THE GOLD OF THAT LAND: Biblical Minerals & Rocks  


 

 

17.     chalkstone

Hebrew: 'eben, chalkstones, builders' plummets and marking stones. Isaiah 27:9.

Probable Identification: a builder's plummet and marking stone of chalky limestone.

Mineralogy: a marking stone made from kakula,  a white, fairly hard and dense chalky limestone which outcrops in the Jerusalem area as a member of the Mount Scopus group. Kakula is firm enough to be cut, turned, or carved into ossuaries and other ritually-pure vessels, as well as providing handy pieces for carpenters and masons to mark their work. The seven stone jars of Cana (John 2:6) were in all probability made from kakula. Although porous and friable, its low density made kakula useful for roofing.

    Archeologist Yitzhak Magen has excavated a cave at Hizma, north of Jerusalem, which contains the remains of a workshop for stone vessels, and he has reconstructed the techniques that artisans used.

 

Sources:

Magen, Yitzhak, 1998. Ancient Israel's Stone Age: Purity in Second Temple times. Biblical Archeology Review; 24-5: 46-52.

 


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