Busra: Potters

Date: late twentieth century

Women in this area use the process of open-firing to produce water-tight vessels and items such as bread moulds. Prior to firing, the shaped containers are dried in the sun for at least eight days. Rather than using a kiln or furnace, the women create an open bonfire against a basalt wall. The firing process takes up to three days, and entails the use of dung cakes drenched in petrol, dried branches, and other combustible materials. To ensure the impermeability of the vessels, pomegranate hulls are rubbed onto the fired jars to close the pores after the firing process.

Citation: Bresenham, Mary, ‘Descriptive and experimental Study of contemporary and ancient Pottery Techniques at Buṣrā’, Berytus 33 (1985), pp. 89-101 (see 96-98).