Étienne Castagné was appointed a correspondent of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules in 1870.
Searching for Uxullodunum
Since the early 19th century, specialists had continued to debate the location of the Gauls’ final place of residence following their defeat at Alésia: Uxellodunum. In order to bring the debate to a definitive end, the local authorities asked Étienne Castagné, a surveyor responsible for the maintenance of the region’s roads, to make a study of the various proposed sites. In 1866 and 1875, Étienne Castagné published reports with plans of the fortifications of the oppida at Murcens, Le Puy d’Issolud and the Impernal in Luzech. Based on these results, in the second volume of his Histoire de Jules César Napoleon III declared Le Puy d’Issolud (Lot) to be the location of Uxellodunum.
In 1867, excavations led by Castagné in Murcens (Lot) revealed for the first time a Gallic fortification of the murus gallicus type, an important moment in the understanding and knowledge of oppida. To back up his report, in 1868, Étienne Castagné added highly accurate surveys and photographs to his detailed and descriptive manuscript.