An archaeologist uses Lego to reconstruct the Gallo-Roman past of the city of Lyon

Designed by a Lego-enthusiastic archaeologist, this exhibition lets you discover what the capital city of Gaul looked like in Roman times through 40 models made from the famous little bricks.

How can we revive archeology and the Gallo-Roman period and make it accessible to as many people as possible? With name Adventure Brickius Maximus, the exhibition proposed from October 6 in Lugdunum – Roman Museum and Theaters in Lyon seems to fulfill this mission perfectly. It brings together nearly 40 meticulous LEGO® reconstructions evoking daily Roman life with more than 90 ancient pieces and objects. The production takes as its pretext the adventures of Brickius Maximus, a Roman legionnaire and secret agent sent to the governor of Brittany, who must go to Hadrian’s Wall in the United Kingdom to deliver a letter of the greatest importance.

Lego Lyon Gallo-Roman ExpoDesigned by a Lego-enthusiastic archaeologist, this exhibition offers to reveal what the capital city of Gaul looked like in Roman times through around forty models inspired by historical documents. – (France 3 Rhône-Alpes – Y. Marie / S. Goldstein / A. Gavin)

Unpublished models

On an area of ​​over 6000 m², these models show the symbolic places of a great Roman city (villa, temple, legion, deity, communication routes, etc.). Some already existed (the exhibition is touring several cities), others were created specifically for Lyon Museum and Roman Theaters, they are brand new. LThe Giers Aqueduct in Chaponost, the Chariot House on the rue des Farges in the 5th arrondissement of Lyon, the Federal Shrine of the Three Gauls and the Barracks of the Visitation… So many famous Lyon sites that Lyonnais will rediscover as they were 2000 years ago.

The amphitheater of the Three Gauls was reproduced based on the work of researchers.  There are few documents about this building.  (France 3 Rhône-Alpes)

Big history and small bricks

This exhibition was created by a family: Doctor of Archeology Kathy Sas, her husband Tom de Bruyker, a philologist (specialist in the historical study of texts) and their son Andreas, who is passionate about Lego. All three are AFOLs, which stands for Fan Of Lego. Big people who take full responsibility for little brick addiction.

But how did the archaeologist and the philologist come to use Lego to tell History? “The idea came in 2013, during the 50th anniversary of the founding of the archaeological association, chaired by my wife, in Antwerp. says Tom de Bruyker. He created the first model of a Roman temple to illustrate a retrospective exhibition. The virus is here and won’t let go, it “contaminates” the whole family. Over time, the number of models has increased and offers an increasingly complete exhibition with models from 13 cm to a width of 2.60 m.

Monuments, daily life... All aspects of life in Lugdunum 2000 years ago are told through small figurines.  (France 3 Rhône-Alpes)

Experts in Gallo-Roman history may be perplexed or even suspicious of this type of exhibition. But nothing happened by chance. The universe developed in the show is based based on a script by historian and writer Gérard Coulon. vsknown for his popular children’s works on the Gallo-Roman period, he is also an archaeologist and has directed several excavations.

Interactive scenography

To make the visit even more attractive, the scenography and arrangements encourage visitors to observe the details. The seek-and-find game encourages children and families to identify the protagonists of the story hidden in Lego models. The exhibition also focuses on interaction with sound capsules and facsimiles to manipulate, video, clay writing tablets, games. Among them puzzles and free handling of Lego blocks. Enough to awaken the AFOL that lies dormant in all of us!

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