A "capitelle" is a concrete-free stone shelter made according to an ancient construction technique. It is built not to become a permanent habitat but on the contrary to provide temporary accommodation for tools, harvest or people.
Often the work of peasants, wine makers or farm workers, the 'capitelles' are built on the least favourable terrain ('garrigue', 'maquis', 'taillis'...low brush and scrubland) at a time of land clearing using any local available building material, often limestone.
They date from a period ranging from the end of the eighteenth century till the end of the nineteenth century. These constructions are neither improvised nor approximate architecture. It shows a most defined and precise technique.
On the right bank of the Vidourle river, the Ambrussum countryside is marked by a lime kiln. One cannot talk about lime without starting to talk about the raw material itself: limestone.
Transformed into a white powder after calcining, lime is a material used a lot since ancient times until the nineteenth century.
It was built in the eighteenth century and was used by Poureau's mill miller.
Traditionally, lime kilns used to be destroyed after each use, but some new types of lime kiln called 'permanent' appeared and remained active for several decades which is the reason why today we still have the traces of such a construction in the Ambrussum site.
During the nineteenth century, concrete replaced lime and put an end to the use of these lime kilns.
Guided visits are available at 3pm every Saturdays without booking and some Sundays with booking (click here for see all the dates).
Free access to archeological site and site museum.
Prices of guided visits (in french only)