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The Pioch Farrus mine


The Neolithic site of the Broum.

Whereas the metallurgical chalcolithic mining site of « Pioch-Farrus » discovered just 22 years ago in Cabrières is well known, it’s now the turn of the oldest metallurgical village in France, discovered in the northern part of Péret on the edge of a stream in the “Capital du Broum”, to reveal its secrets little by little as the excavations progress.

It was after a private wine-grower had decided to take out a part of a vineyard that the archaeologists, who had already found that the slag in the area was comparable to that of other local prehistoric metallurgical sites, conducted an excavation campaign thus allowing the site, unique in France, to be brought to public attention. Since 1998, several successive excavations have been made.

The metallurgical field of the Capitelle du Broum, which is situated in the mining district of Cabrières–Péret, reveals the most ancient metallurgical establishment of France (31000-2900 BC). Its archaeological ground, luckily well-preserved, has shown that the main phases of the transformation of copper ore (oxides and sulphurs) into metal are still present (sorting of the ore, partially reduced fusion, oxidative melting).

The smelting sites, the only ones of this era in France, simple ditches, are numerous. They are associated, without proof that they are contemporary, with the dry-stone cabins with apses, unknown until then, west of the river Hérault.

The Pioch Farrus mine is for the moment closed to the public.


Cabrières, mine of Pioch Farrus - JPEG - 97.9 kb
Cabrières, mine of Pioch Farrus

Crédit Julien Bonet

Cabrières, mine of Pioch Farrus - JPEG - 125.1 kb
Cabrières, mine of Pioch Farrus

Crédit Julien Bonet