Uri Geller holds a water or oil jug that was found during the construction of a new museum dedicated to his activities. (photo by Dilila Bar-Ratson courtesy Ashernet)
During the construction of a new museum in the Old City of Jaffa, dedicated to the activities of Uri Geller, an illusionist, magician, television personality and self-proclaimed psychic, a 19th-century Ottoman-era soap manufacturing factory was discovered. The museum will go ahead as planned, with the addition of the newly discovered factory.
The site was well-preserved and comprised troughs for mixing raw material, cauldrons, storage facilities and water cisterns. It was of particular interest because soap made from olive oil was recorded as having been produced in Israel for more than a thousand years. Making olive oil-based soap took just over a week to prepare in large vats. The contents would then be poured onto lime-covered trays to cool and solidify for about another week before being cut into bars. It would take another two months approximately for the soap to completely harden before being wrapped in paper and offered for sale.