Pont-sur-Seine (Neolithic Village)

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Location of Pont-sur-Seine

The Neolithic village of Pont-sur-Seine has been the subject of archaeological research since the mid-1990s. In 2009 and 2010, archaeologists in Pont-sur-Seine excavated eight hectares and found a large Neolithic village with monumental buildings in an unprecedented architecture.

The course is located in the Seine valley , in the Aube department on the edge of the Champagne and Brie in France . It has a well-preserved structure from the Neolithic Age and provided stone tools and ceramics, which can be divided into at least two phases based on the ornaments:

  • the first is in the Middle Neolithic (around 4500 BC)
  • the second in the late Neolithic (3500-2000 BC) This research is confirmed by the shape of the building.

Round houses

Post holes indicate the floor plan of the three approximately 80 m² round houses. With two of them, the interior space is unevenly separated by a line of posts in areas of about a third and two thirds. Only about a dozen such buildings from the Middle Neolithic are known in France (e.g. in Auneau and Goulet, Orne-et-Loir; Orval Cher).


10 rectangular buildings and 17 two-aisled rectangular buildings were identified on the site, distributed in three zones. They vary in size between about 20.0 × 5.0 m for the larger and 10.0 × 3.0 m for the smallest. They could go back to 3500 to 3000 BC. To be dated. Such a concentration of houses is unprecedented for this period.

Monumental buildings

There are two rectangular palisades nearby . The probably older of the two is defined by an enclosure 165 meters in length. Later, a second palisade, 136 meters long, was built around the first palisade with a break in the east. The enclosures separate two buildings, which are unusual in shape and size. The smaller one has an area of ​​280 m² and the larger almost 900 m². Both have trapezoidal floor plans with entrances on the east side. The entrance is a "corridor" bounded on both sides by palisades with large ante . A special feature of the building is the extensive use of sandstone blocks to secure the posts. The realization of these structures and their techniques show the impressive skills of the architects.

The two buildings are built between 3400 and 2200 BC. Dated. The investigation confirms that these are buildings with a special function, which is evidenced both by their size and by their construction techniques.

There are four rows of posts in the large building, two in the middle and two outside. To ensure the stability of the structure, the posts are buried an average of 1.2 meters (and sometimes up to 1.75 meters) deep. The posts are stabilized by flat stones and a kind of mortar. This is the first evidence in this region of the use of stone material for Neolithic buildings. The source of the quartzite and sandstone blocks is a local occurrence in quarries a few kilometers away. The blocks weigh between 5 kg and 30 kg, a total of 19 tons were used. The need to build a solid foundation in the sandy substrate of the square was already recognized in the Neolithic Age.

At the entrance of the large building, four tons of stone were installed in regular layers in a pit 4.5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide, glued with clay. They supported two monumental piles. The smaller building has a similar floor plan and construction technology, only the block size of the stones differs. There are currently no finds of comparable buildings in Europe for this period.


In the center of the large building, a circle of stones laid flat was found in an oval pit containing blocks covered with clay. Its location testifies to a religious or cultic function. The fact that the buildings were separated by the enclosures strengthens this thesis.

Individual evidence

  1. INRAP: Un site exceptionnel néolithique à Pont-sur-Seine Description (French), Institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives, March 31, 2011, updated on February 25, 2013

Web links

Coordinates: 48 ° 30 ′ 37 "  N , 3 ° 34 ′ 52.5"  E