A 1,600 year old pottery workshop has been discovered in the town of Shlomi in the Western Galilee, according to a press release from Israeli Antiquities Authority.
According to the report, the kiln is unique in that is the only kiln discovered in Israel to have been hewn entirely out of bedrock.
“What makes the pottery works so special is its unique kiln, which was hewn in bedrock and is unlike most of the kilns known to us that were built of stone, earth and mud," explains Joppe Gosker, excavation director of the Authority.
Anastasia Shapiro, a geologist with the authority, noted that the unique geological conditions of the area of Shlomi would seem to make such a kiln possible in the first place.
“We can explain the quarrying of this rare kiln right here because of the special geological conditions found in the area of Shlomi: here there is chalk bedrock, which on the one hand is soft and therefore easily quarried, and on the other is sufficiently strong to endure the intense heat," she explained.
The kiln was discovered in the course of an expedition that has been ongoing for the past six months, and has seen hundreds of young volunteers, especially from local high schools, join the ranks of the archaeologists.
The kiln is part of a larger archaeological area term "Bat el-Jabal," that will, in the future, be open to the public as an "archaeological park," adding to the wealth of archaeological sites around Israel available to visitors.