The present volume, last in a series of five devoted to the Merovingian hamlet of Develier-Courtételle (Canton Jura, Switzerland), consists of three distinct parts. The spatial analysis of the site is the subject of the first section. The second section contains a discussion of the historic and regional context of the site, as well as an account of its organisation and evolution. The final section presents the roman remains discovered during the excavation.

Located within the Jura mountain range at an altitude of 450 m, the site lies on the banks of the brook "La Pran", in a lateral valley of the Delémont basin. A campaign of archaeological test trenching, prompted by the construction of the A16 motorway, led to the discovery of this rural settlement. Some 3,5 ha of its surface were excavated between 1993 and 1997 by the Section d'archéologie et paléontologie of the Office de la culture (chap. 1).

The first section of the volume, which presents the spatial analysis of the artefact scatters, opens with a short introduction (chap. 2). The following chapter discusses the theory and method of intrasite spatial analysis, complete with a review of its role in Swissarchaeology during the past 25 years (chap. 3). The specific circumstances conditioning the spatial analysis of this particular site are the subject of the following chapter (chap. 4): how did the chosen excavation and analytical methods, the differential conservation of sedimentary layers and objects influence the observed artefact scatters ? A detailed examination of the distribution of tile and baked daub fragments (chap. 5) and of faunal remains (chap. 6) precedes a short review of the spatial analyses of other artefact classes, published in previous volumes of the series (chap. 7). The next chapter contains a synthesis of the spatial analysis of all artefact categories, presented separately for each farmstead and activity area (chap. 8). The last chapter of this first section of the volume discusses the contribution of spatial analysis to the reconstruction of the organisation and evolution of the site. Patterning resulting from the erstwhile presence of walls and enclosures reveals the existence of otherwise undocumented structures. The horizontal distribution of dated artefacts completes our knowledge of the chronological relationships between different buildings, activity areas and farmsteads. The detailed analysis of artefact scatters also highlights differences in discard behaviour between the various parts of the settlement (chap. 9).

The second section of the volume opens with a review of the general historical context of the site and an analysis of the political situation in the Jura region during early medieval times (chap. 10). Sources describing local events are treated with particular attention. An overview of the regional archaeological record places the establishment of the hamlet within a larger settlement pattern (chap. 11). The site was inhabited well before the foundation of the monastery of Moutier-Grandval. Its occupation coincides with a phase of demographic growth documented over much of the Jura mountain range. The following general synthesis (chap. 12) draws on the results of a large spectrum of analyses of features, finds and ecofacts. A concise description of the main characteristics of each farmstead and activity area forms the foundation for a panoramic representation of the evolution of the settlement, beginning with the founding of the three oldest farmsteads during the last decades of the 6th century. The hamlet reaches its maximum size before the middle of the 7th century. A major upheaval, dated to the last quarter of the same century, leads to the desertion of the eastern half of the settlement. The two western farmsteads, which continue to function on their own for several decades, are in turn abandoned around the middle of the 8th century (fig. 87).

Agriculture, animal husbandry and textile production are important components of the economy throughout site occupation. Ironworking is of central importance from the beginning of the settlement. Raw iron, brought onto the site as bloom, was refined and transformed into finished objects. This produced a considerable surplus of metal objects, probably for export, until ironworking ceased during the period of upheaval marking the late 7th century. Different archaeometric analyses reveal the presence of numerous imported objects and the existence of an extensive exchange network. They shed light on the site's place within the local and regional economy. The chapter ends with a discussion of the demography and social structure of the settlement, constrained by the limits of the archaeological evidence. The next chapter, last of those dealing with the Merovingian hamlet, examines its position within a larger regional framework (chap. 13). The foundation of the site occurs against the backdrop of a regional boom of iron smelting during the 6th century. The partial abandonment of the settlement, which coincides with the end of ironworking, may have been caused by one of several documented political crises of the late 7th century. Less is know of the context surrounding the end of the occupation of the western farmsteads towards the middle of the 8th century.

The last section of the volume is concerned with the roman remains found during the excavation. The few and rather modest features dating to this period include a complex of clay extraction pits and a short road segment (chap. 14). The pottery, dating for the most part from the 1st and 2nd centuries, consists mainly of residual objects found in medieval contexts; only a few shreds were discovered within the roman features (chap. 15). This also holds true for the small group of iron objects (chap. 16). Both assemblages are described in detail. A short synthesis correlates these different strands of evidence and presents a few conclusions on the occupation of the site and its surrounding areas during roman times (chap. 17).

Translation: Robert Fellner