Funerary post from Soulac-sur-Mer

Between the 6th and 3rd century B.C. Wood. Loan from the DRAC Aquitaine, inv. no.: D.77.2.1

Discovered in 1973 during spring tides on the beach of l'Amélie at Soulac-sur-Mer, this post is an exceptional piece of Gallic statuary. 86 cm high, the piece tapers in a regular manner towards the base, which is broken. The sculpted head is approximately life-sized, and is greatly simplified: the face is hairless and without ears. The eyes are only indicated by the brows, which form a T-shape with the nose – the only part which protrudes. The mouth is narrow and slightly hollowed. The curve of the neck is pronounced.

While Iron Age stone sculptures are rare, those in wood are even more uncommon due to their fragility and their rapid decomposition once buried. Currently, fewer than ten of these objects have been discovered in the whole of France.

This square-section pile is crossed by a mortice and must have been one of the medial posts of a quadrangular enclosure, of which an example discovered nearby has been surveyed. It measured 2.50 m by 1.50 m and was composed of tree-trunks laid on top of each other with stakes driven deep into the earth at the four corners.

The association of the post, the wooden structure and pottery seems to indicate the existence of a small funerary enclosure.

The increase in sea levels since the Iron Age has enabled the preservation of a rare example of Gallic statuary, as it has been completely submerged for 25 centuries. Unfortunately, its location on the foreshore, only uncovered during the spring tides, prevents the archaeological excavation of this necropolis.


Photo du poteau funéraire de Soulac-sur-Mer

Funerary post from Soulac-sur-Mer (c) mairie de Bordeaux photo F. Deval