Achter het pleisterwerk: een wereld in een Zuid-Franse muur



Behind the plaster: a world within a southern French wall. This article presents the analysis of macroscopic plant and animal remains from a sample of loam mortar obtained from the walls of a house in the French Mediterranean town of Agde. The sample contained several cereal species as well as fig and grape remains. It is obvious that the chaff component was deliberately added to the loam to obtain a more workable mortar. Wild plants testify to the use of fresh water for preparing the mortar. Substantial variation in the preservation quality of the remains points to the use of both ‘fresh’ and more weathered material for tempering. The presence of small animals in and around the house is indicated by the remains of, amongst others, ants and rodents. The study clearly shows that this is a fruitful line of research for historic Agde and similar medieval towns.