Why is Abbeville, France, important to the field of archeology?
Situated in Northern France in the region of Picardy, named Abbatis Villa when the Romans occupied it, Abbeville was a 9th-century dependency of the abbots of Saint-Riquier. Chartered in 1184, this ancient town has evidence of being populated in the Stone Age as artifacts have been unearthed in 1830 by archeologists who uncovered paleolithic stone tools called handaxes, called bifaces. These stone tools have both sides chipped away in order to make a sharp edge as is typical on axes. Later, in the Abbeville/Somme river district, other handaxes that were more refined were uncovered.
During the ninth century, Abbeville was an important fort city, defending the Somme River from invaders as its close proximity to the English Channel made the city vulnerable. Weapons from this age have been uncovered by archeologists. During the Middle Ages, there were many skilled craftsmen who were engaged in the construction of Gothic cathedrals, so there may be some tools left behind as the guildsmen and skilled laborers, who were mostly Protestant left the area quickly after the Edict of Nantes, which had granted the Hugeunots rights in a Catholic nation, was rescinded.