The discovery was made on the plateau Site Corent (Puy-de-Dôme).
“This is the largest set ever found in France a major discovery for (…) the understanding of the mode of operation of the Gallic economy, which is not at all primitive as one might assume there is a hundred years “, said AFP Matthieu Poux, professor of archeology at the University of Lyon-2 and head of excavations, confirming a report in Le Monde.
“This is an economy that emits surplus, which is stored and we exchange. There is a circuit for storing and redistribution of resources and this kind of discovery allows us to make giant leaps in the understanding of these mechanisms “, he said.
These silos 120, dating from the Iron Age (800 to 50 BC) and whose total number is estimated at more than a thousand, were discovered early August by digging trenches in an ancient lake, 500 meters, to restore the sedimentary history, explained the researcher.
For the archaeologist, the principle of these silos is ” ingenious “ ” dug in clay soil, practically impermeable to water and air, pits were filled to the wheat board, barley or rye, then hermetically sealed “. Each could hold “between a quintal and a ton of cereals” with site capacity “several hundred tons” .
The system “Vacuum packaging” possible to preserve cereals “several months or even years” .
“They may have been stored there to support a seat or near a large market place or it was an exceptional surplus “, Mr. Poux estimated.
The walls of the silos were covered with a layer of charcoal demonstrating that these facilities were sterilized fire, “to be used several times” . Silos “were then filled with earth, because they no longer served” , the researcher pointed out.
“One has the feeling that everything has been converted into soon as the silos are regularly spaced and it looks like they were all met together “, he noted.
The coal samples were performed at the bottom of the silo to allow dating their age 14C.