The remains of a large pottery workshop which is believed to date back to the Greco-Roman era has been discovered in Egypt.
The pottery workshop was discovered in the area of Tel Kom Aziza in the Egyptian governorate of Beheira during an archaeology dig.
According to the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziry, the workshop dates back to between the 3rd century BC and the first century AD.
The workshop’s clay wedging and kneading area, the forming area, the drying area, and the furnaces have all been unearthed so far.
The wedging and kneading area is where the clay was prepared, kneaded, and mixed with additives to increase homogeneity which would ultimately make the forming process easier.
The forming area of the workshop was used for forming and polishing the pottery. This is the area where archaeologists also discovered metal tools, parts of a potter’s wheel, and parts of clay pots.
The drying area is a sun-exposed spot where the premade pots were left to dry in natural sunlight before being taken to the kilns, thermally-insulated chambers that produce temperatures sufficient to carry out processes such as hardening.
The head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ayman Ashmawy, pointed out that the kilns have upper ventilation holes and are built of red brick surrounded by thick walls of mud bricks to withstand high temperatures during the burning process.
In the kilns, archaeologists found gas pipes, discharge pipes to control the temperature inside the ovens, and unfinished earthenware pots.
Ibrahim Sobhy, head of the archaeological team, said that a residential settlement with houses made of mud bricks was also discovered in the area. In the houses, archaeologists found pottery for daily use, cooking ovens, storage silos, and bronze coins.
In addition to the residential settlement, a group of mud-brick tombs were also discovered. In some of the tombs, there were human remains buried in a squatting position, covered with a thick layer of silt and surrounded by funerary vessels made of pottery, alabaster, and copper.
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