American Schools of Oriental Research collection, courtesy of the Harvard Semitic Museum

Two horizontal rows of holes distinguish the outer south wall of the four room house that Glueck identified as a “smelter” complex. Glueck originally proposed that the holes, which penetrate the wall, were flues to bring air into the building in order to ventilate hearths used for smelting copper ore.

Glueck later modified his view to exclude large scale smelting and to propose a small industrial operation; recent reappraisal of the site agrees with this conclusion. Archaeologists who followed Glueck explained the perforations as holes that held wood beams. These beams were inserted within the wall, parallel and perpendicular to it, to strengthen the wall. The holes indicate where perpendicular beams—long since burned away—once penetrated the wall. A less likely explanation of the holes in the top row is that they held the ends of ceiling rafters spanning the room.

A few holes in the lower row had a distinctive half circle shape (see close-up). Perhaps these holes are the ventilation flues suggested by Glueck, allowing air to circulate between rooms that contained hearths.