Situated within the Jura mountain range at an altitude of 450 m, the site of Develier-Courtételle (Canton Jura, Switzerland) lies on the banks of the brook " La Pran ", in a lateral valley of the Delémont basin. This rural settlement, occupied from the 6th to the 8th century AD, was discovered in 1987 during a campaign of archaeological test trenching prompted by the construction of the A16 motorway. Some 3,5 ha of this site were excavated by the Section d'archéologie of the Office de la Culture between 1993 and 1996. The results of this research are published in five volumes of the series Cahiers d'archéologie jurassienne (CAJ 13 to 17). The present volume, third in the series, presents and analyses the numerous pottery, stone, amber, wood, bone and clay artefacts found during this excavation.

A major part of this volume is taken up by the presentation of the more than thousand pots used for the preparation and serving of food (chap. 2 to 7). Numerous typological parallels confirm the dating of this pottery to a period beginning in the 6th and ending in the 8th century. Both cooking- and tableware present only a limited range of forms (cooking pots, pitchers, beakers, bowls). Only some aspects of the basic forms - most markedly the rim shape - vary to a greater extent, as does the fabric type. The fact that contemporary pottery from settlement contexts is comparatively rare gives a particular interest to this large and diverse assemblage.

The spatial analysis of potsherd distribution provides additional valuable information on the organisation and chronological evolution of the settlement (chap. 6).

A thorough archaeometric study (chemical, mineralogical and petrographic analyses ; chap. 3) was undertaken in parallel to the classical typological approach. This interdisciplinary investigation revealed that a large majority of the pottery found on the site had been imported from external production centres, located mainly in the regions of Basel, the Bourgogne, the Franche-Comté and Alsace. Only a minor part of these objects could have been produced locally, within the Delémont basin.

Some thirty-odd soapstone cooking pots were for their part imported from the Western Alps (chap. 8). The results of the various archaeometric analyses performed on pottery and stone vessels will form a useful database for future comparisons.

Most of the comparatively rare glass vessels found during the excavation are of the small drinking bowl variety. They date to the 6th and 7th century and represent tableware (chap. 9).

The second part of the volume contains the analysis of a variety of artefacts grouped according to the raw materials from which they were fashioned. The more than two hundred stone objects form the numerically most important corpus presented in this section. About half are flints used as strike-a-lights. According to the petrographic analysis, all of these were imported, although two-thirds consisted of natural fragments (chap. 10). The fifty-odd millstone pieces belonged originally to rotary querns, both of the hand-powered and the water-powered types. They were apparently transported from the Vosges mountains. A range of hones and grindstones of a variety of sizes and shapes complete this assemblage of stone tools.

Although not numerous, the small group of wooden artefacts includes some very interesting pieces, such as a cog from a mill, two probable weaving shuttles and a bucket stave (chap. 11).

The category of glass paste and amber jewellery consists essentially of pearls dating mostly from the 7th century. Amber was imported from the shores of the Baltic Sea (chap. 12).

A small number of worked bone tools can be attributed to activities linked to the production of textiles : spinning, weaving and stitching. Several strongly fragmented combs complete the worked bone assemblage (chap. 13).

The concluding chapter of the volume presents a group of clay artefacts which include a dozen spindle-whorls, a broken loomweight and a number of discs, whose function remains unknown (chap. 14).

Translation: Robert Fellner