• An important Gallo-Roman sanctuary was discovered by Inrap teams on agricultural land at Chapelle-des-Fougeretz near Rennes.

  • Several period objects and coins were also found by archaeologists.

  • The excavations will be completed in October on the site where a real estate program of around 700 housing units will be built.

The discovery could shed light on the lifestyles of the time.

At Chapelle-des-Fougeretz, northwest of Rennes, Inrap archaeologists have just unearthed an important Gallo-Roman sanctuary.

On order of the State, excavations started in March on seven hectares of agricultural land classified as urbanizable "for a long time", according to the town hall.

They will be completed in October before the completion of a real estate program of approximately 700 housing units.

The site, spotted in 1984 by aerial overflight, had been the subject of an initial diagnosis by Inrap in 2018 to define an excavation area and estimate the cost, estimated at around one million euros.

“This important public sanctuary consists of a gallery measuring 60 by 30 meters, which forms a cloister, in the center of which there are two classical temples from the Roman period from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD,” said detailed Bastien Simier, scientific manager of the operation at Inrap.

“These excavations have the particularity of covering an area about twice as large as the average, which allows us to better understand the environment of the sanctuary,” he added.

Many objects and coins discovered

In addition to the two temples, habitats have been unearthed as well as 120 m2 baths.

Several objects were also found, including a bronze statuette representing Mars, god of war, a bronze cup with an eagle and a representation of lightning on its handles, as well as fibulae, funerary urns dating from -500 BC and 150 coins, devotional items.

"What interests us about an excavation like this is to understand the origin of our countryside, to collect information on the way of life, the social organization in the countryside, the patterns of the roads, the plots to restore the organization of the north of the Rennes basin in Roman times", explained Bastien Simier.

The site will be open to the public on June 18 and 19 on the occasion of the European Days of Archeology.

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