us: a long adventure...
Museum of the Dark Ages is a site museum especially devoted to the Early
Middle Ages, and to the Merovingian period.
It is installed in an old watermill near the river "La Serre" in Marle
in the department of Aisne. It is open to the public since 1991. The museum of
Marle, by its specialization and its specificity, is a unique site in northern
France. He results of a human adventure that lasts about 1 / 4 of a century:
The story begins during the winter of 1980-1981,
to Goudelancourt-lès-Pierrepont, a small village
in north-eastern department of the Aisne, where a young farmer, Gabriel Renard,
a passion for local history and the archeology, discovered by plowing one of his
fields a former cemetery. Intrigued by the discovery of a sarcophagus lid, he
alerts local archaeologists and creates an archaeological association: it is the
beginning of a long adventure...
seven excavations campaigns from 1981 to 1987, a Merovingian necropolis was uncovered
and fully excavated. The necropolis of the Pierrepont Goudelancourt is the only
Merovingian necropolis of the department of Aisne who has been exhaustively researched
The necropolis datable of centuries VI-VII delivered 458 graves in two cemeteries
divided, separated by a strip of land without graves. The configuration of this
necropolis in two cores, two cemeteries is not common. Like many Merovingian necropolis,
the two cemeteries are composed of several rows of graves more or less parallel.
Despite the destruction caused by the plowing and the looting of tombs, discovered
furniture are heavy: ceramics, weapons, accessories, clothing and jewelry items
that are well represented. The study of the furniture to highlight the various
phases of occupation of this necropolis, which range from 530/540 to 680/690.
In 1988, a survey to locate the first sector of housing and a second, near the
necropolis at the foot of the hill. The first area was completely excavated between
1988 and 1992. In 1996, a third sector housing has been discovered further east,
about 500m from the necropolis. Since 1997, the third sector housing, much more
complex than the first two is the subject of a search set. Now the search is interrupted
to allow to take stock.
The discovery and excavation of housing in conjunction
with Merovingian necropolis reinforces the interest of the site of the Goudelancourt-lès-Pierrepont
unique in northern France.
A merovingian farm
From 1988 to 1992, the structures corresponding to a strong Merovingian complete
VI-VII century have been uncovered: a house with a fireplace, a well, 4 buildings
with economic (barn, workshop ...), 14 cabins excavated (dug into the ground),
furnaces, fireplaces and various objects were searched.
deposit of excavations
1988, given the importance of the site, the Ministry of Culture (Service Régional
de l'Archéologie de Picardie) supports the complete equipment of a deposit
excavated on the third floor of the watermill of Marle. Archaeologists can undertake
the study furniture uncovered in good conditions and then store it after study.
Thus, after having been examined by an anthropologist at the CNRS, the skeletons
of the Merovingian Goudelancourt have incorporated new graves shaped boxes ...
ditto for the bones of animal of habitat areas.
To the Museum...
See the page on the Museum