HISTORICAL OUTLINE




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.


Attempted reconstruction of the former banks

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.