After remorseful Judas threw into the temple the betrayal price of 30 pieces of silver (if shekels, $66), the chief priests used the money to buy “the potter’s field to bury strangers.” (Mt 27:3-10) The field came to be known as Akeldama, or “Field of Blood.” (Ac 1:18, 19; see AKELDAMA.) Since the fourth century C.E. this field has been identified with a location on the S slope of the Hinnom Valley, just before it joins the Kidron Valley.
The expression “the potter’s field” does not specifically indicate whether the field was one simply owned by a potter or was called that because, at some point in its history, it was an area where potters pursued their craft. The latter, though, seems probable if the traditional site is correct. It would be near the Gate of the Potsherds (or “Gate of the Potters,” according to J. Simons in his footnote in Jerusalem in the Old Testament, Leiden, 1952, p. 230; “Gate of the Ash-heaps” in Nehemiah), mentioned in Jeremiah 19:1, 2. (Compare Jer 18:2.) The necessary raw material, clay, was available in the vicinity. Also, making pottery required a good water supply, and the site was close to the spring at En-rogel and the Pool of Siloam as well as near such water as might be in the Hinnom Valley in the winter.