urban question in Late Iron Age Europe. Journal of World Prehistory 30(3): 281-300.
  • Moore, T., Braun, A., Creighton, J., Cripps, L., Haupt, P., Klenner, I., Nouvel, P., Ponroy, C. & Schönfelder, M. (2013). Oppida, agglomerations and suburbia: The Bibracte environs and new perspectives on Late Iron Age urbanism in central-eastern France. European Journal of Archaeology 16(3): 491-517.
  • Creighton,J., Haselgrove, C., Lowther, P. & Moore, T. (2008). Becoming Roman in southern Burgundy: A field survey between Autun and Bibracte in the Arroux Valley (Saône-et-Loire), 2000-2003. Internet Archaeology (25).
  • Creighton,J., Haupt, P., Klenner, I., Moore, T., Nouvel, P., Petit, C. & Schönfelder, M. (2007). Prospections autour de Bibracte Nouvelles méthodes et nouveaux résultats. Bulletin de l'Association Française pour l’Étude de l’Âge du Fer 25: 17-20.

Chapter in book

  • Moore, T. & Hoppadietz, R. (2016). Le sanctuaire de Sources de l'Yonne - 2016. In Programme quadriennal 2013-1016 de recherche sur le mont Beuvray, rapport annuel 2016, synthèse. Guichard, V. Glux-en-Glenne: Bibracte - Centre archéologique européen. 251-270.
  • Creighton,J., Haupt, P., Klenner,I., Moore,T. & Schoenfelder,M. (2007). Prospections autour de Bibracte: Sites des sources de l'Yonne, commune Glux-en-Glenne. In Rapport annuel d'activité 2006. Guichard, V. Glux-en-Glenne: Bibracte. Centre archeologique europeen. 193-201.


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