Ancient Chalkstone Workshop Discovered in Lower Galilee

Ancient Chalkstone Workshop Discovered in Lower Galilee

Ancient Chalkstone Workshop Discovered in Lower Galilee

An ancient Chalkstone workshop was discovered in the Lower Galilee where stone vessels were made during the 2nd Temple period. The ‘manufacturing plant’ was found in the area of Reina, halfway between Nazareth and Cana.

Dr. Yonatan Adler, Director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) explained that in ancient times most tableware, pots, and storage jars were made of pottery but due to religious reasons, Jews throughout Judea and Galilee also used vessels made of a soft local chalkstone. According to ancient Jewish ritual law, pottery vessels had to be broken after being used for sacred purposes and it was thought that stone could never become ritually impure.

While there are many Talmudic sources for the religious use of stone by Jews, the New Testament corroborates it as well. In the book of John, chapter 2 verses 1-12 is a story of Jesus, his mother and his disciples attending a wedding in Cana. In verse three it says Jesus’ mother Mary told him there was no more wine. It is a well-known account among Christians of Jesus’ first miracle mentioned in the Bible, turning water into wine. Interesting enough, in verse 6 it goes on to say, “there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.” It’s very plausible that the stone jars at the wedding were made in this recently discovered local stoneware shop.

Interested in seeing it for yourself? Be sure to take a look at our Israel Tours itineraries for believers.

Video – Roman era Chalkstone Workshop Excavated in Lower Galilee


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