Tabuns (Clay Ovens) in the Area of Northwestern Jordan. An Archaeological and Ethnographical Study

Daifallah Mohammad Obeidat

Abstract


The tabun (plural tawabin) is a clay oven that was used for baking bread and for all types of cooking before the advent of gas and paraffin stoves. It is a small round dome-shaped structure, approximately 50-100 cm in diameter at the base and tapering to an open top of about 30-40 cm. It is usually built by women from local clay mixed with straw and other materials and dried for several days.
The tabun was commonly used in all villages throughout Jordan up to a few decades ago and is commonly found in archaeological sites of all periods. Tabuns were usually built inside a small-sized oven house built with stone rubble and mud and roofed with wooden beams packed with branches or reeds. The oven house was usually built at one end of the house courtyard, far away from the living quarters to avoid the effects of its smoke.

Keywords


Northwest Jordan, Tabun, Oven, Ethnography

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