The first concerted excavations on the site in search of Caesar’s military bases date back to the reign of Napoleon III.
In anticipation of the arrival of the Emperor, the agent Aucler conducted preliminary excavations and discovered the “villa” that bears his name.
Next, Eugène Stoffel carried out excavations under the orders of Napoleon III. His notable finds include two Roman encampments at the foot of the Gergovia Plateau and remains of the Gaul fortified town. At this time, Merdogne village becomes the village of Gergovia.
This also marks the reframing of Gergovia as an emblem of national history, which leads to the erection of a monument in 1900 in honour of Vercingetorix, the plateau’s current symbol.