By preparing for its future, the Loire reveals its past

Archaeologists from Inrap have unearthed rockfill and wrecks dating from the 17th-18th centuries on Coton Island, not far from the town of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon (Loire-Atlantique). Emmanuelle Collado/Inrap

REPORT – Work to free the flow of the river has unearthed nine shipwrecks and old fish traps.

Special envoy to Ancenis

The wooden planks blackened by the centuries are revealed under the sand. The place is simply outstanding. No less than nine wrecks are stranded on the shore at the foot of Coton Island, between Angers and Nantes, not far from the town of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon (Loire-Atlantique). A few meters away, the Loire flows quietly. It’s only a matter of time before she returns here and once again swallows up those treasures she’s hidden for so long. Archaeologists are therefore busy, because the beginning of autumn is synonymous with rising waters, and for them the impossibility of continuing their work. “It’s quite a strange situation, explains Yann Viau, one of the site’s scientific managers. We are used to having projects with a deadline, but here we don’t know exactly when it will take place., we say early November, but it could just as well be October 15… ”

The countdown is on for a campaign…

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