BAR 17:03, May/Jun 1991
Reconstructing the Kitchen
The kitchen of the House of Rabbi Abun, seen on our cover, can be understood as a microcosm of the painstaking effort that went into the reconstruction of the whole house. The small domed oven at center stands within a mudbrick chimney. Excavated remains of this indoor ovenemployed both for heating the house and for cooking in bad weather, when outdoor cooking was difficultindicated the size and shape of the oven, a type still used by the Druze (a Moslem sect residing in the area). A portion of the chimney exits the roof in the corner, behind the period pottery on the chimneys mantle, and rises high enough above the roof to create a draw that effectively pulls smoke out of the house. No remains of the original chimney were found, but the reconstruction was built, as was the rest the house, by Druze workmen using traditional styles and methods. Experiments have shown that this chimney works well.