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I was so proud that France Today Live invited me to do a webinar on my favorite “Secrets of Nice”. We focused primarily on the Old Town with a mention of other great neighborhoods at the end. The enthusiastic audience posed some great questions at the end that would be particularly useful for first-time visitors  to Nice. Have a look!

Remains of Saint Mary’s Cathedral

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The Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) is Nice’s oldest site, dating back to 2100 BC. The ancient Greeks established a colony there before it fell under Roman domination. The earliest Christians established a church there between the 5th and 6th centuries and dedicated it to Saint Mary. 

(See more about the history of and things to do on Castle Hill)

Although those early remains have been excavated, todays excavations focus on the medieval cemetery associated with the Cathedral of Saint Mary. Archaeologists are now trying to understand the organization of the site beginning in the 9th century and ending in the 18th century. The cemetery has also undergone several complete redevelopments of its funerary space, mainly linked to the restructuring and modifications of neighboring buildings (cathedral and quadrangular building). Several modes of burial are present there: burials in the ground, saddlebacks, formwork. Nearly 300 individuals have been studied since the start of the excavation campaigns.

It’s a fascinating project and anyone wanting to get in touch with their inner Indiana Jones can have the Nice archaeology department take you through the site and explain their work. Plus, it’s free!

The program runs from July 4 to 28. English visits are available on request (I suspect these archaeologists are fluent in our tongue) and French visits are available from Monday to Friday at 9.30am, 11am, and 2pm. The visit lasts 45 minutes.

Reservations are essential. Contact tiziani.albert@ville-nice.fr or text 07 77 34 20 50.

The annual Journées de l’Archéologie (Archaeology Days) is a great way to do a deep dive into Nice’s history if your French is up to it. Even if it’s not, the archaeologists on site could probably give you some explanations in English.

 

Workshops and events without reservation
Duration between 20 mins and 45 mins – Young people, all audiences – PRM access

Saturday June 18 10 a.m. > 5 p.m.

Workshop “To your trowels! »

  • Burial Excavation Workshop
  • Excavation of a cremation workshop

Workshop “What the skeletons tell us”

  • Animal Skeletons Workshop
  • Workshop The human skeleton

Workshop “What the walls whisper”

  • Construction Archeology Workshop

Workshop “What revolves around pottery”

  • Workshop What did our ancestors eat?
  • Workshop I identify pottery
  • Workshop X-rayed pottery

Workshop “What plants tell us”

  • Workshop I identify plants grown in the past
  • Workshop I imagine the agricultural landscape of yesterday and today

Workshop “Discovering our ancestors”

  • Workshop To each his own tool

Workshop “You’re smarter with your hands”

  • Workshop Make your antique bowl

Workshop “In search of anecdotes”

Mini-conferences to exchange on the anecdotal underside of the archaeological discipline: “the adventures of the lost shard”, “the depths of the Prom'”, “the fuel for the manufacture of bells in the Middle Ages: the example of the Sainte -Marie de Nice”, “the adventures of an amphora”, “from the church to the theatre: the story of a place forgotten and rediscovered”…

“Seeds of archaeo” area 2 > 6 years old*

Reading tales, colouring, selection of books…

* Under the responsibility of the parents

Projection

Saturday at 5 p.m.
Screening of a film on the theme of archeology and open discussion with professional archaeologists

Sunday June 19 10 a.m. > 5 p.m.

Workshop “To your trowels! »

  • Burial Excavation Workshop
  • Excavation of a cremation workshop

Workshop “What the skeletons tell us”

  • Workshop The human skeleton

Workshop “What revolves around pottery”

  • Workshop What did our ancestors eat?
  • Workshop I identify pottery
  • Workshop X-rayed pottery

Workshop “What plants tell us”

  • Archeology and botany workshop
  • Workshop I identify plants grown in the past
  • Workshop I imagine the agricultural landscape of yesterday and today

Space “Discovering our ancestors”

  • Workshop To each his own tool

Workshop “You’re smarter with your hands”

  • Workshop Make your shell adornment

Workshop “In search of anecdotes”

Mini conferences to discuss the underside of the archaeological discipline: 15 minutes to understand the Roman Empire, the ideas received from Prehistory…

“Seeds of archaeo” area 2 > 6 years old*

Reading tales, colouring, selection of books…

* Under the responsibility of the parents


JEAs in museums**


Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June 10 a.m. > 6 p.m.

Terra Amata Prehistory Museum

Meeting point 25, boulevard Carnot

The Terra Amata Prehistory Museum is installed on the site of the excavation of the site of the name which delivered the oldest hearths in the history of Humanity, dating back 400,000 years. Since 2016, the museography has been updated and renewed to present the latest discoveries and offer visitors a new interactive and fun journey. This new presentation exposes the life of the first “Niçois” within their environment as well as the first great revolution of Humanity: the domestication of fire.

Nice Archeology Museum / Cimiez

Meeting point 160, avenue des Arènes de Cimiez

The Nice / Cimiez Archeology Museum, inaugurated in January 1989, succeeds the first site museum created in 1960 in the Villa des Arènes, now the Matisse Museum. The collections relate to the metal ages, Antiquity and develop up to the High Middle Ages. They testify to the life of Cemenelum and the province of the Alpes maritimae, through the many objects and official or private documents discovered during archaeological excavations from 1950 to 1969 in the site acquired by the municipality of Nice, but also beyond. Indeed, objects from all over the region as well as those discovered in the wreck of the Fourmigue C off the coast of Golfe-Juan, are presented.


Not to miss


The archaeological crypt**

Discovered during archaeological excavations as part of the development of line 1 of the tramway, the crypt allows you to understand the history of the city and its fortifications.
By tour guides from the City of Art and History Department – Heritage Center – The Senate

Practical
information Meeting Place Toja
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June
Departure every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
15 people per visit
Disabled access
By reservation on 04 92 00 92 41

** Exceptionally accessible free of charge during the event

Program subject to modification due to the health context

Exhibition at the Museum of Prehistory of Terra Amata: Happy Prehistory

From June 25 to September 25, 2022

Humor and Prehistory, in tribute to the cartoonist Pierre Laurent (1928-1986)

 

 

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