In the time of the patriarchs, pottery functioned as tableware, cookware, for storage, and even for lighting.
It was so widely used that archaeologists find more pottery than any other artifact. Read More...
Many of the pottery styles during the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were carried over from earlier times. Many vessels featured red, burnished surfaces, and decorations such as combing and rope band appliques were common.
Bowls: Bowls represent the most common type of tableware throughout the first temple period. Many are just large enough to contain one serving of food. Bowls from this period are often deep with inverted rims and concentric grooves on the outside.
Cooking Pots: Cooking pots functioned in food preparation. They would have been set directly in the fire, and many cooking pots remain blacked on the bottom from contact with the flame. They are typically neckless and have rounded or flat bases. They generally have no handles.
Storage Jars: Storage jars provided a convenient way of storing commodities such as grains and liquids. Large jars, known as pithoi, could be over five feet tall, and were often permanent fixtures in ancient homes. Smaller jars were more portable. Storage jars often feature neckless rims, often with concentric grooving surrounding the mouth. Some jars have ledge handles attached below the center point of the vessel.
Jugs: Jugs are smaller than jars. They functioned as serving dishes, and often feature two pierced lug handles. Many have spouts for pouring.
Oil Lamps: Oil lamps derive from simple bowls that have been pinched on one or more sides to create a secure resting place for a wick. One end of the wick would be placed in the oil, and the other end would be lit with a flame. Lamps from this period typically feature either one or four wick-spouts. Some have flat bases, while other have rounded bases.