‘Atiqot 67 (2011)
Nahal Yarmut: A Late Pottery Neolithic Site of the Wadi Rabah Culture, South of Nahal Soreq
Keywords: flint industry, decorated pottery, groundstone artifacts, bone tools, beads
The Wadi Rabah site of Nahal Yarmut is located on the southern bank of the Yarmut streambed, near Ramat Bet Shemesh Junction. The excavation unearthed a thick occupation layer rich in pottery and flint artifacts, all attributed to the Late Pottery Neolithic period. The architectural elements included pits and a rectangular structure. The flint assemblage was produced on-site from locally acquired material. This site provided valuable data concerning the presence of a Late Neolithic (Wadi Rabah) settlement in the Shephelah region.
Seals and Figurines from the Beginning of the Early Chalcolithic Period at Ha-Gosherim
(Hebrew, pp. 1–26; English summary, pp. 81*–83*)
Keywords: Halaf culture, art, glyptics, symbolic iconography
Excavations at Ha-Gosherim yielded a rich and unique assemblage of artistic objects from the beginning of the Early Chalcolithic period (fifth millennium BCE): twenty-two stone stamp-seals and two bone female figurines. Made of local stone, most of the seals appear to have been manufactured on-site; however, a few seals were apparently made of chlorite and seem to have been brought to the site as finished artifacts. The designs on the seals vary and comprise geometric patterns alongside faunal and floral motifs, and even human faces or masks. This large assemblage of seals attests to the strong ties the Ha-Gosherim settlement maintained with Syria and northern Mesopotamia. This assemblage is of great importance, as human figurines from the early part of the Chalcolithic period are extremely rare in Israel.
The Rural Hinterland West of Tel Hazor
(Hebrew, pp. 27–39; English summary, pp. 84*–85*)
Edna Amos and Nimrod Getzov
Keywords: industry, winepress typology, cemetery, hinterland
Salvage excavations along the route of the Tel Hazor bypass road exposed a range of activities from many different periods, both from the time when Hazor was at the height of its prominence and during periods when the tell was abandoned. The evidence consisted of winepresses, shafts, quarries, cupmarks, caves and a curing installation(?). These findings shed light on the function and exploitation of the areas surrounding the ancient city of Hazor on the north and west, e.g., for wine production, burial grounds and as quarries, as early as the Middle Bronze Age and until the Byzantine period.
An Iron Age II Dwelling Cave on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, pp. 41–59; English summary, pp. 86*–87*)
Keywords: Iron Age Jerusalem, cave dwelling, storehouse
Salvage excavations in the ash-Sheikh neighborhood, on the southern ridge of the Mount of Olives, uncovered the remains of a dwelling cave, a burial cave and an area of hewn rock. The dwelling cave’s opening was enclosed by stone-built walls and its beaten-earth floor contained pottery sherds. Two phases were uncovered in the cave, both from Iron Age II (eighth–seventh centuries BCE). Dwelling caves are a well-known phenomenon in the hill country and desert regions, serving populations living in remote areas. This cave was probably part of the late Iron Age II settlement network extending along the road from Jericho to Jerusalem that postdate Sennacherib’s campaign to Judah.
An Iron Age and Hellenistic-Period Site near Be’er Sheva‘
(with a contribution by Moshe Sade)
(Hebrew, pp. 61–80; English summary, p. 88*)
Yigal Israel and Oded Feder
Keywords: Be’er Sheba‘ Valley, subterranean settlement
The site is located on the northern bank of Nahal Be’er Sheva‘. The remains of two pits dated to Iron Age II were uncovered, as well as five subterranean complexes from the Hellenistic period. Some of the subterranean complexes continued in use as dwellings even after the collapse of their ceilings. A small number of pottery vessels from Iron Age II (seventh century BCE) were found. The finds from the Hellenistic period include pottery vessels, loomweights, a jar stopper, fragments of millstones and round pounding-stones, as well as animal bones. The subterranean architecture continues local traditions from the Chalcolithic period, and the complexes may have served shepherds.
Byzantine-Period and Later Remains at Horbat Massah
(Hebrew, pp. 81–90; English summary, pp. 89*–90*)
Keywords: Christianity, numismatics, olive-oil press, Chalcolithic period
A salvage excavation conducted near the cemetery of modern Kefar Tavor uncovered the remains of a large building from the Byzantine period, with evidence of a brief reuse during the Mamluk period. The finds included pottery dating to the Byzantine, Early Islamic (the majority), Crusader and Mamluk periods. Four coins were found, covering the Ptolemaic, Byzantine and Crusader–Ayyubid periods. Chronologically meaningful finds were a fragment of a limestone colonette bearing a cross, a marble slab with a decoration in relief and a small bronze hasp decorated with a cross. The items decorated with crosses suggest a Christian population, and the colonette and marble slab are strongly indicative of the presence of a church close by. The building was most probably established as a monastery, possibly in the sixth century CE.
A Late Tenth-Century Fatimid Coin Purse from Bet She’an
Robert Kool, Ariel Berman, Orit Shamir and Yotam Tepper
Keywords: numismatics, medieval textiles, bleached linen
During salvage excavations on the southern outskirts of Bet She’an, a hoard of Islamic silver currencies and one gold coin, dating to the end of the tenth century CE, was uncovered fused with textile fragments, which are probably the remains of a purse. A total of 131 cut silver dirham fragments were identified. The coin catalogue presents 20 cut dirham fractions, which bore inscriptions that facilitated their classification.
Remains of Buildings and Workshop Stores(?) from the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods on the Outskirts of Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 91–118; English summary, pp. 91*–92*)
Keywords: Crusader period, faience vessels, numismatics, Carbon-14
Excavations at the Ramla central bus station exposed remains from the Mamluk (late thirteenth–early fourteenth centuries CE) and Ottoman periods. In Area A, a cistern, dated to the Late Mamluk–Early Ottoman periods, was exposed. In Area B, ten phases were exposed, mostly represented by plaster floors; all dated to the Mamluk period. A large quantity of Mamluk-period pottery, including deformed and unfinished pots, was recovered from pits in this area; these appear to be debris from a pottery workshop. In Area C, seven phases were exposed, mainly comprising plaster floors dating from the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. The earliest remains in Area D appear to be from the fifteenth century CE, including several occupation phases. Finds included coins from the Mamluk and Ottoman, as well as pottery tobacco pipes from the Ottoman period.
Ottoman Clay Tobacco Pipes from Ramla
Anna de Vincenz
Keywords: pipe smoking, chibouks, epigraphy
The pipes from the excavations at the Central Bus Station in Ramla are mostly early types dating to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They seem to be of local manufacture, except for one, which may be an import from Turkey, as it bears a Turkish inscription. Only one fragment of a nineteenth-century pipe with a lily-shaped bowl was found in this assemblage. Thirty-three pipes are presented in the catalogue, including a detailed description of their designs.
Coins from the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods at Ramla
Robert Kool and Ariel Berman
The excavations at the Central Bus Station in Ramla brought to light 74 coins, of which 55 were identified. Except for five residual finds dating to the Byzantine period and one thirteenth-century Crusader copper, the coin finds can be dated securely to the mid-fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries CE. These are copper
that are regularly found in sites of the period.
A Soap-Production Factory from the Ottoman Period in Sūq al-Fakhir, the Old City of Jerusalem
(Hebrew, pp. 119–138; English summary, pp. 93*–94*)
Keywords: Ottoman Jerusalem, soap industry, Via Dolorosa
Sūq Khān al-Zayt, the central of three parallel markets, crosses Jerusalem’s Old City from north to south. A salvage excavation conducted in one of the market stores revealed four main phases (A–D). The hall where the excavations were carried out was established during Phase B. It comprises three pairs of parallel pillars, within which a series of installations were constructed. Some of the installations are coated with hydraulic plaster, others were identified as ovens. The installations were probably in the soap industry, with ovens and vats used to boil oil as part of the production process. These installations may have been part of the soap-manufacturing factory described by the fifteenth-century historian Mujīr al-Dīn.
The Bone and Horn Industry in Late Ottoman Nazareth: The Evidence from Shihab ad-Din
Noa Raban-Gerstel, Guy Bar-Oz and Yotam Tepper
Keywords: Mamluk period, Crusader period, Ottoman period, economy, bone workshop, fauna, archaeozoology
Animal bones recovered from excavations at Shihab ad-Din, Nazareth, provide an important source of knowledge about diet and subsistence practices in the past. The faunal remains presented in this report were retrieved from Crusader/Mamluk and Ottoman strata, and indicate bone-tool manufacturing at the site. The present study demonstrates that comprehensive analysis of such faunal assemblages can provide primary data on the diversity of the animals exploited, as well as on butchering and consumption patterns. Such studies can provide important information that eventually will enable us to evaluate issues of broader social importance.
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