Dimanche 18 septembre 2011 During the summer holidays of 1973, two teachers, René Caïrou and Raymond Sabrié, who are interested in  the archaeological heritage of Narbonne, were attracted by a large empty building site that runs south of the  cemetery of Cité. They think it could be a nice excavation site.   However, the Ministry of Finance has just acquired the site to build  the Hôtel des Impôts. While R. Caïrou asks permission to undertake  an archaeological intervention to the owner, R. Sabrié starts witht the  first samples, first manually, then, given the depth of the remains,  with the help of a machine. Ancient structures are found everywhere.  A first stripping of a certain depth reveals walls that will later reveal  themselves to be those of a paleochristian basilica and a large  portico with a mosaic.   The Archaeological Research Group of Narbonne (GRAN), of  which Y. Solier takes the presidency, is created at the end of 1973. But for almost a year, from February 1974 to  February 1975, the GRAN stopped the work to devote itself to the rescue of a necropolis located on Avenue of the  Grande Armée in the Razimbaud district.  The association, chaired from 1985 by R. Sabrié,  continues to conduct excavations at the Clos de la  Lombarde and maintains the site until today. Every year,  students participate in excavation courses.  Given the interest of the remains found at the Clos de  la Lombarde, Mr. Barruol, Director of Antiquities of  Languedoc Roussillon, intervenes so that the land is  transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of  Culture thus saving the site.  Between 1975 and 1983, the "House with the Porticoes" is  gradually uncovered as well as the early Christian basilica.  The  excavation proves difficult because of the discovery of many  painted coatings that very often neglected by archaeologists  until the 1970s and even thereafter. Their careful removal  requires a lot of time, patience and the development of a  technique. The study and restoration of the wall paintings began  in 1976 and is still ongoing today.  After excavating the northwestern areas of the House with the  Large Triclinium until 1985, the excavation work moves into the  space along the Cemetery. New houses are identified and partially  uncovered until 1994: house IV, house VI and house VII. Street C  and the secondary cardo (north-south street) A are partially  excavated. Interventions in this area became necessary because  of a museum building project that would have showcased the  "House with the Porticoes". Between 1995, the date from which excavations are planned, and  1997, the House with the Large Triclinium (House III) is fully  excavated. From 1998, work continues on the area occupied by  bathhouses in the southeast part of the site and on the secondary  cardo D. In this sector, artisanal establishments are being  discovered. At the entrance of the site (block II) and at the bottom of the terrain (block IV), houses were also identified and  mosaics were found confirming the presence of a residential area occupied by beautiful domus (Roman  townhouses). As excavations progress, the GRAN temporarily protects the remains with sand and performs regular  cleaning of the excavation site.   It worth to remember that in 1991 a long-term lease was signed between the State and the city of Narbonne  about this site which was then formally registered and classified in 2007.  But the Clos de la Lombarde site has not yet revealed all its secrets.  Fouilles de la Maison au Grand Triclinium Fouilles Restauration d'une fresque de la Maison au Grand Triclinium Restauration de la peinture du Génie IMAGES OF THE RESTORATION OF THE WALL PAINTINGS Fouilles de la basilique et de la Maison à Portiques Fouille du puits de la Maison au Grand Triclinium