Zev Radovan

Kathros’ calling card. A stone weight, inscribed in Aramaic “[Of] Bar [son of] Kathros,” allowed Avigad to suggest how the Burnt House had been used and by whom. The House of Kathros is known from a satiric folksong preserved in the Talmud as a family of priests who had abused their position for their own gain.

From the number of ovens, cooking pots, mortars and weights, Avigad concluded that the basement rooms of the Burnt House were not used for residential purposes but constituted a workshop of some sort. That, coupled with the building’s location near the Temple Mount, the priestly lineage of Bar Kathros and the imperviousness of the stone vessels to ritual impurity, led Avigad to suggest that the workshop was used for the manufacture of some products (perhaps spices, incense and the like) for the Temple.