In advance of construction work at the ZAC of Ussol by the city of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (13 Habitat), a preventive excavation, prescribed by the State (Drac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), is being conducted at a site at which an Antique villa was discovered during a diagnostic operation. 

Last modified
18 January 2017

This work is currently being realized by a team of Inrap archaeologists. The exhaustive scientific study of the site, which covers two hectares, has allowed the exact plan of the buildings to be determined, and their chronology and function to be clarified.

A rich Antique residence

Une riche demeure antique

The remains discovered belong to an Antique villa, and more specifically to the residential part of the buildings. The buildings appear to have been constructed in the 2nd century AD, transformed in the 3rd century and definitively abandoned in the 5th century.
The excavation is currently uncovering rooms heated by a hypocaust system (floor heating), basins and tiled spaces, all indicating that one of the wings of the building was devoted to thermal baths.

Numerous decorated elements are also present, including painted plasters (Pompeian white and red) and marble facing.
Outside of this rich residence, the archaeologists have found small elongated pits, regularly distributed in neighboring parcels: they are the material remains of an Antique vineyard that probably belonged to the residence. 

A mausoleum erected in honor of the owner

A funerary monument, leveled in the 6th century, was identified very near the villa. This square-shaped mausoleum has an unusual form and contains two stone masonry coffins with vats faced with marble. They were pillaged in the past and in one of them the archaeologists found only scattered human bones. The mausoleum probably served as a memorial to the owner of the villa.

This operation began in early June 2012 and will last five months. The Inrap archaeologists are currently using mechanical excavators to strip off the surface in order to reveal the plan of the buildings.
In addition to the many decorative elements, the archaeologists are finding many other types of artifacts, including pottery, coins, glassware, small metal objects and two pieces of sculptures: a marble feline (lion, sphinx or griffin) and the bronze wing of an eagle or a Victoire. 

Developer : 13 Habitat-ville de Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Curation : Service régional de l'archéologie (Drac Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)
Site director : Philippe Mellinand
Contact(s) :

Mahaut Tyrrell
Media communication
Inrap, Media relations and partnerships
01 40 08 80 24
mahaut.tyrrell [at]

Cécile Martinez
Cultural development and communication
Inrap Méditerranée
06 87 01 62 86
catherine.dureuil [at]