Monday, July 16, 2007

Hearths v. Ovens

Today was an exciting day in our square. Scientists from the Weizmann Institute uncovered the hearth pictured in my previous post, in order to take soil samples. There was a Philistine bichrome bell-shaped bowl (aka in the Aegean as a deep bowl) with Mycenaean style spirals lying just above the hearth, which is over half a metre in diameter. In addition, 2 more hearths were found as well as a floor near the hearth. The only way we could tell it was a floor was that there a number of sherds laying flat on it. There is another hearth coming up just next to this hearth, and there may also be a type of oven called a tabun near the new hearth. Why is this important? Hearths are associated with both the Mycenaeans and the Philistines, the Philistines make Mycenaean style pottery, and many archaeologists believe that the Mycenaeans were part of the Sea Peoples contingent that settled in the region known as Philistia. All of this leads to the question - did Canaanites cook in tabuns, while the people making the Mycenaean style pottery use hearths?
Inquiring minds want to know...

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