A large 2,000-year-old Second Temple period chalkstone quarry and workshop was discovered at Reina in lower Galilee by a team of archaeologists headed by Dr. Yonatan Adler, senior lecturer at Ariel University and director of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
A manmade chalkstone quarry cave was recently discovered between between Nazareth and the village of Kana. What is unique in this excavation is the additional find of a stoneware workshop — one of only four in Israel.
Although pottery was also in use during this period, archaeological digs around the region point to an uptick in stoneware during the Second Temple period — likely for ritual purity reasons, as attested in the Talmud.
“In ancient times, most tableware, cooking pots and storage jars were made of pottery. In the first century of the Common Era, however, Jews throughout Judea and Galilee also used tableware and storage vessels made of soft, local chalkstone,” said Adler.