Courtesy Dr. Ze’ev Meshel/Israel Exploration Society

COMMUNAL COOKING. The main structure at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud had two kitchens, one at each end of the site. In each, only one tabun, or oven, was in use at any given time. This suggests communal cooking and living, possibly for priests—or perhaps guests at a caravanserai. The western kitchen at the site has remains of three tabuns, as does the eastern kitchen—but they were in separate phases. We don’t know why the earlier tabuns went out of use, but in each successive phase, the previous oven was covered over and a new one dug out and lined with mud and pottery sherds.