A potter's section

The Loupian estate's pottery workshop was located on the banks of the Etang de Thau, at the mouth of the stream that drains the watershed farmed by the villa. The site's shoreline location was justified by the use of the lagoon for trade.

The buildings, which give an idea of the size of the investment, extend in a line along the shore for than 90 metres. An impressive building with buttresses and masonry walls held a large kiln. A vast warehouse, 65m long and 7m wide, was cut up into fifteen small rooms. Other, more small-scale developments allow us to reconstruct the initial stages of the ceramic-making process, from the extraction of the clay and its preparation in basins – wide ditches used for mixing, whose sides were lined with flat tiles. Very little remains of the shaping stage. The location of the potter wheels is known; like the workshop at Sallèles d'Aude near Narbonne, they were located in a single building. Circular pits held the wheel shafts, and a flywheel was used to regulate their speed. At the other end of the production chain, excavation of the shore revealed rubbish areas of scraps and wasters, mixed with ashes and charred wood taken from the kilns.

Medias

Interactive document - The shores of the Etang de Thau, south of the villa

The shores of the Etang de Thau, south of the villa

To the right of the hill that leads to the lagoon is a cove, now flattened, that is the mouth of the Bourbou brook. The ceramic workshop was located directly on the right bank of this little stream.
© Marc Lugand
Interactive document - The shoreline workshop, an artisans' area of the estate

The shoreline workshop, an artisans' area of the estate

The area's economic function can perhaps be identified by the presence of a large, 65-metre-long warehouse standing parallel to the shore. The surrounding area revealed developments needed for a pottery workshop – to the north, a building housing a kiln was partially excavated. Production waste accumulated on the shore.
© Iouri Bermond, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon