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The oven opening was closed with a large stone, sometimes sealed with clay.Ovens which worked on this principle, but were constructed of bricks or small stones, may still be seen in the ruined city of Pompeii.In Ancient Rome bread ovens in the public bakeries were originally hewn from solid rock.These ovens were heated by the familiar method of burning wood in the baking chamber, raking out the ashes and putting in the dough to bake.There is an alternate theory regarding the invention of brewing.Some historians believe it is possible that brewing began when the first cereal crops were domesticated.Instead of placing the dough pieces for baking on the bottom or sole of the baking chamber, the Jews put the pieces on the sides.Being damp and sticky they remained in place intil they had dried out, when they fell to the bottom of the oven.
In Jerusalem there was a bakers' quarter where bread was baked in tiers of stone-built ovens, or furnaces as they were called in the Bible.A fire is kindled in the bottom and the dough is slapped against the hot interior walls, yielding curved disks of bread.Many other sorts of oven have been discovered in Israeli excavations.The fact ovens based on this simple design formed the majority of those in use throughout Europe until little more than two centuries ago.Although some of the early Roman ovens had chimnesy to improve the draught and carry away steam, it was many centuries before chimneys were commonly used or dampers incorporated so that the heat could be more effectively controlled." ---The Story of Bread, Ronald Sheppard & Edward Newton [Charles T. 107-109) ""When I break your staff ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and shall deliver your bread again by weight; and you shall eat, and not be satsified." ---Lev. This type of oven may have been a small earthenware cylindar called tannur in the Bible as it is by present-day rural north Africans who still use it.