During the centuries of the Roman colonisation of the lands around the Gulf of Lion, a great many villas – the Loupian villa among them – were built on the plains of Languedoc. This wide corridor that runs between the Pyrenees and the Rhône has a low, straight coastline dotted with coastal lagoons. Behind it are limestone plateaus, now covered with garrigue, which act as a transition to the mountainous territory further inland.
The plains were covered with an uninterrupted carpet of more than a thousand villas. They extended from the shores of the Mediterranean and the banks of the lagoons all the way to the inland hillsides. The presence of coastal rivers, which punctuate the Gulf of Lion basin, appear to have favoured their implantation/development. Beyond, hills and plateaus were home to other types of residences.
The villas were first identified by local scholars at a time when Languedoc was primarily a wine-growing region. They were catalogued by means of surveys that, at the initiative of researchers and students, became more widespread during the 1980s. Languedoc also played an essential role in the development of spatial analysis. Today, as in other regions, rescue archaeology provides additional information gleaned from undeveloped lands subjected to rampant urbanization.