Courtyard Houses and Other Complex Buildings in the Protohistory of Southern Gaul
from Architectural to Social Changes
Keywords:Iron Age, southern Gaul, domestic architecture, building techniques, courtyard houses, household organisation, acculturation
Courtyard houses are attested at several sites in southern Gaul between the 5th and the 1st centuries BC. They represent a new concept when compared to the traditional protohistoric houses of the region and have often been interpreted in terms of Mediterranean, Greek or Italic influences. Regardless of their origin, exogenous influences or evolution, these houses suggest the emergence of social differentiation and elites in several of the main settlements. This article analyses the significance of the various courtyard house categories in the context of local, indigenous societies, while trying to understand the social implications of this new type of residence. In a wider context, the development of domestic architecture during the Iron Age is analysed alongside the relationships between changing uses of space and social changes.
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