Iron Age farmers’ saltmill found on Dune de Pilat

Iron Age farmers lived on Europe’s highest sand dune, Dune de Pilat in Gironde, and heated seawater there to get salt, archaeologists have found.

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A dig at the site found traces of huts, a fire to heat seawater, and a saltmill on two sites a few metres from the shore.

The team, led by archaeology volunteer Philippe Jacques from the Arcachon local history group Shaapb, uncovered evidence that Iron Age people came with animals to the site in around 700BC, set up home and started farming.

In all, 22 post holes were found, showing there had been a succession of small buildings.

Mr Jacques has studied the dune for years and the latest dig comes after a funerary urn was uncovered by a storm in 2014.