‘Atiqot 85 (2016)
Lod (Newe Yaraq): A Late Roman Pottery Kiln and Pottery Neolithic A (Jericho IX/Lodian) Remains
(with contributions by Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Tamar Schick, Hamoudi Khalaily and Moshe Sade)
Edwin C.M. van den Brink and Catherine Commenge
Keywords: Lod Basin, lower Shephelah, coastal plain, Ayyalon streambed, pottery production, technology, praefurnium, Lyddan jars, petrography, textile, flints, animal bones, fauna, economy, roof tile, stone vessel (qalal), Jewish population, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Age I, Middle Bronze Age II, Late Bronze Age II, Iron Age I, Persian period
Salvage excavations in the neighborhood of Newe Yaraq, Lod exposed the remains of a Late Roman pottery kiln of the vertical or up-draft type. Seven to eight mud-brick courses of the circular outer wall of the lower chamber (firebox) survived. A round, mud-brick column in its center supported a mud-brick vaulted ceiling that served as the floor of the upper stacking chamber. Associated ceramics, including kiln wasters and slags, were encountered on the fire-chamber’s floor. Most common in the assemblage are sherds belonging to a single type of storage jar, dating to the second–fourth centuries CE. Pottery of the Pottery Neolithic A period (PNA) comprises 390 potsherds, including bowls, basins, kraters/pithoi, holemouth jars and necked jars. Painted and burnished geometrical patterns occur on both open and closed vessels. One base, of a coil-made pedestal vessel, bears a textile impression.
Remains of the Wadi Rabah Culture and the Early Bronze Age IA–B at ‘En Esur (‘Ein Assawir), Area I
(with a contribution by Yossi Nagar)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–21*; English summary, p. 103)
Keywords: architecture, typology, anthropology, burial
Four squares (B–C/3–4) were opened in a salvage excavation at ‘En Esur Area I, exposing eight settlement strata. Stratum VIII, dating to the fifth millennium BCE (Wadi Rabah culture) yielded a few fragments of bow-rim jars, grooved potsherds, sherds with rope and painted decorations and a single fragment of a DFBW vessel. Two strata (VII–VI) date from Early Bronze Age IA; the finds include the stone foundation of a rounded building and an early type of gray bowl. Strata V–II, dating to Early Bronze Age IB, include stone foundations of round dwellings. A decorated jar containing an infant burial was found beneath the floor of one of the buildings. These finds are further evidence of the large Early Bronze Age settlement at the site.
Remains of the Wadi Rabah Culture, Early Bronze Age IB and the Intermediate Bronze Age at ‘En Esur (‘Ein Assawir), Area J
(Hebrew, pp. 23*–43*; English summary, pp. 104–106)
Keywords: architecture, typology
The excavation at ‘En Esur Area J revealed six strata, the earliest dating to Pottery Neolithic A (Wadi Rabah culture; Stratum VI). Stratum V (Early Bronze Age IB) yielded stone foundations of three buildings: round, rectangular and rhomboid. The round building was a large silo; its upper faces were leveled to bear mud bricks. Within the rectangular building were two flat stones that probably served as bases for wooden pillars. The third, rhombus-shaped building, was built of large, flat fieldstones, and comprised two broad rooms connected by a stepped opening. Bases made of large flat stones were found in the southern room. In Stratum IV, a round silo was founded on the northern side of the rhombus-shaped building. Above the round silo was a thick layer of potsherds belonging to Stratum III (Early Bronze Age IB). Stratum II (Intermediate Bronze Age) included a rounded wall and a tamped-earth floor. Based on the finds, the southern area of the site was covered with large structures built in no apparent order, isolated from their surroundings and separated by extensive outdoor paved areas.
An Early Bronze Age IB–II Settlement at Abu Qurinat
(Hebrew, pp. 45*–55*; English summary, p. 107)
Keywords: Negev, domestic architecture, pottery, typology, flint, grinding tools
Four structures and two courtyards were exposed at the site. Structure A is rectangular, of the broad-house type; a round, stone-built installation was discovered in its southwestern corner. Large Courtyard F was exposed to the south of Structure A, and in its western end were the remains of elliptical Structure E, probably a silo. Structure B is elliptical; in its floor were a large flat stone (working surface?), two hearths, a mortar and two querns, as well as pottery and flint tools. Rectangular Structure C was paved with a tamped earth floor, containing two hearths, pottery and flint tools. The eastern end of Courtyard D was exposed to the south of the structure. The ceramic assemblage includes storage and serving vessels, dated between the end of Early Bronze Age IB and the beginning of Early Bronze Age II, stone tools and a stone
game board. The site is characteristic of open settlements in the Negev Highlands and the Be’er Sheva‘ and ‘Arad Valleys.
An Intermediate Bronze Age Cemetery at Qanat el-Ja‘’ar, near ‘En Ha-Naziv
(Hebrew, pp. 57*–86*; English summary, p. 108)
Keywords: Bet She’an Valley, cemetery, burial goods, burial customs, interred, anthropology, typology, metal artifacts.
Excavations at Qanat el-Ja‘’ar revealed four rock-hewn caves dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age. The tombs had a vertical shaft, circular or square, at the bottom of which was a rectangular or trapezoidal passage that led to a burial chamber. A stone blocked the opening between the passage and the tomb chamber. The accompanying burial goods included large quantities of pottery vessels, including unique forms, such as three-nozzled lamps. Most of the pottery vessels were decorated with red paint and applied plastic decoration. Burial goods also included a stone pebble anthropomorphic figurine of a woman, a stone bead and metal weapons. The articulated skeletons provide evidence for repeated primary burial in a flexed position.
Anthropological Remains from the Cemetery at Qanat el-Ja‘’ar
(Hebrew, pp. 87*–89*; English summary, p. 109)
Keywords: Bet She’an Valley, cemetery, burial customs, anthropology, population
Human skeletal remains were found in three burial caves dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age. It was possible to determine the practice of primary burial in a flexed posture and diverse orientation. The skeletal remains represent at least 14 individuals, one of them an infant. It is noteworthy that the burial of several individuals is uncommon during the Intermediate Bronze Age, during which singular burials were the norm.
Remains from Iron Age IIB until the Ottoman Period at I‘billin
(Hebrew, pp. 91*–126*; English summary, pp. 110–111)
Keywords: western Galilee, ethnicity, Christianity, Judaism, population, burial, quarry, iron trowel, Persian, Hellenistic, Late Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Crusader, Mamluk
Three excavations in the village of I‘billin (Areas A–C) yielded 13 occupation layers, dating from Iron Age IIB to the Ottoman period. The remains from the Early and Middle Roman periods (Strata X–IX) include a ritual bath (
) and an underground hiding complex, indicating that a Jewish settlement existed at the site. The Byzantine period (Stratum VII) is represented by architectural remains, as well as by imported bowls from Phoenicia, Cyprus and North Africa. Of special note is an ashlar engraved with the tree of life, which was found in secondary use in a Mamluk-period floor.
The Glass Finds from I‘billin
(Hebrew, pp. 127*–131*; English summary, p. 112)
Keywords: western Galilee, glass production, furnace
The glass finds retrieved from the excavations at I‘billin are mainly of common types dating from the Hellenistic to the Mamluk or early Ottoman periods. Area A yielded 28 diagnostic fragments dating from the Late Roman to the Umayyad periods, 3 bracelets from the Mamluk or early Ottoman period and remains of glass production.
A total of 28 glass vessels were found in Area B, dating to the Late Roman–Umayyad periods, as well as a small raw glass chunk. Area C yielded the largest amount of glass vessels (n = 100), dating to the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Abbasid–Fatimid periods. The Abbasid–Fatimid assemblage is of special importance, reflecting a local production in the vicinity.
Coins from I‘billin
Six coins were retrieved from the excavations in the village of I‘billin, five of them were identified. Three small module, Late Roman
date to the fourth century CE. A small Byzantine-period bronze coin is from the reign of Justinian I (527–565 CE), minted in Alexandria. The latest coin is a Crusader billon
of Henry I of Lusignan, king of Cyprus (1218–1253 CE).
Excavations near the Triple Gate of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Yuval Baruch and Ronny Reich
Keywords: Second Temple period, King Herod, Umayyad buildings, miqweh, piazza, water channel, latrine, pottery, stone objects, figurine, inscription, numismatics, art, Josephus, Mishna, Iron Age II
In the vicinity of the ‘western Hulda Gate’ in the southern wall of the Temple Mount, four areas were excavated. Area A revealed a large
(ritual bath). Area B contained three rock-cut, vaulted rooms supporting the monumental staircase to the Triple Gate. In Area C, south of the vaulted rooms, fills were excavated and a rock-cut surface was exposed. In Area D, the rock-cut ‘Secco Room’ was cleaned. Several architectural fragments, including column drums, a column base, entablature fragments, staircase elements and a fragment of a threshold, were uncovered, many of which originated in Herod’s Royal Stoa. Some of these fragments have bearing on the reconstruction of the Royal Stoa; thus, a brief, new evaluation of this building is offered.
Coins from the Excavations near the Triple Gate of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Donald T. Ariel
Forty-one coins were found in the excavation, 22 of them were identifiable. All of the coins are bronze, except for one, which is silver. The coins range in date from the first to the seventh centuries CE.
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