ROMAN MUSEUM (MUSEE ROMAIN)

THE ROMAN MUSEUM IN VALLON FEATURES MUST-SEE MOSAICS AND A LARGE COLLECTION OF STATUETTES DEPICTING THE GODS.

Archaeological digs carried out at this rich dwelling have produced over 20 divinities in bronze and lead, both intact and broken: Apollo, Diana, Mercury, Mars, Hercules, Isis and Harpocrates, as well as sacred animals: a three-horned bull, bear, cockerel, goat and tortoise. Most were gathered in the room with the mosaic of Bacchus and Ariane.

They represented various belief systems: Celtic, Greco-Roman and Egyptian. Domestic divinities were particularly pampered. The museum has a reconstruction of a domestic chapel where the house's protective gods and its inhabitants are gathered together. Every rich dwelling had its own domestic altar; the gods that were honoured were particular to each family.

Egyptian gods have been found in Vallon. They include Harpocrates, lying near to his mother Isis. His statuette has his finger to his mouth: he is the god of silence and the protector of young children.
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