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Was the oldest mug shop in history just discovered?

Archaeologists have found a chalkstone vessel workshop that dates back thousands of years.


August 14, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
A picture taken this week shows two-thousand-year-old chalkstone cores.A picture taken this week shows two-thousand-year-old chalkstone cores.Photo: Menahem Kahana / AFP/Getty Images
August 14, 2017 | Latest Photo

You saunter into your office break room for a cup of joe and scan the room for a usable mug. There, far in the corner, is the "World's Best Dad" cup that some co-worker left there months ago – so long, in fact, that nobody can quite remember who it belongs to. Nonetheless, it sits in the corner collecting dust. You think that mug is old? Think again.

A team of archaeologists in Israel has just discovered the remains of a rare mug workshop in the northern part of the country. It's believed to be thousands of years old. The dig site was full of chalkstone vessels – mostly mugs and bowls – that were in various stages of production.

“Inside the cave and on the ground nearby are strewn thousands of stone cores, the ancient industrial waste from stone mugs, and bowls produced on a lathe," said Dr. Yonatan Adler, the director at the excavation. "Hundreds of unfinished vessels were also found, apparently damaged during the production process and discarded on-site.”

Yardena Alexander, an Israeli archeologist, inspects the mugs.Yardena Alexander, an Israeli archaeologist, inspects the mugs. (Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

The discovery is just the latest in a string of archaeological discoveries in Israel of late. Earlier this month, archaeologists discovered the lost home of Jesus' apostles. Last month, we found out that the Mediterranean may have been home to 16th-century pirates, and the month before that colored fabrics were found in an ancient copper mine.

To help store the influx of findings, a 350,000-square-foot complex is being built in Jerusalem. It will soon open to the public and be home to 2 million ancient artifacts.

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