At the heart of the canton of Luys-de-Bearn in the Pyrenees, an exceptional archeological site was located in the small village of Lalonquette for more than fifteen centuries: a gallo-roman villa.
Found in 1843 by Duffau, a seminarist, this villa has been scarcely dug and a first survey of its mosaics was made. However, it was only from 1959 to 1972, that the archeologist Jean Lauffray conducted real archeological digs revealing the remains of the beautiful ensemble.
In 1994, the Regional Service of Archeology in Aquitaine entrusted the Archeological Research Group of the University of Pau to evaluate the conservation state of the remains and make suggestions concerning its future. A year later, a program of systematic archeological surveys on the surroundings of the villa has allowed us to learn more about the forms of occupation around the villa. Results were encouraging and justified new archeological digs on the site.
The project for new digs was achieved in 2001 through a research project involving a multidisciplinary researchers team. Programmed archeological digging were then launched for three years. The operation was coordinated by Mr. François Réchin, a lecturer of ancient history at the university of Pau.
A few years ago, The Communauté des Communes of Theze and then of the Luys-de-Bearn, has begun an ambitious program aiming to promote the remains of the villa to a general public. From the first archeological digging campaign until the inauguration of the museum in November 2012, several decades of work were necessary to draw the lines of the now engaged scientific and cultural project.
Located in Northern Bearn in the Atlantic-Pyrenees, the gallo-roman museum traced the history of a rural gallo-roman house build during the first century and which developed until the fifth century of our era. Supported by an elaborated museography depicting the restored mosaics and thanks to a playful approach illustrated by showcases of the collections, the museum offers to discover the specificities of the villa through several themes (day to day life, aristocracy, agriculture, architecture, etc.) .
From day one, recruiting a team of archeology and mediation professional has contributed to developing various tools adapted specifically to different publics allowing each and everyone to find out about this rich local heritage.