‘Atiqot 53 (2006)
A Chalcolithic Burial Cave at Et-Taiyiba
Eli Yannai and Yosef Porath
Keywords: Sharon, cemetery, Chalcolithic culture, art
The cave, hewn in soft limestone, is of an irregular oval shape, with high margins that served as benches. A minimum of 38 ossuaries were found in the cave, some open and box-shaped, others closed and house-shaped; ossuary jars and kraters were also found. The ossuaries were decorated with plastic ornamentation, depicting pegs, noses, eyes and rope decoration, as well as painted ornamentation in various patterns, e.g., triangles, lines and arches. Funerary goods included only pottery vessels characteristic of the Chalcolithic period: V-shaped bowls, cornets, amphoriskoi, fenestrated pedestal bowls and cylindrical stands. It seems that the people buried in the cave inhabited one of the Chalcolithic settlements on the soft-limestone hills on the eastern margins of the Sharon.
Chalcolithic Burial Sites at Ma‘abarot and Tel Ifshar
Keywords: Sharon plain, cemetery, ossuary production, technology, art
The two burial sites are located in the Sharon plain, south and north of Nahal Alexander. The kidney-shaped cave at Ma‘abarot was hewn in the
sandstone. All the burials in the cave were secondary. Of the 63 burials identified, 42 were placed in three types of ceramic vessels—house-shaped ossuaries, chest-shaped ossuaries and large domestic kraters—and 21, in ‘bone heaps’. The finds consisted of pottery vessels typical of the Chalcolithic period, e.g., V-shaped bowls and fenestrated bowls and bottles, and a flake from a flint digging tool. At Tel Ifshar, two burial places were discovered, both damaged by infrastructure work. The finds included a chest-shaped ossuary, decorated in a red-painted net pattern, fragments of a house-shaped ossuary and a few sherds of a V-shaped and a fenestrated bowl. The two sites served the local communities living along the lower basin of Nahal Alexander.
A Middle Bronze Age II Site West of Tell Qasille
Keywords: coastal plain, cemetery, burial, funerary rites, archaeozoology, anthropology, scarab, metal, beads, jar burials, rural site, numismatics, Ottoman period
The site remains comprise a cemetery, two pottery kilns and a settlement dating to Middle Bronze Age II. Ten burials were excavated, all except one (T800) were rectangular pit-graves dug into
sandstone. Each grave contained one to three individuals; T800, which was round, contained seven individuals in secondary deposition. The average grave assemblage comprised about ten pottery vessels, which were usually placed in a row next to one long side of the burial. The pottery kilns are almost identical in size, direction and structure. They are of the vertical type, with two main superimposed parts: a combustion chamber and a firing chamber. The upper firing chamber was borne by clay supports, between which flues conveyed cold air from outside and exited the hot air from within. The finds retrieved from the kilns included wasters and a large quantity of slag. Remains of an unwalled settlement were found. No architecture was detected; however, there was a large quantity of MB II pottery mixed with whole and broken bricks. Among the finds were many domestic pottery vessels, fragments of ovens (tabuns), miniature chariot-wheels, a spindle whorl, loom weights, an alabastron, basalt grinding stones, daggers and an axe. It seems that the site was a small, unwalled village, established in the late phase of MB IIA. After a long interval, the site was reoccupied during the Hellenistic period, as it yielded stamped amphora handles and a Ptolemaic coin.
Petrographic Analysis of Pottery from a Middle Bronze Age II Site West of Tell Qasille
Keywords: geology, hamra soil, geographic distribution
In this study, 32 vessels were examined from the Middle Bronze Age II settlement, tombs and kilns to determine the nature of the raw materials. Most of the samples were related to the same petrographic group, the nature of which points to a coastal origin. The results of this study suggest a homogenous raw material for the examined assemblage.
Anthropological Remains from a Middle Bronze Age II Site West of Tell Qasille
Keywords: cemetery, burial, bones, teeth
The human skeletal remains from the Middle Bronze Age II graves were fragmentary, in a poor state of preservation. At least 26 individuals were identified, including infants, children, sub-adults and adults of both sexes, indicating a normal civilian population.
Archaeozoological Finds from the Excavations West of Tell Qasille
Keywords: Archaeozoology, fauna, domestic animals
Animal bones were found inside four of the tombs dated to Middle Bronze Age II. Each tomb contained the remains of one sheep/goat, usually within vessels. It seems that the people at this site raised cattle. A large number of donkey bones were also found. Sea shells were also present, probably due to the proximity of the site to the Mediterranean shore. Many animal bones were found in the Hellenistic-period assemblage.
An Iron Age Pottery Assemblage from Underground Chambers at Jatt (Tel Gat)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–7*; English summary, p. 195)
Keywords: Sharon, typology
Pottery vessels dating to Iron Age II were recovered from four underground units. They belong to a single ceramic assemblage, comprising bowls, kraters, cooking pots, jars, a jug and a lamp, indicating that they originated in dwellings. The vessels are characteristic of the northern coastal plain, dating primarily to the second half of the tenth–beginning of the ninth centuries BCE. This small-scale excavation sheds light on this early phase of occupation at Tell Jatt. The purpose of the underground units was not determined.
Excavations at Khirbat Marmita
Keywords: Shephelah, Judea, ethnicity, numismatics, agriculture, economy
Three building complexes were uncovered at the site, as well as various installations that were quarried into bedrock. The buildings date from the first half of the first century BCE (Building 20/23), from the Hellenistic–Early Roman period (Building 84) and from the Herodian period (c. 30 to at least 67 CE; Building 104). Among the installations were five simple winepresses, typical of the Roman and Byzantine periods; a lever-and-weights oil press; cisterns with square or circular shafts; 33 cupmarks; caves; quarries; and a
. The finds include pottery vessels, stone and basalt vases, glass vessels and metal artifacts. It seems that Khirbat Marmita was a Jewish settlement that existed during the decline of the Hasmonean Kingdom and the rise of Herod. The site was probably destroyed sometime after the First Jewish Revolt.
The Coins from Khirbat Marmita
Keywords: Shephelah, Judea, numismatics
Five coins were found at Khirbat Marmita, all of bronze. Three of the coins date to the reigns of Antiochus VII, Alexander Jannaeus and Nero; one is from the second year of the Jewish Revolt; and one is from the fifth century CE.
(Hebrew, pp. 9*–19*; English summary, pp. 196–197)
Hanaa Abu ‘Uqsa
Keywords: Upper Galilee, pottery vessels, glass finds
Two areas were excavated. In Area A, three strata were uncovered, from the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Crusader/Mamluk periods, alongside pottery from the Roman period. The Byzantine-period building housed an oil press installation, which was put out of use by a conflagration. In Area B, two strata were observed, from the Byzantine and Crusader/Mamluk periods.
The Excavation at Khirbat el-Batiya (Triangulation Spot 819)
(Hebrew, pp. 21*–28*; English summary, pp. 197–198)
Hanaa Abu ‘Uqsa
Keywords: Galilee, Hula Valley, Christianity, numismatics, bronze nails, metal agricultural tools, glass finds
The western part of a large building was exposed, dating to the end of the Byzantine period. Two main strata were observed (I, II). Stratum Ia included the remains of a dry-built building, constructed from finely dressed limestone blocks arranged in headers and stretchers. The floors were paved with stone slabs, and the walls were probably coated with plaster. The finds from this phase date to the fifth–sixth centuries CE. Stratum Ib represents slight modifications that were carried out in the building. In Stratum II the building continued to be used, mainly in the southern part. A jug and a silver
date this stratum to the ninth–tenth centuries CE. It seems that the building served as a farmhouse, which was connected with a monastery or a church, as attested by the chancel-screen fragments decorated with crosses that were retrieved during the excavation.
The Glass Finds from Khirbat el-Batiya (Triangulation Spot 819)
(Hebrew, pp. 29*–36*; English summary, pp. 198–199)
Keywords: technology, glass production, casting
Fragments of gold-glass tiles were retrieved from the excavation, together with well-known vessel types from the late Byzantine–Early Islamic periods. It is the first time that gold-glass tiles were found
. The glass vessels include a beaker/bowl, wineglasses and a bottle, as well as an exceptional mold-blown cosmetic flask from medieval times. The gold-glass tiles were probably part of the decoration of the Stratum I building, which was connected with a monastery or a church.
A Late Byzantine–Early Islamic-Period Farmhouse at Mesillot in the Bet She’an Valley
Keywords: agriculture, oil press, numismatics
Three strata (III–I) were identified during the excavation. The date of Stratum III is unknown. Stratum II, the main building phase at the site, probably dates to the late Byzantine period. A large, roughly square building was unearthed, comprising a large central courtyard surrounded by at least 16 rooms. It probably served as a farmhouse. Stratum I represents repairs and additions to the Stratum II building, possibly during the Early Islamic period. The finds from Strata II and I include pottery vessels, mostly domestic, iron objects, stone objects, a clay tile and coins. The latest coin dates from 739/740 CE and thus, the building might have ceased use due to the 749 CE earthquake.
Coins from Mesillot
Donald T. Ariel
Keywords: Bet She’an, numismatics
Fourteen coins were found in the excavation; all but one, which is gold, are copper. The coins appear to reflect occupation at the site in the fourth century CE and in the Umayyad period.
A Settlement from the Middle Ages and the Byzantine Period at Khirbat Ibreika
(Hebrew, pp. 37*–47*; English summary, pp. 199–200)
Keywords: Sharon plain, Ottoman tobacco pipes, prehistory
Six excavation squares were opened, revealing three strata: Stratum I, from the days of the British Mandate; Stratum II, from the Middle Ages; and Stratum III, from the Byzantine period. Most of the finds indicate intensive plundering of masonry from Stratum II. Stratum III yielded part of a press bed of an oil press with a mosaic pavement. The pottery finds attest that the Byzantine settlement was established in the sixth century CE, and continued until the end of the Mamluk period, and probably up to modern times. A hand axe, typical of the Upper Acheulian period, was found in the bottom layer of the excavation; it was probably brought here from a nearby prehistoric site (Site 23).
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