This caricature, drawn by Mérimée in the 1860s, was published more than 40 years after the excavations carried out by the Commission de Topographie des Gaules between 1861 and 1862.
It was inspired by the debate concerning the location of the site of Alesia, at Alaise or Alise-Sainte-Reine. In it, the two towns are personified by women sat on promontories. The author identifies the characters in the foreground, from right to left: Claude Rossignol, with the bird; Napoléon III; an artilleryman (possibly General Creuly); a person with their hands crossed behind their back (possibly Alexandre Bertrand); and Félicien de Saulcy, digging a trench. Julius Caesar is watching over the scene from a cloud above.
From 1906, the Pro Alésia review published the results of excavations at Alise and answered questions about the ancient site.
Vist the site : Aux sources de l'Archéologie nationale