Carl Andrews, Leon Levy Expedition

Dozens of clay balls, found in the winery, some as large as grapefruits, posed a dilemma for the excavators. What were they? Because the balls were perforated through their centers, it was thought that they might have been loom weights, used to anchor threads while weaving. After the wine-making season of August/September, perhaps, the winery was turned into a weaving center.

More likely, however, they are wine-jar stoppers. The clay balls fit easily into the mouths of fat-bellied storage jars (see photograph). Plugging the jars during fermentation, the stoppers allowed the build-up of gases to be released at regular intervals through their perforations.