Kiln/Workshop

Khirbet el-Hawarit

c. 200-600 CE

Roman, Byzantine

Kiln/Workshop: Khirbet el-Hawarit

Kiln/Workshop Name, Date BCE/CE, and Location

Khirbet el-Hawarit

c. 200-600 CE

Roman, Byzantine

Khirbet el-Hawarit

Israel/Golan


General Information

The workshop at Kh. el-Hawarit is attested by the discovery at the site of of a huge mound of thousands of pottery sherds, mixed with ash, charcoals, broken bricks, soil, and stones and interspersed with thin layers of soil and ash, 20 m long and 1.60 m high. The character of the pottery found indicated that it was a garbage dump of a pottery workshop. Vessels that had been broken in the firing process were thrown onto the slope together with kiln ash and broken bricks, presumably from a damaged kiln somewhere in the vicinity, though no kiln nor actual workshop were found. The excavated walls were too short for a reconstruction of any buildings. Nevertheless, the sherd dump itself allows the identification of Hawarit as a major production center of pottery for the Mt. Hermon, Banias, and northern Golan region.

The slopes of Mt. Hermon have all of the necessary conditions for pottery production. Near Hawarit are many small springs and suitable clay deposits. In Har Qet‛a, north of Hawarit, there are sandstone outcrops from which came the grits that were mixed with the clay. Oak and pistachio woods grow on the west slope of Hawarit’s hill, and certainly once covered the area. These trees would have provided fuel for the kiln; remnants of wood found in the excavation have been identified as pistachio, oak, and cypress.

The area’s rich natural resources allowed it to be a production center in many periods, beginning with the Early Bronze Age (Greenberg and Porat 1996:18-19). Petrographic analysis of some of the pottery from Kh. Zemel (mid-2nd c. BCE), Namra (mid-3rd c. CE), and Bab el-Hawa (4th-6th c. CE) indicate production on the slopes of Mt. Hermon (Porat 1989:147–150). The tradition of pottery making in the Hermon slopes continues today in Rashaiya el-Fukhar (close by, in southeastern Lebanon)

Surveys conducted here have found remains of settlements from the Hellenistic, Late Roman, Byzantine, Mameluk and Ottoman periods (Urman 1985:187; Hartal 1989:29–30; Dar 1993:134–137).

Associated Wares/Ware Families
ca. 200 CE - 600 CE
Roman, Byzantine

Vessels
Break Photos
Petrographic Samples
Bibliography
  1. Hartal, Moshe; Hudson, Nicholas; and Berlin, Andrea M. "Khirbet el-Hawarit: A Ceramic Workshop on the Mt. Hermon Slopes" ‘Atiqot 59 (2008), 131-155
Acknowledgements