The apparent traces of the archaeological site of Brion are those of a Gallo-Roman town
built around the middle of the first century A.D.. Deserted some centuries later, this
town remained unknown for a long time.
It now seems very likely that it is the very town quoted as
Noviomagus in Ptolemy's "Geography" around the year 130 A.D. .
Like Burdigala - the ancient name of Bordeaux- Noviomagus was
,at that time, one of some twenty cities scattered in the Roman Aquitaine, the land
between the river Loire and the Pyrenees mountains.
Nowadays placing a town here would seem unaccountable, nevertheless, two thousand
years ago, conditions were very different : the site lay very probably upon an island,
at the back of a large inlet which then opened onto the Gironde. This inlet was
progressively filled up by alluvium and drained, eventually becoming
The Marsh of Reysson.
Moreover, Archaeology reveals, far before the Roman conquest, a rather dense
neighbouring population and a very flourishing bronze metallurgy.
These marks of prosperous economy may be explained by :
- the presence of valuable agricultural land, which was exceptional in Medoc
at that time.
- the presence of a very sheltered stretch of water favourable to trading
boats that transported copper and tin from Brittany, the British Isles,
or the Iberian Peninsula.