- A meeting of cultures
- Gauls and foreigners
When excavations began in the 1960s, questions about the presence of Mediterranean sailors at Lattara were raised, and the hypothesis has been confirmed by recent discoveries.
Excavations have uncovered traces of dwellings that were unusual for both the region and the period – the late 6th century BCE. The walls of these multi-room houses consisted of a stone foundation topped by earth, all of which was covered in a whitewashed plaster that was white or yellowish in color. The same is true of the wooden doorframes. The objects found in these houses consisted almost exclusively of Etruscan ceramics – wine amphorae, cookingware and tableware, some of them bearing graffiti in Etruscan letters on their rims or bases. All this allows us to speculate that Etruscans were present at Lattes from the very beginning, and that perhaps they are the ones who founded the town.These houses were destroyed in a large fire around 475 BCE, just before the Greeks of Marseille gained a trade monopoly over Lattara.
The Massalians seem to have had a strong presence at Lattes, as can be seen from the abundance of imports (amphorae and tableware), but also from Greek inscriptions found on lead tablets and Greek graffiti on ceramics. The hypothesis of a Greek presence in the town is strengthened by the discovery of alphabet primers.