Research Interests

1. Wine and oil

From the 1980s, most of the farm excavations I have directed have yielded oil and wine production facilities. I worked on oil production and viticulture in the province of Gallia Narbonensis between 1975 and 2000, surveying and excavating oil mills in La Garde (Hyères), Taradeau (Var) and Entremont (Bouches-du-Rhône), along with wineries at the Grand Loou villa in La Roquebrussanne, in those of Pardigon 3 and Rue du Port in Cavalaire, in the villa of La Croix-Valmer, in that of the Toulons in Rians, that of Mesclans in La Crau, and in the secondary conurbation of Pignans...

2. Perfumes

In 1994, while examining the remains of a press uncovered in the forum at Paestum (Italy), I speculated that it should be associated with the manufacture of perfumes, which, as luxury goods, were a source of significant revenues.
Today's perfumes are composed of a base - usually alcohol, essences (essential oils of flowers, for instance), spices, fixatives, colorings and preservatives. In Antiquity, fragrances were fixed on oils, among which ben, sesame, almond and olive oil. Perfumers' workshops required very little specific equipment: their work could be performed with fabric torsion presses, ordinary - often reused -earthenware or metal vessels, and hearths which are often uncharacteristically modest. All of this means that this craft has so far largely escaped the attention of archaeologists...

3. Cereal production and water-powered mills

Cereal cultivation and processing into flour are important fields of research as they form the essential form of food for the Ancients. Their study also addressed one of historiography's "causes celebres": the extent of water power in antiquity. During rescue excavations in 1996, I explored a Roman villa in La Crau, near Hyères (Var) which featured a water mill. This discovery was the starting point for wider research: by gathering documentation, I was able to show that water mills were widespread in rural areas during the Early Roman Empire, even though archaeologists did not know how to identify them. I myself had surveyed no less than three others in previous years without recognizing them as such - Saint-Michel de La Garde, Saint-Pierre-Les Laurons in Les Arcs and in the port city of Toulon. In the following years, I continued my investigations in France, Portugal and Italy...

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