This large pre-Roman oppidum, on a hilltop southwest of Nîmes, is an easy walking-visit from the village of Nages-et-Solorgues.
This vast defensive site was built by the Volques Arécomique, Celtic people who came here in into Southern Gaul in the 8th century BC, from the area of the Danube, and remained here until the 1st century AD.
The site takes up a large area on the southwestern part of the hilltop, with an easy walk up from the village. The Nages Oppidum site now has the remains of at least four sets of defensive stone walls dating back to 300 BC, as well as outlines of smaller rooms and spaces.
This site was excavated and partially restored between 1958 and 1974 the the French archaeoligist Michel Py, who is responsible for the plan of the site in this drawing.
From the western edge of the site there's a great view out across the plains [Photo-06], giving you an idea of the importance of this hilltop location.
The six Volque Oppida
Oppidum de Roque de Viou.
Located on the same ridge, only 200 m to the north of the Oppidum de Nages, was the first home of the Volques. The lived there about five centuries, until 300 BC.
Oppidum de Nages
In 300 BC the Volques moved to this site at the southwestern end of the ridge in 300 BC. This oppidum contained public buildings, roads, houses and shops a Gaulish temple, called a fanum. They remained here for 250 years, before abandoning the site and moving into the Gallo-Roman settlement of Nemausis (Nîmes ).
Oppidum de la Liquière
On a small hill beside the hamlet of Sinsans, 4 km to the northwest.
Oppidum de la Font du Coucou
Above the village of Calvisson, 4 km to the southwest.
Oppidum du Roc de Gachonne
Above the village of Calvisson, 4 km to the southwest. There are three mills here, but there's not much left of the oppidum.
Oppidum de Mauressip (or Mouressipe)
5 km northwest, beside the village of St-Côme-et-Maruéjols.
Puech de Monceau
On the hills between Congénies and Calvisson, just to the west of Roc de Gachonne, is probably a site of a 7th oppidum. There was a mention of a windmill here in the beginning of the 12th century, making it on of the oldest windmills in France.