Sample Type

  1. architectural fragment
  2. glass
  3. metal object
  4. pottery
  5. stained glass

Description of Typical Finds


Pottery is the most ubiquitous form of archaeological evidence from any site dating from the Neolithic period onward. Whole pots are sometimes recovered, often from funerary contexts, but fragments (or shards) are much more common. For the archaeologist, pottery from stratified (sealed) deposits (see Stratigraphy) is the most useful since it can usually be dated. At Saint-Jean, sealed deposits of pottery have been revealed for the Roman, the high medieval and the early modern periods. Local and regional chronologies are well established for the Roman period from the first to the middle of the third centuries, and for the Merovingian period. However, even after twenty-five years of excavation, firm ceramic chronologies have not been worked out for the ceramic of the high medieval period, largely due to a lack of deep stratified excavation within the city of Soissons itself. Nonetheless, glazed and unglazed high-necked drinking pitchers, unglazed cooking pots and storage vessels are typical of sealed medieval deposits at the abbey. Such deposits have been revealed in the chapter room, the abbot’s room and the cloister alleys. As a result, we have been able to reconstruct a number of entire vessel types, both actual reconstructions of shards and drawn restitutions. (see images) Ceramic for the early modern period is better known and better dated, both internally on the basis of stratigraphic placement and externally on the basis of comparison with ceramic from other sites. Two sealed deposits of early modern pottery have been brought to light at Saint-Jean, one dating to the sixteenth century in the canons’ room, the other dating to the late eighteenth century in the garden of the Gothic cloister.

Sample Results

Number of sample finds: 13

  1. 12th century commonware excavated in the chapter room
  2. Roman blackware ceramic
  3. Early modern pottery
  4. early modern commonware pottery
  5. Glazeddrinking pitchers from the Abbot's room excavations, 13th century
  6. unglazed common ware from the Abbot's room, 13th century
  7. 12th century commonware excavated in the chapter room
  8. 12th century commonware excavated in the chapter room
  9. Roman white slipware pottery
  10. Roman greyware pottery
  11. Pierced burial pots
  12. Ensemble of medieval and early modern ceramic excavated at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes
  13. small pitcher, 13th century, excavated in the Abbot's room