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BOUCHEPORN Moselle, France.

About 10 km NW of St. Avold, on the Roman road from Metz to Worms. The area had long been known for its ancient ruins but the most important discovery, a pottery factory, was made in 1950. A large part of the factory has now been excavated, including 26 kilns of different shapes and a sizable quantity of ceramics.

The factory lies E of Boucheporn and covers ca. 4 ha at the spot known as the Ziegelgarten. Boucheporn must have been the earliest producer of terra sigillata in E Gaul; ordinary ware of the Belgian type was already produced there under Tiberius, and the manufacture of terra sigillata was introduced by potters from S and central Gaul in Nero's reign. Some 30 potters turned out plain sigillata and about 15 produced decorated sigillata; at first the latter was copied from imported models and even at times made in molds that the potters had brought with them. Two names may be cited from this period, Canaus and Rutanus; they made Drag. 29 vases, and the former was also noted for his plain ones. The factory was particularly active in the Flavian period; from that time on we meet such potters as Saturninus from S Gaul, Satto, and Arvernian potters such as the Master of the Shields and Helmets, the Potter of the Rosette, and the Master of the Cross-rosette. The first of these still turned out a few Drag. 29 vases, but the others concentrated exclusively on Drag. 37. Boucheporn also produced ordinary ware, glazed ware, even tiles, and work continued until ca. 160, after which it rapidly declined.

The masters Saturninus and Satto are met here for the first time, and the group of potters that grew up around them appear later in other workshops (Chémery, Blickweiler, even Mittelbronn). Saturninus started the enterprise. Besides the potters mentioned above there was a still unknown worker, the Master of the Little Horse. The large group of potters at Boucheporn suggests that it was an experimental factory.

The St. Avold museum has an archaeological collection.


M. Lutz, L'atelier de Saturninus et de Satto à Mittelbronn, Gallia Suppl. 22 (1970).


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