Culture: Biblical
Date: Circa 800 B.C.
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Intact, complete, with some restoration at the base of neck
Provenance: Ex- Early private collection, collected during the 1960s
Dimensions: H. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm.), W. 10 in. (26.5 cm.)
Ref No. CYP074


Hebron, Iron Age ca. 800 B.C., strainer jug intended to hold and filter a liquid. Rarely seen on the market and seldom offered.
The jug wheel turned, while the handle and the spout were made by hand. The body has a concave neck, with the trough-like spout extending upwards. There are strainer holes in the body where the spout joins. Decorated in red paint around the body.
The handle is positioned t right angle to the spout, as is usually the case with these strainer jugs. Such a structure is very unlike jugs which are simply intended for pouring, where the handle would be on the opposite side of the vessel from the spout. Archeologists have earmarked them as vessels from which beer could actually be drunk without ingesting any extraneous floating matter, which often accompanied ancient brews. (Hornsey 2003, p. 124). See also Negev-Gibson, 2001, p. 71: The byproducts of beer, including the grain’s chaff and stocks, were filtered by strainer vessels, most notably the side-spouted strainer jugs commonly known as the “Philistine beer jug”.
However, the jug was most likely intended to contain wine, although in literature such objects are “invariably, but unjustifiably , designated “beer jugs”. The ecology of Philistia favors the production of grapes over barley. In fact, the repertoire of Philistine decorated pottery (…) suggests that wine, not beer, was the beverage of choice (Stager 1995, p. 345, and Stager 2001, p. 153 and 164. The jug with strainer spout therefore was most likely one of the parts of a wine service, serving as a carafe with a built-in sieve for straining out the lees and other impurities.
Another use for this strainer and other similar jugs noted by Stronach, 1995, p. 185-187 (about side-spouted strainer jugs admittedly from another culture and made from a different material), who on the basis of depictions points out that the vessels, rather than to pour liquid directly from the spout into the mouth, may also have been used to transfer the liquid from large deep blending bowls to drinking bowls with the aim of extracting alien matter in the filter as this was done.
Cf. For similar objects, see McGovern 2003, p. 219-220; Hornsey 2003, p. 123, fig 4.1; Stager 1995, plate 2, left (bichrome pottery).
Ian Spencer Hornsey, A history of Beer and Brewing (Cambridge, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2003;-Mikal Dayagi-Mendels, Drink and Be Merry: Wine and Beer in Ancient Times (Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, 1999-2000);-Araham Negev – Shimon Gibson (eds.), Archeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (New York and London, Continuum; The Jerusalem Publishing House ltd., 2001Identity. The Emergence of Ancient Israel” In Michael David Coogan (ed.), The Oxford History of the Biblical World (Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 123-175; -Lawrence Stager, “The Impact of the Sea Peoples in Canaan (1185 – 1060 BCE) in Thomas E. Levy (ed.), The Archeology of Society in the Holy Land (London, Leicester University Press, 1995), p. 342-348;-Patrick E. McGovern, Ancient Wine, The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton University Press, 2003); -David Stronach, “The imagery of the Wine Bowl: Wine in Assyria in the Early First Millennium BC”, in Patrick E. McGovern – Stewart J. Fleming – Solomon H. Katz (eds.), The Origins and Ancient History of Wine (Food and Nutrition in History and Anthropology, Volume 11) (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology;  -Amsterdam, Gordon and Breach Publishers, 1995, p. 175-195