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Saint-Denis in pictures
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Object stories
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A pin-maker's workshop
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A Merovingian
belt buckle workshop
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A Carolingian shoemaker
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Window maintenance
in the year 1000
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Title, subtitle and main picture of the page Crafts in the first millennium


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Map of Saint-Denis crafts in the first millennium
Map of Saint-Denis crafts in the first millennium © UASD / M. Wyss, Th. Sagory
Archaeology has turned up a number of sources - vestiges of workshops, tools, and raw materials - that tell us in varying degrees about the craftspeople that worked in Saint-Denis.

The oldest such indication of production on the site of the basilica is a pin-making workshop waste from which were found in a ditch from the last third of the fourth century ; from them, we can see the various stages in manufacturing pins from bone.

Craftsmanship in the Early Middle Ages was distinguished by a great mastery of metalworking. In the late sixth or early seventh century, belt buckles were mass-produced in a founder's workshop located at the edge of the necropolis. Not far from this workshop, three smelting furnaces smelting furnaces reveal the existence of a forge, whose working life was probably short.


Scraps from a leather workshop, discovered in the filled-in ditches of the Carolingian castellum Castellum sancti Dionysii
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fortification built by Charles the Bald in 869 around the abbey of Saint-Denis; the zone delimited by the walls of this castellum.
may have come from the monastery's shoe-maker's workshop, which we know about from written sources.

A waste pit, excavated to the north of the monumental complex, was found to contain scraps from a workshop that, around the year 1000, assembled or restored glass-windows.

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