Massive pottery workshop dating back to the Greco-Roman era unearthed in Egypt


A massive pottery workshop that produced stunning ceramics of all shapes, sizes and colors during the Greco-Roman period has been unearthed in Egypt.

Archaeologists working in the area of Tel Kom Aziza in Al-Beheira Governorate, about 100 miles north of Cairo, discovered an intricate stone structure with separate spaces dedicated to different processes of making pottery.

The clay wedging and kneading area, the forming area, the drying area and the furnaces have all been unearthed so far, along with a trove of pottery that was fashioned thousands of years ago.

The workshop also consists of buildings that experts say date back between the third century BC and first century AD.

Mud brick tombs with complete skeletons were also discovered at the site, with some covered in a layer of silt and surrounded with pottery that likely came from the workshop.

A massive pottery workshop that produced stunning ceramics of all shapes, sizes and colors during the Greco-Roman period has been unearthed in Egypt. The shop consists of separate spaces dedicated to different processes of making pottery

A massive pottery workshop that produced stunning ceramics of all shapes, sizes and colors during the Greco-Roman period has been unearthed in Egypt. The shop consists of separate spaces dedicated to different processes of making pottery

The Greco-Roman period marks the end of Persian rule in Egypt, which came about in 332 BC, when Greek conqueror Alexander the Great occupied Egypt and named himself pharaoh.

Following Alexander the Great’s death, his general Ptolemy acquired Egypt and established the Ptolemaic dynasty, which reigned for the next three hundred years.

However, the Romans began to move into Egypt and eventually conquered the nation in 30 BC.

Roman influence and culture were then adopted by ancient Egyptians until 395 AD.

Archaeologists discovered a trove of ceramics while digging at the site just north of Cairo

Archaeologists discovered a trove of ceramics while digging at the site just north of Cairo

Archaeologists discovered a trove of ceramics while digging at the site just north of Cairo

The clay wedging and kneading area, the forming area, the drying area and the furnaces have all been unearthed so far, along with a trove of pottery that was fashioned thousands of years ago. Pictured is a kiln found at the site

The clay wedging and kneading area, the forming area, the drying area and the furnaces have all been unearthed so far, along with a trove of pottery that was fashioned thousands of years ago. Pictured is a kiln found at the site

The clay wedging and kneading area, the forming area, the drying area and the furnaces have all been unearthed so far, along with a trove of pottery that was fashioned thousands of years ago. Pictured is a kiln found at the site

Archaeologists made the discovery while working in the area of Tel Kom Aziza in Al-Beheira Governorate, which is about  about 100 miles north of Cairo

Archaeologists made the discovery while working in the area of Tel Kom Aziza in Al-Beheira Governorate, which is about  about 100 miles north of Cairo

Archaeologists made the discovery while working in the area of Tel Kom Aziza in Al-Beheira Governorate, which is about  about 100 miles north of Cairo

The pottery workshop is one of the few reminders of the Greco-Roman period, but it provides researchers with a window into the ancient world. 

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mustafa Waziri, who worked at the site, said in a statement that the wedging and kneading area was used to prepare clay before it was formed into pottery.  

The clay was then formed and polished in the forming area, where archaeologists also uncovered metal tools, pieces of a potter’s wheel and clay pot fragments, Local 21 News reports.

The drying area is a sun-exposed spot where the premade pots were left to dry in natural sunlight before being taken to the kilns, thermally insulated chambers that produce temperatures sufficient to carry out processes such as hardening.

The pottery workshop is one of the few reminders of the Greco-Roman period, but provides researchers with a window into the ancient world

The pottery workshop is one of the few reminders of the Greco-Roman period, but provides researchers with a window into the ancient world

The pottery workshop is one of the few reminders of the Greco-Roman period, but provides researchers with a window into the ancient world

A residential settlement with houses made of mud bricks was also discovered in the area, which had pottery and other daily use instruments inside

A residential settlement with houses made of mud bricks was also discovered in the area, which had pottery and other daily use instruments inside

A residential settlement with houses made of mud bricks was also discovered in the area, which had pottery and other daily use instruments inside

Archaeologists also found mud-brick tombs in the surrounding settlement, which were covered in silt and some surrounded by pottery that likely came from the workshop

Archaeologists also found mud-brick tombs in the surrounding settlement, which were covered in silt and some surrounded by pottery that likely came from the workshop

Archaeologists also found mud-brick tombs in the surrounding settlement, which were covered in silt and some surrounded by pottery that likely came from the workshop

The head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ayman Ashmawy, said the kilns have upper ventilation holes and are built of red brick surrounded by thick walls of mud bricks to withstand high temperatures during the burning process.

Gas pipes, discharge pipes that controlled the temperature inside ovens and unfinished pots were found in this area of the site.

Ibrahim Sobhy, head of the archeological team, said a residential settlement with houses made of mud bricks was also discovered in the area, which had pottery and other daily use instruments inside.

Archaeologists also found mud-brick tombs in the surrounding settlement, which were covered in silt and some surrounded by pottery that likely came from the workshop. 



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Written by bourbiza

bourbiza is an entertainment reporter for iltuoiphone News and is based in Los Angeles.

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