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" Dawn breaks over Carcassonne"

Malcolm Chant

Joined September 2008

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3500 years B.C. : neolithic setllements in the region of Carcassonne

- 800 B.C. : occupation of the site on a hill called Carsac, situated some hundreds meters south of the city. This hill was a strategic place, on the crossroads of the ways from the Atlantic, from the Mediterranean, and from Spain.

- 6th century B.C. : the region is occupied by a Celtic people, the Volques Tectosages. Potteries, ceramics and many other objects were found on the site, proving that “Carcaso” was an important trade place.

- 118 B.C. : Foundation of the Roman colony “Colonia Narbo Martius” (the Narbonne of today).

- At the beginning of our era, Carcaso becomes the capital of “Colonia Julia Carcaso”. The city is already surrounded by ramparts, and is an important administrative centre. There are beautiful testimonies of that time, as the main part of the north rampart of the Cité are gallo-roman. Roman mosaics are still visible under the basement of the Count’s Castle.

- At the beginning of the 5th century, the Visigoths, who settled down in Aquitaine, take Carcassonne. They are followed by the Franks, who try to conquer the city, but unsuccessfully.

- The Arabs, (the Saracens) at the time of their expansion, sweep north across Gaul, controlling Languedoc and occupying Carcassonne in 725. But not for a long time, as King Pépin le Bref chases them away in 759.

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