German archaeologists working in an excavation in Selinunte, Sicily, have unearthed “the largest ancient Greek pottery workshop” from the ancient world, according to Discovery News.
Selinunte, located on the southwest coast of Sicily, was colonized by Greeks in the seventh century B.C. It quickly developed into a prosperous city, complete with grand temples and impressive public buildings. The Temple of Hera, constructed in the fifth century B.C and still well-preserved to this today, stands as proof that Selinus, as it was known to the Greeks, was a rich, well-planned city – not unlike modern towns. Selinus was ultimately destroyed by the Carthaginians in 409 B.C.
The uncovered pottery workshop was comprised of approximately 80 kilns. One of the kilns, five meters in diameter, has been described by the German archaeologists as “the largest industrial quarter of the Greek world.” It featured a courtyard for drying out the ceramics, two firing areas and a shop to sell the pottery, according to “theweek.com.”
The excavation is headed by Martin Bentz of the University of Bonn in conjunction with the German Archaeological Institute in Rome. The craft district is adjacent to the city; archaeologists believe that it was established around 550 B.C. This ancient “industrial zone” has shed intriguing light on poorly-understood aspects of craft production in the ancient Greek world.