Detailed sheets

A pottery kiln

In the 1930s, in Bau Perdu di Sotto, a kiln for firing pottery was discovered (figs. 1, 2).

Fig. 1 - Archaeological map of the Barumini area: no. 42 Roman pottery kiln in Bau Perdu (from Lilliu, Zucca 1988, fig. 1, p. 6).
Fig. 2 - Barumini, country villa from the Roman Era in Bau Pardu di Sotto (from Lilliu 1940, fig. 3, p. 378).

The kiln comprises a rectangular praefurnium, via which the furnus chamber was entered. This was square with a arched section, with seven suspensurae in plastered bricks (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - Barumini, country villa from the Roman Era in Bau Pardu di Sotto (from Lilliu 1940, fig. 4, p. 379).

The latter support the perforated floor of the upstairs room, made from mortar over tiles, where production was carried out, piling up the vases to be fired. The floor was a grid, and the heated air rose through the holes from the hypocaustum underneath to fire the pottery. This laboratory is enclosed between walls made from regular rows of marl blocks, joined by mud mortar. The work room was probably covered by a  dome with one or more openings required to guarantee a good draught. We may presume that there were rooms close to the kiln for storing clay, to be worked on the potter’s wheel into vase shapes and a dryer under an open roof. The short distance from the laboratory to the River Mannu was helpful for the provision of water. The praefurnium still has remains of equipment and laboratory products inside it, including pieces of used wood, coal and animal bones. Both everyday and fine pottery came from the kiln that was active during the High Imperial Roman Era.



  • LILLIU G., Barumini. Necropoli, pagi, ville rustiche romane, in Atti della R. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Notizie degli scavi di antichità, vol. XV, Serie VI, fasc. 10, 11, 12, Roma 1940, pp. 377-380.
  • LILLIU G., ZUCCA R., Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Sardegna archeologica, Guide e Itinerari, Sassari 1988, pp. 14-16.