couv60.JPG (10257 octets)

Mémoires de la Société
Archéologique du Midi de la France

Tome LX (2000)



Jacques LAPART, The Marble Ornamentation of the Gallo-Roman villa of Séviac at Montréal-du-Gers, According to Photo Documentation from the End of the Nineteenth Century.

    The site of the great villa of Séviac was identified in the second half of the nineteenth century. Various documents by local scholars allow us to follow the first little-known interventions, made during the last third of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. In particular, photos taken around 1911 show marbles sculpture (door frame, pilasters, capitals, etc.). These give a good idea of the wall decorations and of the richness of the large, late Gallo-Roman villa, which up to now was known primarily by its abundant mosaic decor.


Françoise STUTZ, Costumed Burials South of the Loire from the Merovingian Period.

    Two thousand Merovingian objects of the southern type have been found in the southern half of Gaul. These objects are gathered in a corpus arranged by the context of their discovery. The proposed representative selections leads to the conclusion that most of the northern types have been found south of the Loire. Analysis of several contexts points to a first Frankish appearance associated with the conquest of Aquitaine, and a second probably related to a group of nobles moving into Aquitaine. The regional production of objects in the "Aquitaine" style and the deposit of objects of the "southern" style, show that the costumed style of burial was used in the seventh century in the southern regions. This corpus of objects offers the alternative of studying southern Gaul as a region of the Merovingian world, as opposed to the traditional view of the area as one of persistant romanitas.


Jean-Luc BOUDARTCHOUK, in collaboration with Mathieu FERRIER, Céline GARGAM and Vincent GENEVIÈVE, Groups of Merovingian Jewelry from Cemeteries : Guilhamat de Lacroix-Falgarde, Le Hauré (et le Tourguil) de Drudas, Saint- Michel d'Aussiac at Le Burgaud (Haute-Garonne), Le Coulomé de Montégut (Gers).

    These groups of jewelry, coming from sites which have not been published or which were formerly excavated, enrich the corpus of Merovingian jewelry discovered in the context of burials, whether it is a question of objects of "Aquitanian" style or of rarer objects of southern origin, including indeed some exceptional Visigothic pieces. Guilhamat, in the commune of Lacroix-Falgarde, has delivered up three "Aquitanian" buckles, but also buckles from the north of Gaul, even some objects which combine the characteristics of different regional cultures (6th and 7th centuries). Saint-Michel d'Aussiac at Le Burgaud has also provided fragments of "Aquitanian" and more southern buckles (6th and 7th centuries). Finally, the site of Coulomé at Montégut, already excavated in the last century, provided two Visigothic buckles. One of these is whole, of an exceptional quality, and may be dated to about 500. These objects allow us to complete the analysis of former excavations and to demonstrate the presence of high-status burials of Visigoths before the Frankish conquest.
    In any case, these sites illustrate the diversity of regional cemeteries of the sixth and seventh centuries.


Emmanuel GARLAND, The Goldsmith's Art at Conques.

    The study of the ornamental bands in the treasury of Conques allows one to trace the evolution of goldwork in a monastic workshop in the Middle Ages. Such a study makes it clear that the workshop at Conques had only two periods of intense activity: the first at the turn of the tenth century, on the occasion of the creation of the golden vestments on the reliquary of Saint Foy, the second a century later, under the abbacy of Bégon III. It would appear that this activity lasted for several decades, indeed until the middle of the thirteenth century, but with a reduction both in the quantity and quality of production. The present appearance of the objects is the result of an important project of the fourteenth century. This project undertook to rework the metal without heating it, thus without taking advantage of some of the fundamental techniques of goldsmithing. Among other findings, the study includes an inventory of the filigree bands in the treasury, which renders it necessary to rethink the ties between the reliquary and the crown which adorns it. Moreover, the study confirms the palatine origin of the so-called Reliquary of Pepin, and makes clear the exceptional creativity and diversity of the workshop under Bégon III.


Patrice CABAU, The bishops of Toulouse (third-fourteenth centuries) and their burial sites. 2d part.

    From the time of its foundation – shortly before the middle of the third century – to its elevation to metropolitan status – at the beginning of the fourteenth – the church of Toulouse was administered by a long succession of bishops, who were slowly lost to memory. Their tombs were dispersed among different sites, and no ancient episcopal list has survived. As for burial sites of the bishops of Toulouse, it appears that, while the site was initially established at the Basilica of St. Sernin, it was only moved to the Cathedral of St. Etienne at the end of the thirteenth century.


Valérie ROUSSET, Two Houses of the Castrum of Saint-Céré (Lot, commune of Saint-Laurent-les-Tours).

    Although in ruins, the two houses evoke an aristocratic quarter established under the protection of the towers of the Viscounts of Turenne. The first, whose construction can be placed in the second quarter of the thirteenth century, is a tall building in the shape of a tower, with three residential levels. The window has supports made of single stones, decorated with smooth leaves. The second house, whose chimney bears the arms of the Merle family, was erected next to the first in the period between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth. The furnishings permit us to identify the rooms on all three levels.


Marc SALVAN-GUILLOTIN, The Theme of the Tree of Jesse in the Central Pyrenées in the Late Middle Ages.

    Sentein (Ariège), Montbrun-Bocage (Haute-Garonne), Bourisp, Vielle-Louron et de Grailhen (Hautes-Pyrénées) and Mont-d'Astarac (Gers) provide splendid illustrations of the frequency of this already-ancient theme in mural paintings from the end of the Middle Ages. David's father is shown recumbant, and forms the root of a tree, upon whose branches are placed the ancestors of Christ. The summit of the composition is occupied by a Virgin and Child, which are sometimes found at the center of the tree. It is most probably under the influence of the cult of Mary that this theme knew such success at such a late epoque. Supplemental details are often added: the episode of Ara Coeli and figures of saints. The study is broadened to include a Tree of Jesse painted on glass from Fleurance (Gers) and a carved example from the choir of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges (Haute-Garonne).


Georges COSTA, Pierre Souffron's Work on the Pont Neuf of Toulouse.

    In 1597 the works on the Pont Neuf were taken up again after a long hiatus, with the arrival of Pierre Souffron at the site. As early as 1598, the royal engineer Louis de Foix was called to consult, and provided a plan for the bridge to be constructed, complete with shops with houses over them, following the wishes of the works' Commissioners.
    With the assistance of Dominique Capmartin, Souffron built the "seventh pier" between 1597 and 1601. Named "Lead architect of the bridge works", he directed the construction of the abutment, between 1602 and 1605, for which he had commissioned a bust of Henry IV. The Commissioners entrusted him with the construction of the first arch. The architect then presented a plan of all the arches, outlining a grandiose project. Three roadways were envisioned including the houses with shops and the benefit of a view over the river scenery. However, the work on "Souffron's arch" lapsed, the architect's contract having terminated on December 13 1604.
    Years of uncertainty followed. Called in for his opinion, Sully decided in 1610 to undertake reconstruction of the "delapidated sixth pier". In April, 1612, in the course of a memorable meeting, Souffron put himself forward to undertake the task at a price fixed by himself. However, the destruction of the great flood of May 14, 1613 intervened. The council sent two commissioners, Lord de Bellebat and Jacques Lemercier, "the king's engineer" whose project the finish the bridge was eventually accepted.
    Souffron nevertheless had to finish the reconstruction of the "sixth pier" and in 1621 he agreed to build the temporary dam for rebuilding the fifth pier, a task he abandoned in 1622.


Georges BACCRABÈRE, Seventeenth-century ceramics from the Rue St-Jérôme in Toulouse (Saint-Georges quarter).

    A cesspit uncovered during works in 1973 yielded a large group of seventeenth-century ceramics. Found within was table ware with polychrome decoration, which comes primarily from the workshops of Cox. This ceramic, in white or pink clay, consists mostly of platters, plates, bowls with handles, jugs and pitchers.
    Alongside receptacles embellished with sgraffito and applied decoration, such as chafing dishes, other pieces in glazed ceramic include in particular plates, bowls, pots, dripping-pans, basins and goblets and containers for toiletries. Unglazed ceramic is represented by fragments of pitchers, a money bank and lids. Faience pots and plates as well as fragments of glasses with both hollow and solid stems are witness to a certain level of refinement, possibly a sign of coming changes in Toulousan society.


Jean NAYROLLES and Christian MANGE, The Church of Jesus of Toulouse, Architecture and Ornamentation.

    The Church of Jesus, built in the nineteenth century by the architect Bach (1815-1899) has recently been purchased by the municipality of Toulouse for the creation of an school for organists. The article studies this important religious edifice in the life of the city insofar as architecture is concerned, by placing it in the current of debates on neo-gothic, which were so lively in the nineteenth century. Its polychrome decor is attributed to Father Auguste Bach (1819-1890) for the ornamental paintings and to the celebrated Bernard Benezet (1835-1897) for the exceptional program of stained-glass windows.


Bulletin of the Academic Year, 1999-2000.

    The minutes of the meetings of the Society provide an account of its different activities, recording in particular the discussions which follow reports, whether or not they are published in the Mémoires. Also included is information on archeological digs, restorations underway in Toulouse, and various discoveries there and in the region as well as summaries and various notes : the bell-tower of the church of Sauveterre-de-Rouergue ; Mamertine; Bishop of Toulouse in 314 ; Alphonse and Pierre, sons of Fulk of Marseille ; the great step of the Perigord College in Toulouse (1367) ; the painted decor of the roof timbers of the Château de Rudelle ; Jean-Jacques Esquié and the construction of the Eglise de la Madeleine of Auterive ; the Ulmo family of Toulouse ; the sky chart of St-Sernin of Toulouse ; the blind reredos of Notre-Dame d'Alet ; Marc Arcis, The King's Toulousan Sculptor (1652-1739) ; Recentering the City : Urban Planning in Medieval Toulouse in the Early Thirteenth Century ; Palmae argentae, Votive Leaves in the Roman Empire ; Civil Architecture of the Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries in Albi ; The Medieval Houses of Rodez from the Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries ; Notice by the Marquis of Castellane on a paleochristian epitaph et a medieval inscription found in Toulouse in 1842 ; variations on the solarium ; the deserted mas in medieval Aubrac; the chapel of the Penitents Bleus of Luzech ; a rural medieval building in Saint-Michel-de-Lanes...


 Translated by Pamela Marquez


© S.A.M.F. 2000. La S.A.M.F. autorise la reproduction de tout ou partie des pages du site sous réserve de la mention des auteurs et de l'origine des documents et à l'exclusion de toute utilisation commerciale ou onéreuse à quelque titre que ce soit.