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).