The oldest solid evidence of human settlement around Lorgues are two Bronze Age tombs. These are the dolmen of Pey-Cervier in the hamlet of St Jaume, which consists of two dolmens, Pey Cervier and Roque d’Aille, testimony to a very old settlement, around 3,000 to 2,000 BC.

Some of the earliest inhabitants were semi-nomadic shepherds, who built small bories – free-standing domed stone buildings – a few of which remain.

On the wooded hill of Saint-Ferréol that overlooks the town to the east are the remains of an oppidum: a fortified settlement that acted as a refuge for the community in the troubled centuries before Rome brought stability to the area. Although the Lorgues oppidum is now only fragmentary, some idea of what it might have originally looked like can be found in the splendidly preserved equivalent not far away on the hill above Taradeau.

Lorgues’ status as a market town and regional centre began during the long period of stability (over 500 years) which marked Roman rule in Provence. Latin gave rise to the Provencal language, and the adoption of Christianity was to shape the history of Lorgues, as can be seen from its numerous chapels and other religious buildings.

The Roman road from Italy into Gaul (Via Julia Augusta) was officially created by the Emperor Augustus in 14 B.C. and ran through Lorgues. This part of the route now crosses one of Lorgues’ many vineyards – the town can be seen in the distance with the hill of Saint Ferréol on the right.