A Byz blaze

Abila pottery kiln.jpg

Last week I posted a couple of shots to a contemporary ceramic kiln under construction in Palestinian village near the ruins of Samaria (see here and here). While this image lacks the larger context of those, it does show the the fragments of ceramic kiln firebox from the Late Roman period. Note the perforations in the firebox wall (each is maybe 5 inches in diameter) that allowed the heat to migrate into the oven. Design-wise, little has changed in two thousand years of technology. This installation is constructed according to a classic "hill-climbing" style that adds to the kiln's draw by taking advantage of the slope.

This structure was located in the steep wall of a wadi near of Tel Abil (Abila), Jordan. Most of the kiln had eroded downslope. However, the curve of the outer kiln wall was quite distinct as was a portion of the firebox. And just for fun, there were bucketfuls of fired and unfired sherds scattered in, around, and downslope from the kiln. Most of these appeared to be "combed Byzantine bods" if you are into that sort of thing.

Shout out to Abila excavator Bob Smith for showing this to me!