© Martha Cooper, courtesy National Geographic Society

Proudly displaying a restored krater, Dina Castel, a conservator at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem and a staff member of the Ekron project, stands among several large restored kraters from the work/storage room adjacent to the olive-oil press room. The large krater in the foreground has 11 handles and two holes located a little more than halfway down. It was used in the oil separation process: after the pressing which followed the initial crushing, the juice, a watery-oily substance, was poured into a krater such as this and left to sit. The oil gradually rose to the top and the water settled to the bottom. By unplugging the holes, the water could be drained off, leaving the olive oil. Sometimes hot water was added to the oily juice to hasten the separation process.