The Roman villa
In this area we can see the pottery remains of the Campina-Catorzena Roman villa, a complex of considerable size, with a residential area, farming spaces, and even workshops for the production of ceramic containers used to commercialise their products. The Catorzena archaeological site, with evident vestiges of a pottery centre, is located on the river’s right bank, and is part of the rustic area of the Campina Roman villa.
Its most characteristic production were the amphorae, destined for the transport and commercialization of local wine and oil. In addition, the archaeological register documents the production of several construction materials: tegulae, imbrices, etc. as well as a wide sample of common ceramics types. These signs of pottery activity in Potries confirm a fact already highlighted by the historiography since the end of the last century: the origin of the name Potries has Latin roots linked to the pottery trade.
Medieval and modern production: La cantereria del senyor
With the arrival of Islamic civilization in the 8th century AD, there was an expansion of the glazing technique, which was already known but not very used previously. The glazing process uses mineral oxides that acquire vitreous characteristics at high temperatures. This application of oxides to a ceramic object guarantees its impermeability, fulfilling at the same time hygienic and decorative functions. In the Valencian territories, the ceramic production received the contribution of different cultures. But it was during the Andalusi period when a broad repertoire of techniques, forms and decorations were developed, which had a decisive influence on the magnificent Valencian pottery productions of the late medieval centuries. Until the 16th century, these pieces were exported across Europe, with Paterna and Manises as the most emblematic production centres.
In the Valencian context there were also other production centres on a lesser scale, such as Potries. Here the potteries were controlled by the stately power, and produced mainly common or varnished pottery (pots, casseroles, vessels, jugs , bowls …), and another very singular product, the so-called sugar forms, which were pottery recipients used to refine the sugar produced in La Safor.
During the Late Middle Ages, Potries and other settlements belonged, from the 13th century, to the Barony of Rebollet. Afterwards, in the 15th century, they were part of the County of Oliva. The Carròs, Riusech and Centelles families possessed the Lordship of this fertile enclave, where the sugar cane trade provided wealth and splendor. At the end of the 16th century, the County was remodelled, and since then it belonged to the powerful Borja family, who held the Duchy of Gandia.
Discoveries of ceramic dumps in the Avinguda de la Constitució (former Barranc Street) and in Sant Joan Baptista Street bear witness of the combined production of fire and table pottery, glazed clayware, common and painted ceramics, as well as pieces to supply the sugar cane mills in the region. Their types and the techniques employed refer to a consolidated production characteristic of the 16th and 17th centuries. All this was corroborated after the urgent excavation carried out in the Sant Salvador Street in the year 2000. This archaeological dig allowed us to unearth one kiln and document two others.