Reconstructed potter's house from Eqron
Skilled workers were needed for a number of crafts, these artisans included potters, masons and metalworkers. Some artisans, such as potters and bakers, formed an integral part of local communities. Others were more specialized and tended to work for whichever state or king had need of their services. Metalworkers stand out among this group, seeming to be outsiders in many societies. Perhaps the Kenites represent such a group in ancient Palestine (McNutt, 96-8).
Such groups were organized into some form of "guild". Notice the "bakers' street" mentioned in Jer 37:21 (suggesting that bakers were clustered together in ancient Jerusalem) and the role of the goldsmiths and pharmacists in the rebuilding of Jerusalem during the Persian period, suggesting wealth and a degree of organization (Neh 3:8).
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