Successive archaeological excavations carried out on the site of the Abbaye de La Celle since 1998 have uncovered the remains of a Roman villa which mainly produced wine. The items found have allowed us to identify two parts of this villa, the pars urbana, the living area which was located on the site of the chapter house, and the pars rustica, the agricultural holding strictly speaking, whose foundations were found in the south wing which houses the kitchen and the refectory.
The arrangement of the villa’s rooms is only partially known but its theoretical arrangement can be clearly defined based on archaeological comparisons with other villas from the same era. 3D reconstruction techniques allow us to bring the importance of this agricultural establishment back to life.
Reconstruction of the villa: The easiest area to reconstruct is the grape pressing area consisting of a press room with two presses flanked by 2 crushers. The floors and the vats in these work spaces are covered with Roman cement. Consisting of sand, lime and crushed pieces of terracotta, this concrete has unique properties: surfaces are rendered waterproof and washable for their users.
Reconstruction of the wine cellar: The proximity of the via Aurelia which connected Italy to Spain allowed the wine produced to be sold easily.
This wine-growing holding operated until the 6th century and even until the 8th century, at which time the buildings underwent alterations.