a site of the department of the Moselle

Planned operations

Since 1979 several excavations, rescue at first and later planned were conducted under the direction of Jean Schaub and Jean Paul Petit. They helped, with the support of many volunteers, to uncover two artisanal districts and public baths, as well as the conducting of reconnaissance drilling on all the accessible areas. These excavations were followed by several years of exploitation of the much data collected and, especially within the framework of the establishment of multidisciplinary collaborations with universities and scientific institutes. An innovative research program on iron metallurgy was set up from 1983-1984 with the metal archaeology laboratory of Nancy-Jarville and the l’Institut de Recherches sur la Sidérurgie (Steelmaking Research Institute). From 1985, collaborations were established with the universities of Metz, Nancy II, Strasbourg, Kiel, Louvain-la-Neuve and the Cabinet des Médailles which resulted in numerous academic works and publications.
Excavations resumed in 2003 because of the enhancement of the Park. The resumption of planned research led to the setting up, in 2005/2006, of a collective research project supported by the Departmental  Archaeology  Conservation and the Landesdenkmalamt of Saarland, in partnership with the University of Parma and that of Chieti-Pescara, the archaeological team of Reinheim, the Free University of Brussels, the University of Metz, the Institute of Physical Geography and Environmental Studies of the University of Saarbrücken, Posselt & Zickgraff geophysical prospection office, GGH and Geocarta, so as voluntary prospectors of the History and Archaeology Society of Lorraine, Bitche section and the Archaeological Research Society of Alsace Bossue.
In this context, planned excavations (public centre of the town, main road villa and church of Bliesbruck), preventive excavations (deviation from the departmental road, subdivision in Bliesbruck, waste water treatment plant in Reinheim), geophysical prospection campaigns and pedestrian surveys around the site were conducted.
The largest operation of this program was the one carried out in the public centre of the Roman settlement. The results of this research, as part of a multidisciplinary framework, profoundly changed and updated archaeological knowledge on the site of Bliesbruck-Reinheim. They have greatly increased the importance of the Celtic princely centre which remained a place of power until the end of the Gallic era. The Gallo-Roman period corresponds to a real constructive boom marked by the presence of three major establishments, the Roman city, the huge villa and a vast sanctuary. In the Merovingian period, the site was still a place of power as evidenced by the discovery of an aristocratic tomb on the Homerich dating back to the 7th century. The site was however not abandoned in the following centuries. Indeed in the 15th and 16th centuries, the thermal baths complex - or what was left of it- was renovated into a small fortified house. At that time the village of Bliesbruck was already well developed on the right bank of the Blies, as evidenced by the planned excavations carried out at the site of the old church where three places of worship succeeded one other (11th century, 16th century and 18th centuries). The old church was destroyed in 1945).
All this research led to numerous scientific publications and publications for the general public, especially in the Blesa collection edited by the Park.

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