Dynamic maps, a photo observatory of unsuspected wealth, and objects emblematic of the activities that have shaped the environment for more than 2,000 years complement the testimonies of inhabitants, scientists, historians, and landscape architects to reveal the highlights of this territory.
The exhibition was conceived in 2020 in collaboration with the Morvan Regional Nature Park, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the museum. It will run until November 2021.
The passage of time and the weather
On archaeological sites, the passage of time is often reflected in the piling up of layers of soil in the rhythm of successive occupations of the same place.
But other natural markers are also valuable. For example, a tree that produces a growth ring each year, the thickness of which depends on the weather conditions, or the sedimentation at a millimetre rate of peat bogs such as that of the Sources de l'Yonne, which traps pollens.
A slice of fir and a peat core make it possible to study the evolution of vegetation and human activity over a hundred or thousands of years.
The tools and uses that have shaped the land
The farmer and the woodcutter could not carry out their work without suitable tools. Since the first stone hoes and axes in the Neolithic period, improved techniques have played a decisive role in the exploitation of natural resources.
While the means had sometimes changed little since Roman times, the industrial revolution led to a breakthrough, bringing much more efficient techniques that increased the efficiency of workers. In one century, the number of workers was divided by ten, while the intensification of production systems often resulted in the depletion of biological diversity, soil depletion and pollution due to the excessive use of chemicals.
Ancient or modern yokes, Gallo-Roman tools, chainsaws from the 1940s, a whole range of objects reveals the evolution of the tools used in the Morvan.
A territory in movement
You have to go back to geological times to understand how the Beuvray region was formed. Shaped by the climate and human activity, its physiognomy is constantly changing. A large scale model with projections and commentary by researchers and specialists allows you to visualise the evolution of a 20 x 20 km territory, from its geological formation to the different scenarios envisaged for 2050.
The evolution of the territory under the eye of the photographers
Around 1890, technical progress made photography available to everyone and allowed it to be reproduced on a large scale by the printing press. Until the 1920s, this was the golden age of the postcard. Every corner was photographed from every angle, providing us with a vast iconographic documentation of the territory and the way of life of its inhabitants. The taking of new photographs at the exact location of the old ones, implemented at Bibracte as part of a photographic observatory, bears witness to the sometimes considerable changes that have taken place over the course of a century... or even in a much shorter time.
Dozens of photographs bear witness to the decline of agriculture, the planting of conifers replacing deciduous trees, but also to the stability of the buildings.