France to build biggest archaeological park in Europe
The oppidum of Alésia is one of the most famous archaeological sites in France, but until recent years it was suffering from its lack of visibility and from the small surface of the museum in Alise-Sainte-Reine... continues...
France, Bourgogne, départ. Côte-d'Or (21), Alise-Sainte-Reine
The uncertainty surrounding Alesia's location is humorously parodied in the Asterix volume Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield, in which, in this case because of Gaulish pride, characters repeatedly deny that they know its location ("I don't know where Alesia is! No one knows where Alesia is!").
There have been archeological excavations since the time of Napoléon III in Alise-Sainte-Reine in Côte d'Or near Dijon, which have claimed that the historical Alesia is located there.
New discoveries are constantly being made about this Gallo-Roman settlement on the plateau of Mont-Auxois.
As a result of the excavations, a find was presented to the museum there with the inscription: IN ALISIIA, which finally dispelled all doubts.
What was Alésia?
Alesia was the capital of the Mandubii, one of the Gaulish tribes allied with the mighty Aedui, and after Julius Caesar's conquest it became a Roman town (Oppidum) in Gaul.
In September, 52 BC it became the legendary site of The Battle of Alesia or Siege of Alesia
This was fought by the army of the Roman Republic commanded by Julius Caesar, aided by cavalry commanders Mark Antony, Titus Labienus and Gaius Trebonius, against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Averni, and was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, marking the turning point of the Gallic Wars in favour of Rome.
The siege of Alesia is considered one of Caesar's greatest military achievements, and is still one of the classic examples of siege warfare and circumvallation.
As many as a million people (probably 1 in 4 of the Gauls) died, another million were enslaved, 300 tribes were subjugated and 800 cities were destroyed during the Gallic Wars.
The entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) (40,000 in all) were slaughtered.
During Julius Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland) approximately 60% of the tribe was destroyed, and another 20% was taken into slavery.