In September I stayed with friends near Uzes way down in the south of France (it's pronounced use – ess). Knowing my classical interests they told me about the hilltop Roman settlement by the village of Gaujac.
Being a lazy so-and-so, I drove right up to the gate of the oppidum. I shall not do that again. Although the weather was good – they had had a drought in the area – the track was not fit for motors. I was very thankful that I got my trusty old Rover down again without a broken axle.
A number of the photos I took are in the Gaul section of photos here on the blog. In fact, the most visible remains in the heart of the oppidum are post-Roman. Ruins of an early mediaeval church and houses or cottages are plain to see. The temple of Apollo and Artemis, and the thermae, are further on.
Bearing that in mind, you can gain some idea from these accounts. The first is from Armchair Uzes:
A slice of history at the Oppidum near Gaujac
Une tranche d'histoire à l'Oppidum
Just outside the village of Gaujac, up the road from Uzès near Bagnols-sur-Cèze, you'll find the Oppidum, a collection of vestiges of pre-Roman and Roman habitation. This partially restored site, including the remains of a temple, a well, baths, and fortifications, is clustered high on a hilltop overlooking the valleys of the Tave, Veyre, Cèze and Rhône rivers.
The road leading up to the site is a bit rough for vehicles but you can walk it in less than a half hour. With no guard, no gate, and no entry fee, you step easily into a fabulous piece of history in the midst of the rural landscape. Plantings of irises, euphorbia, and cotton-flower bring vivid spring color to a scene that gives a true sense of how people lived many centuries ago.
The origins of the site are probably from 500BC, with evidence of a good-sized settlement around 425 BC. The Romans moved in in 40BC and added their own temples, baths and improvements. They remained there until the 5th century AD when the site was abandoned concurrent with of the fall of the Empire and the increasing threat of invaders from the North.
The reconstruction work shows clearly how structures were arranged, and exploring the paths that lead to and from the preserved portion of the site reveal even more ruins not yet restored. The Oppidum (along with the Camp de César in nearby Laudun) is a testament to the impact of ancient and Roman settlement in this region. An archeological treasure and a great place to picnic, hike, and experience a slice of history…and the views are incredible in all directions.
Be sure to bring water as the midday sun shines fiercely here.
Then there is a site called Gard-Provencal:
The Oppidum (a fortified site on an elevated location) of Gaujac is situated at the top of the hill of Saint Vincent (alt. 270m). It overlooks a vast plain in which the Tave and the Veyre Rivers meet.
Hours No specific opening hours. Open to the public.
Oppidum Saint Vincent
Oppidum Saint Vincent Towards the end of the 6th century B.C., a small number of men came to settle on this hill.
In 425 B.C., a large population arrived and built the Oppidum and the surrounding wall. The place was abandoned in the 4th century B.C.
Some objects attest to the presence of humans here in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.: pottery fragments and blocks of dressed stone.
In the 80's and 70's B.C., the population began to grow. The town was important to local commerce. The defences were reinforced by the construction of a tower to the north of the western gate. Towards the end of the 40's B.C., the town became an administrative center. Several monuments were successively erected.
In the 5th century, the town served as a refuge for those populations that were fleeing from the Visigoths. In the 12th century, a small village was established.
The last inhabitants appear to have been stone-cutters.
Both these sites have small pictures.