The Kiln

In plan, the kiln is oval, and approximately 5.40 m east-west by 3.20 m north-south (Fig. 6; see Table 1 for kiln measurements). Its north-south orientation is 8°40'15" west of grid north, or 10°10'15" west of magnetic north, the same orientation as Building T, since the kiln reused the wall of the South Stoa. Its exterior walls, 0.70-0.80 m thick, were composed of a variety of rubble limestone blocks stabilized by clay mortar. To accommodate the firing pit on the west, with adjacent channels rising from west to east, the kiln was more deeply founded there, as can be seen in the sections and photographs.

The firing pit had an opening on the west, which was ca. 0.50 m wide. There were three rough steps (Fig. 6),15 which led down into the pit where the fire was set. Outside the kiln for some distance to the west, north, and east, discarded fragments of clay lining as well as pieces of rejected pottery formed an impressive dump, reddish yellow from the heat of the kiln (see Chapter 2, below). Like the channels to the east, the firing pit had been coated with a thin clay lining, which had fired through use to a consistent color. This same color had first led us to the identification of hearths and ovens elsewhere on the site. The firing pit itself is roughly oval, with incurving sides that are more vertical on the north and south than on the west, where the entrance is, or on the east, where the side slopes up to merge with the channels, which led the heat up and around the pottery that was being fired. Within the lower 0.15 m of the firing pit was a thick layer of ash without charcoal; above that point was an accumulation of brown burned clay and rubble.

15. The first, highest step, its top at +3.05, may be later, added as the accumulation built up around the kiln. The next two steps were covered by clay plaster, suggesting that they are original rather than secondary.

level of sond accumulation

SECTION D-D

level of sand accumulation

95 c---------------------95 a 1"------------------- -- - ----90 c---------------84 c

95 c---------------------95 a 1"------------------- -- - ----90 c---------------84 c

Figure 8 (foldout). Archaeological sections of kiln and dump. A. Van de

Figure 8 (foldout). Archaeological sections of kiln and dump. A. Van de

Figure 9. Kiln from west. T. Dabney

Figure 9. Kiln from west. T. Dabney

On the west the four channels begin 0.40-0.67 m above the bottom of the firing pit (Table 1), and slope up until their bottoms are 0.83-1.00 m above the same point. They average 0.25 m wide. The northern side of channel 1 and the southern side of channel 4 were formed by the sides of the kiln. The three channel dividers were thin, built walls ca. 0.25 m thick. The plaster coating was renewed whenever it was thought necessary. The western end of the central partition wall was built solidly of sideropetra limestone and rubble, as revealed where the clay coating has peeled off, best seen in Figure 13, lower left. The stone as well as the plaster of the western ends of these walls, where the heat was more intense than farther east, was cracked and discolored by the fire.

Fortunately, a portion of the same central partition wall has been preserved (Figs. 6 at +3.91 m; 14 at a), and there the clay plaster of the channel sides runs up and over the wall to form an uninterrupted surface. Its good preservation allows us to determine the exact height of the central partitions on the east. Otherwise, our understanding of the appearance of the area where the pottery was actually fired would have been problematical. The same surface can probably be used as an indicator on the east of the level of the two other channel dividers. Perhaps the three wall tops sloped down slightly to the west, but any slope was probably gradual and would not have affected the placement of the pottery; pieces were either set across the channels by themselves or placed on top of some objects that bridged the gap and formed a temporary floor.

Figure 10. Kiln from northwest.

T. Dabney

Figure 10. Kiln from northwest.

T. Dabney

Figure 11. Kiln from south. LM III oven at a. T. Dabney

Figure 12. Kiln from east. T. Dabney

Figure 14. Excavation of channel 3, rough stone filling after first pass. Note intact clay plaster surface at a, from west. J. W. Shaw

Figure 13. Excavation of channel 3, west end, with clay and rubble filling, right, and clay relining (left, at a), after first pass, from west.

Figure 14. Excavation of channel 3, rough stone filling after first pass. Note intact clay plaster surface at a, from west. J. W. Shaw

Figure 15. Excavation of channel 3, pottery and rubble in channel after second pass, from west.

Figure 17. Excavation of channel 3, west end after third pass. Note conical cup (a) in clay of relining, from west. J. W. Shaw

Figure 16. Excavation of channel 3, west end after second pass, from west. J. W. Shaw

Figure 17. Excavation of channel 3, west end after third pass. Note conical cup (a) in clay of relining, from west. J. W. Shaw

.nEFERSNCE L1_NE __ t 2 00 M.

The channels were found filled with an assortment of material. There was the usual reddish brown clay in the form of either powdery earth or thin pieces of fired clay plaster, some no doubt from the linings and tops of the channels. There were also coalesced lumps of material such as those shown in Figure 18, which in the third channel were more common at the western end, near the heat source. Some of the lumps were soft and blue gray, with short white "threads" that proved, upon close inspection, to be consolidated ash.16

In all channels there were small, rough, uncut, and uneven slabs of stone; these were particularly common toward the tops of the channels (see the section in Fig. 19; also, compare Fig. 14 with Fig. 15). Those from channel 3, totaling 0.066 m3 in volume, are seen laid out on a table in Figure 20. The first two rows in the foreground, shown in the same relative position of their discovery in the channel (west is on the left), are from the top of the channel. Those in the third, final row are from farther down;

Figure 19. Archaeological section F—F of channel 3, showing stone, pottery, and lines of renewal, from north. G. Bianco and M. Shaw

16. As identified by Alain Dandrau and Peter Day.

Figure 20. Stone rubble found in channel 3. J. W. Shaw

Figure 21. Pottery in channel 2.

  1. W. Shaw
  2. For the pottery found within the kiln, see Table 2, p. 29.
  3. The line of the original floor of channel 3 and at least one renewal can be seen in Figure 19, where the original floor is shown with a thicker line.

Figure 20. Stone rubble found in channel 3. J. W. Shaw

there was a significant accumulation of such stones at the western end of the channel.

In these channels there were also sherds and larger pieces of pottery, with conical cups predominating (Figs. 13-17, 19, 21), all without order.17 Some of these cups, such as that in Figure 17, were found embedded within the clay plaster revetment applied to the channels during occasional re-newals.18 Most likely some of the pottery fell into the channels during the process of firing and was simply not removed when the kiln was being re-plastered.

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