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Potters' kilns, discovered near the Seine valley and the Roman road from Troyes to Senlis, and fairly close to a necropolis of the Iron Age and another from the Merovingian period, have led to the excavation of a pottery center.

About a dozen kilns varying in size and orientation, with walls made of tiles or vases, were found within a small area. Close by was pottery stored ready for shipment, a cellar full of varied wares including imported terra sigillata (Lezoux, Lavoye, Argonne), and a number of wells and rubbish pits. The pottery made on the site often, though not exclusively, has the crackled appearance and bluish tone found in many Gallo-Roman settlements in Champagne. La Villeneuve exported this pottery, but also other types of ware, particularly an imitation terra sigillata with varied and often original forms. A huge number of sherds have been recovered as well as many intact or restored vessels (over 1300 different pieces in a single year). Both the coins and the La Graufesenque terra sigillata show that the workshop was active from the middle of the 1st c. A.D., perhaps even earlier. A hoard of bronze and silver Gallic and Roman coins was recently discovered a few hundred m away. Consisting entirely of coins from the 1st c. B.C., it provides evidence that the site was occupied and had far-flung trade links as early as the first years after the Roman conquest.

A part of the early finds are in the Saint-Germain Museum (musée des Antiquités Nationales); the recent ones are in the Nogent-sur-Seine museum.


A. Brisson & A. Loppin, BAC (1936-37) 262-65; id., Bull. du Groupe Archéologique du Nogentais 4 (1965) 5-20; P. Benoît & R. Guéry, ibid. (1963) 4-5, 11-18; Guéry, ibid. 19-28; Tessier & Boisset, ibid. 29f; R. Martin, Gallia 22 (1964) 297; E. Frézouls, ibid. 25 (1967) 281-83I; 27 (1969) 299; 29 (1971) 285-88PI; 31 (1973) 407.


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