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Production of gray common
ware ceramics in 2nd
and 3rd century Lutetia.
Commission du Vieux Paris.
Photo: C. Rapa / CVP

Pottery kiln.
Late 2nd-early 3rd century.
Institut des Jeunes Sourds de Paris,
240, rue Saint-Jacques.
Commission du Vieux Paris.
Photo: C. Rapa / CVP

  The pottery workshop
in the Rue Saint-Jacques

The workshop in the Rue Saint-Jacques was discovered beneath the Institut National des Jeunes Sourds de Paris. Between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, this workshop produced common ware for the local market.

  The kiln
The exceptionally well preserved kiln has a standard shape, and was found to have all of its parts, including the hearth, with an area for storing wood nearby, the stoke-pit, i.e. the main shaft with its opening, the kiln mouth, the firebox beneath the kiln floor perforated with small vents (flues) and the firing chamber, over two meters of which are still standing. The excavations revealed systems for modifying the fire's draw, thus regulating the temperature and conditions inside the firing chamber. The mouth could be closed with a flat tile, and some of the ducts blocked with pieces of pottery. A tile could have been placed over the chimney top, allowing the potter to move it if he or she wanted to bring in more air and release the smoke.

Additional structures
Several pits for holding clay were also discovered, as well as more temporary structures, perhaps basins for soaking, decanting or kneading the clay, or for wood storage. A large-mouthed well dug in soft, higher ground and surrounded by square coping was also discovered.