Cross-section of the flue of a 13th century potter's kiln, the walls of which are made from flat tiles.

© UASD / O. Meyer.

At Saint-Denis, pottery-making is attested from only the thirteen to the fifteenth century. Nine kilns and five tessonnières (waste pits containing kiln rejects) have been excavated. The kilns are longitudinal in shape, and made from tiles and pots, either re-used or made especially. All of the production structures were discovered less than 150 meters from the basilica1, in a rather densely populated artisan's neighborhood-quite contrary to the most basic rules of health and safety (risk of fire). We are in the presence of an urban craft, whose ceramic products are characterised their thinness and a high percentage of glazed pieces.

Potter at his wheel, late 14th century.

© BNF (ms. Fr. 22912, f° 227 v°)