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Port Boinot, divine idyll with the city!

Curiosity Frédéric - assistant base de données et TIC By Frédéric - assistant base de données et TIC, the 13 September 2019

Imagine trembling emotion felt by the archaeologist of the Inrap* when, in January, 2018, it extracts piously from the stomach of the former chamoiserie-glove factory Boinot of the antique vestiges dated the end of the 1st century BC until the middle of the 2nd century AD. The " archives of the ground " did not go unheeded!
*Institut national of preventive archaeological researches.

A building is brought to light in the north trench of the reach of the mill, built on a thick platform and the activity of which seems brief. Also, a ditch in the South of the arm to usinier is lined in the East by a path managed towards Sèvre Niortaise in a point where currencies are discovered to the XIXth century during the construction of Ponts Main; suggesting a crossing of the river.

This ditch is situated next to a building of the 1st century destroyed in the middle of the 2nd century and against the north wall of which the Gallo-Roman divinities of the end of the 1st century were as calmed; 110 kg of fragments sculptured in limestone of which hypnotic face of Épona confidentially bound to a head of horse!

By tradition, the goddess of Equidae and travelers is represented sat in rider on her frame or framed by several horses which she feeds. Here, the iconographic composition is rare and to connect with a small series of testimonies where it is next to its horse. Besides, she is cut in round-bump while the majority of the known models are relief. To finish, Épona de “Novum Ritum”* remains one of the most impressive statues known this day on the City of Pictons!

The second goddess in the long run hair and a double statue appearing at the origin of the goddesses-mothers and of whom it remains today that the wearing feet also accompanied Épona in his gangue, grave of ground of more than 2000 years, the oldest find on the scale of the city!
*”Novum Ritum”, meaning new ford, evolves in time and by contracting will give its name to the city of Niort.

These statues, maybe chiselled by itinerant sculptors, were certainly...

If you want to know the rest of the story of this extraordinary archaeological discovery, rendez-vous is taken this Saturday for a historical coffee on the goddess Epona, at the bar-restaurant "Les Planches", in the company of Alexandra Rompillon-Jouarre, archaeologist and heritage mediator. This conference will be followed by an art-therapy workshop on the theme of sculpture, which will be hosted by José Alves, art therapist.

Click here for more information.

Photo credits: INRAP, A. Bolle; Niort Agglo, O. Drilhon


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