Astonishing, these Gauls?
They truly are. Contemporary archaeology, with its thirty years of digs and of technological innovations, brings new proof of this every day.
In many aspects of daily, economic, and political life, the Gaulish civilisation was as advanced as its Greek and Roman neighbours.
So, today, what do we know of the Gauls before the Roman conquest?
Follow the guide in 5 stages:
1. - 2000 years of imagining the Gauls: how has the figure of the Gaul been exploited to prove points?
Entrance and prologue to the exhibition, this sequence presents about forty depictions of the Gauls down through the ages: ancient texts, posters, songs, coins, schoolbooks, paintings, … depict a collection of "avatars" of the Gaul down through the centuries, that have contributed to fashioning our "collective unconscious" of what the Gauls were like.
2. - From the dig to the labs: 2 dig sites and 7 workshops for discovering the sciences and techniques of contemporary archaeology.
On a reconstructed dig site that enables visitors to grasp the reality of the work of the archaeologist, 7 workshops propose to allow visitors to discover the daily life of the Gauls: what did they eat? Where did they live? Did they raise animals? Bones, seeds, pollens, ceramic fragments, heaps of rust, etc. can be made to talk so that the archaeologist can reconstruct Gaulish societies. In parallel, visitors are invited by a mediator to dig the earth "for real" using the tools and the methods of the archaeologist.
3. - From the dig to the museum: authentic objects and reconstructions of tombs and of a sanctuary.
Did the Gauls have gods? What were their rites? How did they bury their dead? What language did they speak? What art form did they practice? … The animated model of a sanctuary and the reconstruction of the tombs of four people of very different statuses make it possible to raise social, political, and religious issues. The visit continues with the discovery of part of the "Tintignac repository", uncovered in 2004 and of about forty objects emblematic of Gaulish civilisation.
4. - "Unsettled outlook for Central Gaul": a film of burlesque adventures set in 70 BC.
An audiovisual show reproduces, through an offbeat fiction, the knowledge that the visitor has gleaned from the exhibition, enacting daily life for the inhabitants of Gaul, and illustrating, in very concrete manner, the various themes addressed (commerce, ironworking, social organisation, craftsmanship, etc.).
5. - A farewell to myths?: of the difficulty of ridding ourselves of our picture-postcard images.
The epilogue to the exhibition invites visitors to compare with the portraits of the prologue the image that they have forged of the Gauls through their visit. It also raises some of the questions that remain to be answered by archaeologists concerning this civilisation.