Gennes Amphitheatre

Gennes, France

Remains of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre date from the 2th century AD. The venue built for gladiator and huntings shows had originally seats for 5000 spectators.

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Address

D70, Gennes, France
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Details

Founded: 2nd century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Roman Gaul (France)

More Information

www.megalithic.co.uk

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mél Vct (21 days ago)
To do, nice site
Valerie Decle (22 days ago)
Nice and shady
jean pierre guarnieri (4 months ago)
Very nice walk ... nice site but a pity not very well maintained ...
Amaury Garcia Gomez (7 months ago)
The joke. A tourist site here ... it's closed half of the year ... a nice detour for nothing!
Anne Pegum (2 years ago)
A very interesting site.
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The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

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Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.