The Gauls' Camp in Les Trinchis
B-6880 Cugnon (Bertrix)
The War of Gauls left tracks in our area too. It is the case in Cugnon where there are still tracks of the Roman occupation. It seems however that this camp existed already before, but it is the Romans who developped it and strenghtened it. As this camp is located on a strategical place, near the Roman way from Reims to Trier, it could carry on flourishing.It is estimated that the occupation of this place started at the very end of the Second Iron age until the Roman conquest (first century BC). It is likely that this camp was occupied again by the Romans after they conquired the area in 57 BC. The southern wall was reconstructed during searching excavations made between 1976 and 1978.
Some big works were necessary for strenghtening correctly the place. A natural depression large 100 meters, called "Trinchi", or ditch, blocks the access. An impressive levee was built on the crest that is parallel to it, and the barrier walls were built on the Norther and on the Western sides. The southers wall is long 108 meters, and it was built three times. The South-western gate, wide 6.5 meters, is made of 4 posts that are more important for the thickness of the wall. This wall is an improved version of the walls of the shelters of Kelheim (Germany) and of Manching (Germany) that date back both to the Gaul period called "The final thene" (120-58 before our period).
This camp, long 600 meters and whose average width is 100 meters, protected on the Eastern and Western sides by vertiginous cliffs, could host a Roman legion with 4,000 men inside its 6ha25-huge area. The board the SAS (Association for saving the Archaeological site sof the Semois), near the southern wall enables to visualize the fortified site that is currently occupied by a pasture for a half and by an oak forest for the rest of it.
The strategical importance of the place is the fact that it is located near the diverticulum of the Roman way that went from Reims to Trier
text origin : Jean-Etienne Hallet, chairman of the Maison du Tourisme de Bouillon.