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Étude de trois grands tonneaux mis au jour à Reims/Durocortorum (Marne) : le savoir-faire des tonneliers antiques

Abstract : During excavations carried out at the site "Zac du Vieux-Port" in Reims directed by Philippe Rollet (Inrap) in 2008, three large wooden barrels were discovered that had been reused, after the removal of their heads, as a casing in three separate water wells. The outstanding preservation conditions made it possible to faithfully reconstruct their original form. They had a tapered shape and were nearly 2 m long. Each had contained between 1,000 and 1,200 litres of wine as was revealed by an analysis of the deposits. Their manufacture, their use as a wine container and their reuse have been dated, using dendrochronology and based on the study of pottery stemming from the fillings, to between the second half of the 1st c. and the beginning of the 4th c. AD. More than 45 inscriptions were still present on the wood of the barrels, branded or stamped marks made using various signacula and adzes with a marking punch, often tria nomina, sometimes numbers. All these inscriptions have revealed an unprecedented operational sequence in which many specialised crafts were involved: stave-makers, hoop-makers in the forests, coopers in their workshops, pitch-makers who produced the pitch for sealing the barrels. Thanks to the production traces left on the wood, it was possible to faithfully reconstruct the actions and the tools used by each craftsman involved. Once the barrels were filled with wine, the merchant who owned them handed them over to Nautes and conveyors to ensure the transport of these heavy goods. Many agents were involved in the sale and others were involved in the collection of the transport taxes prior to the barrel reform. As such, the wine industry, in its use of large barrels, brings together a considerable number of crafts on a geographic and economic provincial scale equivalent to that of the antique textile industry.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 11, 2021 - 9:35:20 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 15, 2021 - 3:06:57 AM
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Pierre Mille, Philippe Rollet. Étude de trois grands tonneaux mis au jour à Reims/Durocortorum (Marne) : le savoir-faire des tonneliers antiques. Gallia - Archéologie des Gaules, 2020, 77 (2), pp.123-155. ⟨10.4000/gallia.5242⟩. ⟨hal-03020682⟩



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