The exceptional nature of the pool at Caumont Roman gardens designates it as the site’s archaeological centerpiece. Its dimensions (65 m long, 3.40 m wide and 1.20m deep) make it an unique vestige of its kind in Gaul. A pool of similar size exists in Burgundy, but, being designed for fish-farming, its construction is much more basic (no mortar-based masonry, a compacted earth bottom etc…).
The building technique used is also original: firstly, the walls were built in reverse, by digging trenches into the earth. These trenches were then filled with a lime mortar and rubble infill. Once this had set, the cavity of the pool was excavated and the interior walls were lined with a waterproof double lining. Furthermore, and this is the mark of a true professional.
A drain was fitted along the northern edge of the outside of the pool to prevent damage from infiltration.
The decoration was the object particular care. The bottom of the pool was paved with small, colorful clay bricks mounted in opus spicatum (herringbone). There are almost 55000 of them!
For the edging stones, the builder used some particularly thin, attractive limestone slabs taken from the quarries at Oppède. One can easily imagine the pool “dressed” with a pergola, in the same way as the one in Pompeii, but remains have been found. A perishable material, such as wood, may have been used.
It is important to try to imagine the spectacular perspective from the villa, created by the monumental staircase descending towards the pool and the line of water which continues on from the pool, across the garden towards the Via Dominitia, the Vaucluse plateau, the Luberon and the Durance valley… We can only regret the lack of clues as to the identity of the individual responsible for the sumptuous design.