5.2 Area 2: Monthelon, Chevannes-Les Granges (Figure 9)

Area 2

Area 2 lies on the right bank of the Arroux, between its junction with the Celle and that of the Méchet. The eastern end, near the modern farm of Les Granges is c. 4km from the edge of Autun, while the farm of Chevannes at the western end is just over 13km from Mont Beuvray. A significant part of the east and south part of Area 1 is low-lying terrace and floodplain, while much of the central part of the area is upper terrace (Fig. 27). Only on the western edge of the area does the ground rise appreciably, marking the limit of the Monthelon basin. At Chevannes, the Arroux passes between the granite outcrop known as Beaufort (331m), some 50m above the river and dominating the immediate area, and the granite hills on the south bank. This narrowing of the valley coincides with a well-established crossing of the Arroux below Beaufort - thought to be part of an ancient route leading up to Mont Beuvray following the valley of the Méchet.

Bisecting the study area from north-east to south-west is the modern RN 81. The Roman road from Autun to Bourbon-Lancy evidently followed approximately the same line (Section 3), but its exact course is not known here. During the installation of the gas pipeline along the right bank of the Arroux (Section 1), Roland Niaux (1991-2) recorded several discoveries along the 2km stretch between Les Granges and Chevannes farms, from where it crossed the floodplain and lower terrace of the Celle to the flanks of Beaufort hill.

Area 2 covers just over 5 km², of which 40.1 ha were fieldwalked, while 12.96 ha were covered by gradiometry and 4.50 ha by resistivity, giving a total coverage of 48.65 ha. Work concentrated on the alluvial terraces, with some investigation of the lower slopes of Beaufort. No survey took place on the rising ground to the north-west, or on the left bank of the Arroux.


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Last updated: Wed Oct 29 2008