Over 500 architectural fragments, datable on the basis of style, to the Romanesque, Gothic and Early Modern periods have been recovered through excavation at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes. These include intact bases, fragments of capitalss and portions of shafts from the Romanesque period; capitals, bases, reliefs, voussoirs and keystones, as well as window tracery and fragments of tombslabs from the Gothic period; and, a base and quantities of architectural plaster including moulded profiles and fluted pilasters from the Early Modern period.
Analysis of these objects aids us in our understanding of the phases of construction at the abbey and, by extension, in our reconstructions of it.
Many, though not all, of these stone objects still bear traces of gesso and paint that provide invaluable evidence about the decoration of Saint-Jean in the medieval and early modern periods. Colors range from ochres to bright reds, greens, and surprisingly, blue. Most common have been false joint painting on stone coursing. These occur in two forms: red ochre joint lines painted on a white ground, probably mostly dating to the Romanesque phase of the site; and, white false joints painted on a yellow ochre ground, mostly from the Gothic phases.