‘Atiqot 68 (2011)
Settlement Remains from the Chalcolithic Period and Middle Bronze Age II at Nahal Guvrin
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–32*; English summary, pp. 245–246)
Keywords: Shephelah, Negev, cultivation, crucibles, flint
The Nahal Guvrin site is located on a low hill along the western fringe of the southern Shephelah, c. 150 m south of the Nahal Guvrin streambed. The excavation revealed the remains of a previously unknown Chalcolithic site of the Ghassulian-Be’er Sheva‘ Culture (Stratum II; Areas A1, A2) superposed by the remains of a Middle Bronze Age II village (Stratum I; Areas A2, B1, B2), identified in an earlier survey. The pottery from the Chalcolithic period comprises mainly storage vessels, probably attesting to the storage of agricultural products that were produced at the site. The pottery from the later stratum finds parallels in Strata P-6 through P-3 at nearby Tel Lakhish.
The Flint Assemblage from Nahal Guvrin
(Hebrew, pp. 33*–36*; English summary, p. 247)
Keywords: Shephelah, Negev, flint industry, flake production
The excavation at Nahal Guvrin yielded 64 flint items, among them 10 tools, 5 from each layer. In addition, two ground-stone tools, made of flint pebbles, were recovered. Although only two strata, from the Chalcolithic period and the Middle Bronze Age, were identified in the excavation, the flint tools hint at the presence of a third occupation phase during the Early Bronze Age.
A Rock-Cut Burial Cave from the Early, Intermediate and Late Bronze Ages near Horbat Zelef
Keywords: Galilee, cemetery, burial goods, burial practices
The burial cave is located in the modern village of Shibli, on the northeastern slope of Mount Tabor. In the cave, five burial levels were identified, dating to Early Bronze Age IIB (V), Early Bronze Age III (IV), the Intermediate Bronze Age (III), Late Bronze Age I (II) and Late Bronze Age II (I). The burial goods from the cave include various prestige items, such as an axe head from EB I; bronze, carnelian and alabaster objects, as well as imported pottery vessels and heirloom scarab seals from LB I; and imported Cypriot pottery and jewelry from LB II. The continuous use of the tomb attests that this slope functioned as the traditional burial grounds for the settlement at Horbat Zelef. Notably, there was a gap between each period of use in the tomb. This pattern of use may mirror the gap in settlement at Horbat Zelef; however, this correlation can only be supported by further study of the settlement site.
Scarabs from a Burial Cave near Horbat Zelef
Othmar Keel and Stefan Münger
Keywords: scarab design, Egypt, Chronology, art, engravings, hieroglyphics
Fourteen scarabs were retrieved from the Late Bronze Age I burial level at Horbat Zelef. The assemblage is relatively homogeneous, mostly dating to the Middle Kingdom, some are imported from Egypt and some are local products. Their placement within a well-dated LB I burial context upholds that they were preserved for several generations as heirlooms, and finally used as a funerary deposit.
Provenance of the Early Bronze Age III Khirbet Kerak Ware and Intermediate Bronze Age Vessels from a Burial Cave near Horbat Zelef
Keywords: petrography, ceramics, distribution, trade patterns, geology
The Khirbet Kerak Ware from the burial cave at Horbat Zelef was analyzed petrographically to identify the raw materials of the vessels. It was hypothesized that they were locally made in one of the neighboring Jezreel Valley production centers. In addition, Intermediate Bronze Age vessels were examined petrographically to define and identify the raw material and to compare it with the material used in the production of Early Bronze Age III pottery.
Human Skeletal Remains from a Burial Cave near Horbat Zelef: A Paleodemographic Study
Keywords: anthropology, life expectancy, death pattern, demography
The skeletal remains from the burial cave near Horbat Zelef were very poorly preserved. In this article, only teeth from the Late Bronze Age I and II levels are presented, belonging to a minimum of 27 individuals. Fortunately, the tooth assemblage was large enough to reconstruct basic demographic parameters of the Horbat Zelef population.
A Built Tomb from the Middle Bronze Age IIA and Other Finds at Tel Burga in the Sharon Plain
(with a contribution by Daphna Ben-Tor)
Keywords: cemetery, burial practices
Two soundings were conducted within the limits of Tel Burga (Areas A, B). Exposed in Area A were an occupation level, consisting of several rounded shallow pits; three primary articulated adult burials; and a stone-built subterranean tomb, revealing two burial phases. The burials may be part of a cemetery within the confines of the Middle Bronze Age IIA settlement. In Area B, two architectural phases were encountered, pointing to the existence of a massive building, preceded by an earlier structure. All the pottery from the site, from both areas, was dated to MB IIA. Two scarabs, from the stone tomb in Area A, bear designs that commonly occur on late Middle Kingdom Egyptian scarabs. These soundings, although of limited scope, are an important addition to our knowledge concerning the beginning of MB II in the southern Levant.
A Provenance Study of Two Tell el-Yahudiyeh Vessels and Other Middle Bronze Age IIA Pottery Types from Tel Burga
Keywords: petrography, geology, Neutron Activation Analysis, production center
Six Middle Bronze Age IIA ceramic vessels from the soundings at Tel Burga were studied petrographically, including two Tell el-Yahudiyeh vessels, one shoulder-handle jug and three piriform juglets. The aim of the analysis was to re-evaluate the previously proposed source of the Tell el-Yahudiyeh vessels and to determine the relationship between this puncture-decorated pottery and the plain ware at the site.
Temple Furniture from a Favissa at ‘En Hazeva
Keywords: religion, Judea, Edom, art, epigraphy, cult
The finds from the favissa at ‘En Hazeva represent a cultic assemblage that had been used in a temple that existed at the site at the end of the Iron Age and was intentionally buried. The objects retrieved from the favissa included anthropomorphic statues, cylindrical stands, bowls, goblets, tripod cups, pomegranate-shaped pendants, stone altars and a stone human statue. The cultic vessels are well-grounded in the religious iconography of the Ancient Near East in general and the Levant in particular. These finds resemble those from Horbat Qitmit, where they were defined as Edomite. However, no indication of the deity worshipped at the temple or any particular religious affinity could be established from the finds at ‘En Hazeva.
The Cultic Assemblage from ‘En Hazeva: The Restoration Process
Keywords: pottery, cult, technology
This article describes the restoration process of the cultic vessels recovered from the Favissa at ‘En Hazeva. The objects were broken into very small pieces, which made their mending a challenging task. At the end of the restoration process, 70 clay vessels and objects were restored; most had a complete profile. It was evident that several vessel groups were made of the same batch of clay and fired under similar conditions, perhaps even made by the same potter. This may suggest that there was a functional affinity between the vessels and that they were most likely used together.
Provenance of the Clay Artifacts from the Favissa at ‘En Hazeva
Keywords: petrography, geology, production center
The cultic objects from the Favissa at ‘En Hazeva were examined petrographically to determine their origin. The analysis aimed at aiding in assessing whether the vessels were manufactured locally, in the ‘En Hazeva region, or were imported from Edom. The data retrieved was checked against other petrographic studies of ‘Edomite pottery’ in the region, from the Arava, the Negev and Jordan.
The Inscription from ‘En Hazeva
Keywords: epigraphy, Edom, Moab, Hebrew, language
Remnants of at least two lines of text were traced on one of the narrow sides of a stone figure from ‘En Hazeva. The script seems to be Aramaic, but the geographical context points to the possibility that the script may be Edomite.
The Umayyad Aqueduct to Ramla and Other Finds near Kibbutz Na‘an
Keywords: Shephelah, water supply system, White Mosque, Early Islamic period, installation, tomb
The remains of the aqueduct, which led water to the city of Ramla during the Umayyad period, were exposed along 150 m. The aqueduct, running generally east–west, was well preserved. A detailed description of its construction technique is rendered, as well as an account of the consequences of its destruction. A calculation of the aqueduct’s rate of flow is discussed, based on calculations of the roughness coefficient (friction) of the plaster. Finally, a reconstruction of the course of the aqueduct along ten kilometers is offered, based on other findings along its proposed route. The meager small finds included potsherds, an inscribed oil lamp and a bronze weight. The date of the aqueduct and it’s destiny within the city of Ramla are postulated as well.
Petrographic Examination of Plaster from the Umayyad Aqueduct to Ramla
Keywords: petrography, hydraulic plaster, travertine, technology, water supply system
The plaster from the Umayyad aqueduct to Ramla was analyzed petrographically to identify its composition and the phases of application. It was established that the aqueduct was coated with several layers of plaster at different stages. The plaster layers differ in quality, the first episode represented by a high-quality pink plaster and the last, by a whitish plaster of inferior quality.
A Decorated Bronze Platter from Kafr Misr
Keywords: art history, Galilee, Christianity, Islamic period
The finding circumstances of the platter from Kafr Misr could not enlighten us regarding its date, artistic origins or provenance. Therefore, a detailed iconographic and stylistic analysis of the images portrayed on the platter was undertaken, in an attempt to decipher its enigma. The artistic analysis points to Christian iconography, as manifested in Byzantine art of the tenth and eleventh centuries CE. The article discusses relevant comparisons to other artistic data from the period and offers a reconstruction of the route of the platter to Kafr Misr in the Lower Galilee.
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