The oppidum of Castellan is an oppidum (place of public refuge, characteristic of the Celtic civilization) located in the commune of Istres (Bouches-du-Rhône), in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France. The oppidum is perched on a rocky promontory which advances by dominating it from the top of its pond of the Olive tree, on its southern bank. He was busy at the. The plateau is about 300 meters long and 130 wide.
Joseph Thoret began in 1937 the first excavations of a shelter on the side of the oppidum. In 1948, members of the Association of Friends of Old Istres undertake new research, led by Eugène Aquaron. Unfortunately, for the most part, the structures now uncovered are now destroyed. They also discover at the foot of the oppidum a Gallo-Roman villa called “villa of St. Catherine”, dated Son furniture is composed of painted walls, goblets and Vespasian coins. A staircase now disappeared is nearby and kitchen debris. Excavations continue in 1950, by Amar in 1977, and Marty in 2000.
On a plot of chalk and green sandstone, rocky spur in safre, composed of shellfish molasse. On the escarpments, we can observe layers, superimposing marly clays and macignos depending on the formation of the lignite land that occupies the summits.
It has found charred grape seeds and aeolian ceramics, gray wavy, Ionic pinkish soft paste with circular bands, red-brown colors, may be of Marseille manufacture, scrap of amphora micaceous Marseille, Campanian, bearing a Greek graffiti:, and on the foot: “A” (the “o” minuscule not exceeding the middle of the line down, large hook of Arezzo, incomplete bearing two rectangular seals: “L. “Titi” The clay cooktop of the complex patterned decoration for domestic use, proven by its wear Y is a geometric pattern, a double rectangular frame partitioned by two oblique lines that intersect at the center. the raw clay with the help of a stretched cord, the drawing is completed by other motifs on its periphery, at the corners and in the center of the hearth, rings, plates and keys in the form of curved pitons, executed by the impress ion of metallic objects The rock inscription of the oppidum du Castellan is a Gallo-Greek inscription, of Gallic language and using the Greek alphabet, deeply engraved (3 to 4 cm) on a rock wall at 2.40 meters of the ground. The letters are almost 20 centimeters high. Note that the “M” is ligated to the “A” with broken bar. This inscription probably dates from. The inscription is:. His translation, made by Pierre-Yves Lambert in 2003, is: .We recognize the word Gaulish matron here. It is a genitive plural of Gaulish matir, the mother. The monumental character of the inscription invites us to privilege the idea that it is a dedication made to mother goddesses. This excavation at the foot of the rock was pushed to the pebble ground over a length of 4 meters and 2.2 meters deep, did not give any debris of pottery.
Some vestiges of the fortification of the are still visible in the North and North-East, it is a rampart-terrace (M2) whose dating is provided by the furniture taken in the embankment of the construction. It could be cleared on a length of 9.2 m. In height it is kept in the west at 1.6 m. The wall continues further east, attested by the presence of identical blocks. The first course consists of roughly squared blocks 1.5 m long. The stones of this building were extracted on the spot. They are yellowish calcitudite, Vindobonian, rich in shellfish debris and containing rare splinters of vertebrate bones.
Gallic houses have been discovered. The Society of the Friends of Old Istres has cleared an apse box with a central pole hole, and has discovered a gray wavy Ionic Aeolian ceramics with reddish circular bands, brown, possibly possibly of Marseilles, Campanian origin and carrying a Greek graffiti. The dwelling with some amenities (bread oven, U-shaped fireplace), and in this same dwelling, the clay hob, with intricate pattern decorations, are dated.