This set is the most ancient underground site of the river
Loire area (France). Indeed, the extraction of the falun stone, a 12 millions years old
shells composed rock, dates back to the VIth century.
At this age, sarcophagi were made in this place. Lumps of stone were extracted from an underground quarry and hewed there. This production spread over two centuries and went downhill just before Vikings invasions. During this confusing period, the banked up quarry, has been transformed to an underground shelter by local population.
A troglodytic housing and a stone quarry exploited by tranch (**) assured continuity of population settlement up to the last century.
An archeological yard, from 1989 to 1996 has permited to make light on technics of extraction and size of sarcophagi during the early Middle Ages. The excavations, has permited to set off 55 000 square feet of extraction area that spread on more than one acre.
(**) Falun stone original technic of extraction which consist in digging a trench in a field to extract lumps of stone. Then exploitation, is done verticaly and widen up to 70 feet deep giving an ogival shape to the extraction room. When the quarry is disused, the trench is simply obturated with lumps of stone. Then the field above the underground space can be still cultivated.
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