BAR 36:04, Jul/Aug 2010
What Is It?
A. Socket and pivot from a Canaanite gate
B. Herodian lazy Susan
C. Israelite potter’s wheel
D. Egyptian mortar and pestle
E. Assyrian wine goblets
Answer: C) Israelite potter’s wheel
This pair of stone objects dating to the Iron Age (1200–586 B.C.E.) functioned together as an Israelite potter’s wheel. The upper stone, with its conical projection, fit snuggly into the socket of the lower, heavier base stone. When both the pivot and socket were lubricated, the upper stone could be easily and quickly rotated on the base, thereby allowing a piece of pottery to be formed or “thrown” on the flat, smoothed face of the upper stone.
The potter’s wheel not only allowed ceramic vessels to be crafted more easily and quickly …