100,000 years ago lived Neanderthal Man...
These came from the south. Around the village
can be found vestiges of their homes , amonst rocks and caves containing potteries,
stone and metal objects .They kept large troups of sheep and goats, buried
their dead in collective tombs, chambered tombs and dolmens. Research in the
last 50 years has shown that large numbers of them dwelt
on the " Gras " of Balazuc.
Around 2,500 B.C. they knew copper, brought
in the form of beads and tools for piercing leather (bradalw). From 2,000
B.C. bronze objects, axes and beads, were imported via the Rhône Valley and
from the Languedoc.
Important changes at the end of the Bronze Age. From the 11th B.C. onwards,
tribes from eastern France, excellent farmers made the first terraces on the
hillside slopes so as to plant crops of them. Advanced metallurgy provided
them with bronze for tools and jewelry. Their dead were buried in individual
tombs, or incinerated, the asches being placed in urns then put in the earth.
In Balazuc itself, there existed a ford for crossing the river, a little downstream
from the actual bridge ; it is used in the 8th century because a votive axe
set down in the river in this period.
the Iron Age
From the 6th century B.C. in the beginning of the Iron Age, there were the
first great invasion with horsemen that used breeding. These nomads, cohabiting
with peasants, are mainly known by their tombs beneath tumuli of stones.
The Gauls followed in 3rd century B.C. settling down to cultivate the land.
Their presence still lives in local place-names.
arrowheads and pendants found in neolithic collective stone graves.
years ago, the first farmers
The name Les Salles means "noble house". Perhaps during the Middle Ages there
was building of this type over the ruins of the gallo-roman villa. Nothing remains
to show that the site of the village was lived in during the gallo-roman period.
But in the plain, upstream in the hamlet of les Salles there had been a roman
villa, or large farm, if we can judge by discoveries of tiles, columns and ceramics.
In the 6th century this was the property of a certain Marius, who built the
neighbouring first church at Saint-Maurice-d'Ardèche where there was
already a cult to Mercury.
A Paleo-Christian Sarcophage (about 380-420 AD)
In the 16th century was found at Les Salles, a exceptional sarcophage
of white marble. It had been made in a workshop in Arles and is decorated with
sculptures of christian inspiration, and dates from the end of 4th or the beginning
of 5th centuries.
food Vessels (2500 years B.C.)
Balazuc Gallic Times
The village has a gallic name: BALADUNUM written BALADUNO in the Medieval Times.
In Gallic, DUNUM means citadel. BALA comes from the gallic BAL meaning high
The Roman Road
The two large cities of Uzès (Department of the Gard) and Alba (Alba
Helviorum in Vivarais) were connected by a road during the reign of Antonin
the Pious in the second century, during
the period of the Pax Romana (Roman Peace). This
road can be followed by the milestones placed along it on the roadside
at Pradons, at Saint-Germain; near Sauveplantade, where Jupiter was worshipped,
by vestiges of a bridge over the river Auzon and part of the road at Saint-Germain.
Paleo-Christian Sarcophage from les
Barasses cave, situated on the right bank of the Ardèche, opposite the
village, contains silex tools and bones of wild animals.
These were left by men who had sheltered there at different times in the beginning
of the last ice age, over a period of thousands of years of cold. They hunted
mainly the ibex and also the reindeer, the great stag, the chamois, the horse,
the "woolly rhinoceros".
|This rare object
can be seen in the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation in Lyon (a replica
can be seen in the courtyard of the Balazuc Town Hall).
are seven scenes, from left to right: Christ brings back to life the son of
the widow of Naim. Daniel poisoned the dragon. Christ cures the paralysed man.
Christ is announcing to Saint Peter that he will deny him three times. Christ
cures a man blind from birth. The arrest of Saint Peter. Saint Peter is preaching,
from rock and holding a scroll of the Holy Word.
Gallic times, they are no dwellings but a sacred place on the headland of "Roquette"
overhanging the river Ardèche. The road from the ford, used since the
Bronze Age, go across the small pass.
bronze axe was found in the bottom of the river, at the location of a ford.
is a old Gallic citadel to control a ford.
AND GALLO-ROMAN PERIODE
cure of a children blind from birth.