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Stone Vessels Detail

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Stone Vessels Detail
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View of stone vessels that were discovered in Nahum Avigad's excavations in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The cup in the upper left had not been completely fabricated—note the chisel marks on the interior and the lack of holes in the handles.

Often Jews in the Second Temple Period preferred to use stone vessels rather than ceramic ones, because if ceramic vessels became unclean (ritually polluted) they needed to be destroyed, but stone vessels could be purified and used again.

The presence of these vessels in archaeological excavations often indicates the ethnic identity of the inhabitants of a building in which they were discovered—namely Jewish.

This display is in the Israel Museum.