By Bryant G. Wood
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Extra info for The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine: The Ceramic Industry and the Diffusion of Ceramic Style in the Bronze and Iron Ages
It has been speculated that these booths were shops where cultic items were sold to devotees of the shrine (Yadin et al. 1960:104-106, pi. 35; Yadin 1972:36-37). Caves make excellent work areas for pottery production since they not only afford comfortable working conditions for the potter, but they also provide a good place to dry freshlymade vessels. Such a cave-workshop was found at Lachish in Cave 4034. It was located on the north slope of the tell, in the 4000 Cemetery area, not far from the main source of water.
On one occasion during the study, the daughter of a Fulani villager made pottery while visiting her father (1972:4, 6). David and Hennig learned that no less than one-third of the pots made at Be over the last 20 years were made by visitors to the village. In the dry season there are few essential tasks to be done so this is the ideal time for visits to relatives. It is also the best time for making pottery, so some of the visitors turn their leisure time to advantage and earn enough to buy presents for their hosts and families (1972:22).
In between, the vessels are stacked in a chamber for firing. A baffle, or row of pots, is placed at the back of the fire box so as to direct the hot gases to the top of the pottery chamber. The gases are then drawn down through the stack of pots and out the exit flue, leading to the designation 'downdraft' kiln (Scott 1965:382, 393; Rye 1981:100). A major shortcoming of the vertical kiln is that it is difficult to maintain a constant temperature throughout the pottery chamber. As a result, there is often uneven firing of the wares.