Aerial discovery of the theater
 
Infra-red color view of the temple and its annexes.
 
Aerial discovery of the baths.
Gallic and Gallo-Roman sanctuaries
Close-up: The sanctuary at Ribemont-sur-Ancre (Somme)
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Aerial discovery of the theater

Infra-red color view of the temple and its annexes.

Aerial discovery of the baths.
History of the site

A monumental trophy to the glory of a god and conquering warriors was set up around 260 BCE, after a battle against the Armoricans. It consists of the remains of several hundred individuals and thousands of weapons (mainly shields, spear points, and a few iron swords). These weapons appear to be war booty, and have an unquestionable votive aspect. Nearby, the sanctuary of the victors has recently been discovered.

Around 30 BCE, on the same site, a Gallo-Roman military population erected a temple, and cleared up the previous ruins which were still partially visible. The temple is adorned with rather unusual decorative elements.

Early in the first century CE, the temple was given a stone colonnade and later, at the end of the same century, a double quadriportico.

In the second half of the second century, a monumental temple, classical in appearance with a new portico, was built. The entire Gallo-Roman site grew to more than fifty hectares. A series of stepped courtyards were built on 800-meter-long terraces, organized around an immense processional passageway. Around the same time, the theater and bathing complexes were also constructed. This is the best represented period on the site up until the second century, at which point the barbarian invasions began to make inroads everywhere in the Empire.

The destruction — perhaps only partial — of the temple (at least the pronaos and part of the porticos) took place around the end of the third century. It is probable that a new temple was built on the old foundations, or perhaps simple restored. A study of the most recent coinage found near the sanctuary appears to indicate that there was activity around it and a large part of the site up to about 380 CE. Archaeologists wonder if Ribemont-sur-Ancre was perhaps a Gallo-Roman public place of worship directly linked to the administrative capital Samarobriva (modern Amiens). During the Celtic period, the site represents the largest trophy-sanctuary currently known in Europe.




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