This is an old traditional craft that has remained almost unchanged by the passage of time.
Pottery has been made in the Gaza area for almost as long as people have lived here. Chalcolithic remains excavated at Tel AlAjjul beside Wadi Gaza show pottery dating back to the fourth millennium BC.
The famous Deir El Balah caskets, full sized sarcophagi made of pottery, date from around 1200 BC.
These are the only known examples of such large fired-clay sarcophagi, a mixture of Egyptian and northern Mediterranean styles, and were declared to be one of the richest finds in the Near East.
The potteries district in Gaza City, close to the old city walls, is known after trade as Fuakheer. Only one of the old buildings remains, a 12th Century ( Mameluke Period) arched stone building which is half buried in the accumulated mud of generations of potters. After 1948 many potteries moved out and set up in the Daraj area.
Little remains of the former fame of pottery from Gaza, just nine businesses are registered with the Ministry of Industry, all belonging to families whose history stretches far back through many generations. Typical items sold and used in Gaza include many functional items still in daily use, such as water jars and flasks, cooking pots, salad bowls and plant pots.
Gaza clay comes from Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiyya and Jabaliya. The potters wheels in use are all manual, and in the older potteries the wheel is sunk in a pit in the ground. The potters make their own firing ovens from traditional mudbrick, which withstands the intense heat, in a beehive-like shape.
Guide to Crafts In Gaza.
Added By: Arch. Lina A. AbuHamra.