Sunday, April 13, 2014

Update for Chavitin Chamber and Southeast Corner of the Courtyard

Here is a quick update before Pesach showing another view of the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin. Among other small improvements, the Kohanim now have a new hand cart to bring supplies from the Chamber of the Oils and the chimney has a cover to keep out the rain.

Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin.

Monday, April 7, 2014

View of the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin

To the south of the Nikanor Gate was the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin. In this chamber the Kohanim would prepare the chavitin, a type of meal offering offered daily — and paid for — by the Kohen Gadol. This entailed kneading a prescribed amount of flour, water, and oil, scalding the dough in boiling water, baking it, and then frying it with oil in a pan called a machavas.

Monday, March 31, 2014

View of the Southeast Corner of the Courtyard

After spending the last few weeks working on the views of the three chambers in the corner of the Courtyard, as well as the Avtinas Chamber and its adjoining mikveh, here is a view of everything in situ. In this picture we are looking over the Altar to the southeast corner where the chambers of Salt, Parvah, and Rinsers are lined up, spilling over from the Israelites' Courtyard into the Kohanim's Courtyard. At the border of these two courtyards, to serve as a visual divider between them, a series of wooden blocks protruded from the walls and ran up their entire height. Not shown in this picture is the Chamber of Chavitin Makers (coming soon) which stood just to the south of the Nikanor Gate, as well as the entrance from the Courtyard to the Chamber of the Oils (the southwestern chamber of the Women's Courtyard).

Looking toward the southeast corner of the Courtyard.

Monday, March 24, 2014

View of the Chamber of Rinsers

The third chamber in the southeast corner of the Courtyard was the Chamber of Rinsers. Here the Kohanim would wash out the stomachs of sacrificial animals. Since this work, like that done in Parvah, created an unpleasant smell, it was actually carried out in an underground room beneath the main chamber. The stairwell leading down to this room was closed off by a door which helped minimize the foul odors reaching the Courtyard. It emerges that the Chamber of Rinsers was more like a vestibule with a door in each wall: in the north to the Courtyard; in the south to the underground room; in the east to the adjacent Chamber of Parvah; in the west to the ramp which led up to the mikveh on the roof of the Chamber of Parvah.
Chamber of Rinsers as seen
from the southeast
Underground room beneath the
Chamber of Rinsers

Monday, March 17, 2014

View of the Chamber of Parvah

The Chamber of Parvah, located to the west of the Chamber of Salt, was used to process the hides of the sacrificial animals. While I did not research the exact procedure used, some of the key steps involve stretching the hides over wooden frames, soaking them in a caustic bath to remove the hair, and then scraping them clean. Since this is a very smelly process this chamber did not open directly to the Courtyard but likely had a door to the adjoining Chamber of Rinsers which did open to the Courtyard. [I am curious, though, how (or if) this chamber was ventilated. Adding windows does not seem to be an option since that would allow the smell into the Courtyard, which is exactly what they were trying to avoid by not giving this chamber a door to the Courtyard in the first place.]

Kohanim prepare the hides within the Chamber of Parvah