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Plan of the oppidum of Bibracte
Walls of Bibracte
Bibracte and Autun

Bibracte, a Gaulish oppidum or fortified city, was the capital of the Aedui and one of the most important hillforts in Gaul. It was situated near modern Autun in Burgundy, France. The material culture of the Aedui corresponded to the Late Iron Age La Tène culture,

In 58 BC, at the Battle of Bibracte, Julius Caesar's armies defeated the Helvetii 16 miles south of the fort. In 52 BC, at Bibracte Vercingetorix was proclaimed head of the Gaulish coalition. Again at Bibracte Julius Caesar, the victor at the battle of Alesia, completed dictating his Gallic Wars. A few decades after the Roman conquest of Gaul, Bibracte was abandoned in favour of Autun, 25 kilometres distant. Without a continuous settlement to disturb or efface the site, Bibracte remained for modern archaeology to rediscover.

The first excavations were begun at the site by the wine merchant Gabriel Bulliot between 1867 and 1895. His nephew Joseph Déchelette, author of a famous Manuel d'Archéologie continued the excavations between 1897 and 1907

Today Mont Beuvray is generally credited as the ancient Bibracte. The site straddles the borders of the French départements of Nièvre and Saône-et-Loire in Burgundy. The site is an archaeological park at the centre of a protected forest, and a site of cooperative European archaeological efforts, a training ground for young archaeologists as well as a centre for interpreting Gaulish culture for a popular audience. Important international excavations take place at Mont Beuvray, with teams from the universities of Sheffield, Kiel, Budapest, Vienna and Leipzig.

The city also featured as the Celtic Civilization's default capital in the 2007 Civilization 4 expansion Pack "Warlords" for PC.

External links

Coordinates: 46°55′23″N 4°02′15″E / 46.92306°N 4.0375°E / 46.92306; 4.0375

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BIBRACTE, an ancient Gaulish town, the modern Mont Beuvray, near Autun in France. Here, on a hilltop 2500 ft. above sea-level, excavation has revealed a vast area of 330 acres, girt with a stone and wood rampart 3 m. long, and containing the remains of dwelling-houses, a temple of Bibractis, and the workshops of iron and bronze workers and enamellers. It was the capital of the Aedui in the time of Julius Caesar. Later on Augustus removed the inhabitants to his new town Augustodunum (Autun), to destroy the free native traditions. Another far more obscure town in Gaul, near Reims, also bore the name.

See Bulliot, Fouilles de Beuvray; Dechelette, Oppidum de Bibracte; also references s.v. Aedui.


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