‘Atiqot 51 (2006)
Salvage Excavations at a Pre-Pottery Neolithic Site at Modi‘in
Keywords: Kaizer Compound, prehistory, typology, cupmarks, flint knapping, Senonian flint
Excavations undertaken on two hills and an intervening field revealed a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site. On the eastern hill, more than 300 flint objects were retrieved, mostly natural chunks and flakes; no traces of permanent human presence or activity were recorded. On the western hill, 565 lithics were collected, dating to Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA); outcrops of the raw material used for their manufacture were observed on the surface. Numerous flint objects also dating to PPNA were visible on the surface in the intervening field. This site is a new link in the chain of PPNA sites discovered in the Modi‘in area. All the sites are extensive in area, devoid of architectural remains and yielded a large amount of flint artifacts, especially bifacials.
Remains of an Early Chalcolithic Settlement on the Fringes of Horbat Usha
Keywords: Galilee, churn, Gilat jar, roof plaster
A small-scale salvage excavation was conducted at the foot of Horbat Usha. Only meager architectural remains were uncovered, including wall and floor fragments. The finds comprised pottery, a basalt vessel and flint artifacts characteristic of the Chalcolithic period.
Burials from the Intermediate Bronze Age and the Roman Period at Bet Dagan
Keywords: cemetery, burial, funerary goods, art, metal
Nine tombs were excavated: seven dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age (IBA), and two, to the Early Roman period. The IBA tombs were all simple burial pits, dug into
soil. The Roman-period tombs were cist graves. The pottery finds from the IBA pits included a bowl, cups, jars, amphoriskoi and a lamp, all resembling Dever’s Southern Family. The finds from the Roman period comprised two pottery vessels and a rare bronze jug with a decorated handle.
A Salvage Excavation at ‘Ein ez-Zeituna in Nahal ‘Iron
Keywords: Lower Galilee, architecture, vent pipes, numismatics
A monumental, nearly square, two-story peristyle building was revealed, dating to the second century CE. It was flanked on the east by a row of shops and on the west, by additional architectural remains. The structure is a typical Greco-Roman peristyle building, consisting of a central colonnaded courtyard, a portico and 20 rooms. The strikingly meticulous craftsmanship of the building’s construction and the high-quality stone masonry attest that it was built by professional builders. The finds included large amounts of Early Roman potsherds; several basalt vessels, pestles, grinding stones and millstones; metal objects, mostly nails; and domestic glass vessels from the late first and second centuries CE. Twenty-five bronze coins were also found. In light of the building’s location, it probably fulfilled an administrative or public function, perhaps a mansion (caravansary) or a mutation (highway rest stop).
Design Analysis of the Peristyle Building from ‘Ein ez-Zeituna
Keywords: Lower Galilee, architecture
The peristyle building at ‘Ein ez-Zeituna followed the design of the Roman
according to a very strict plan. The workmanship of the building is outstanding, marking it as an architectural landmark in public construction in Roman Palestine.
The Glass Vessels from ‘Ein ez-Zeituna
Keywords: Lower Galilee, glass production
Some 400 glass vessels were retrieved from the site of which only 30% were diagnostic. The majority of the vessels were dated to the Early Roman period (second half of the first–first half of the second centuries CE). They were all free-blown of light blue, light green or colorless glass. The vessels’ shape, glass quality and the lack of luxury ware or imports suggest a local production.
Coins from ‘Ein ez-Zeituna
Keywords: Lower Galilee, numismatics, Judea Capta, SC, XF
A total of 25 coins were retrieved during the excavations, 21 of them were identified. The numismatic evidence is very homogeneous and dates to the first and second centuries CE. All the coins, except for one Hasmonean coin of King Alexander Jannaeus, are Roman Provincial issues. The distribution of the mints reflects the common currency that circulated near the site: Caesarea, Sepphoris-Diocaesarea and Tiberias.
Aspects of Phoenician Burial Customs in the Roman Period in Light of an Excavation near El-Kabri (Kabri)
Edna J. Stern and Nimrod Getzov
Keywords: burial, glass vessels, iron nail, bracelet, bronze bell, spindle whorls, bead, numismatics, anthropology, ethnicity
Seven tombs were excavated, belonging to three types: three loculi (
) tombs, with clay coffins; three shaft tombs; and one pit grave. The first two types date to the Late Roman period, and the third type, to the Ottoman period. The burial goods found within the Roman-period tombs are typical of Phoenician burials, thereby identifying the ethnic identity of the deceased. This observation is further confirmed by historical sources describing the geographical border between the Jewish and Phoenician populations in western Galilee during the second and third centuries CE.
The Coins from El-Kabri
Keywords: numismatics, burial, value, customs, mint, circulation
Twelve coins were retrieved from the El-Kabri tombs, most were found in their original location. Many of the coins were heavily worn. The identifiable coins dated to the second and third centuries CE. The practice of using worn coins as grave offerings is recorded from many excavations. The majority of the worn coins are the Melqart/Club type autonomous issue of Tyre, probably reflecting the need for a relatively large coin. It is not possible to determine whether the coins were intended as Charon’s obol or as an offering.
Excavations at Shiqmona—1994
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, imported pottery, mosaic, historical sources, ethnicity, Christianity
Excavations were conducted along the railway tracks from Tel Aviv to Haifa on the eastern fringes of Tel Shiqmona, located on the outskirts of modern-day Haifa. The finds from the excavation were extremely meager; however, they offered a new understanding of the nature and size of the site. The architectural remains represent a single occupation dating to the Byzantine period, based on ceramic and numismatic evidence. The excavation results determined that the site covered an area of no more than 50 dunams (12.5 acres) and was occupied by Jews. Thus, Shiqmona was identified as a large, Byzantine-period village.
Pottery, Stone and Small Finds from Shiqmona
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, economy, trade
A homogeneous group of ceramics was found, dating mostly to the sixth and seventh centuries CE. Imported wares comprise 80.5% of the assemblage, originating from Africa, Cyprus, North Syria and Antioch. The large percentage of imported wares points to the sizable volume of trade and economic prosperity of Byzantine-period Shiqmona. Among the finds were stone vessels, iron and bronze nails, a bronze handle, an iron ring and a bone button.
The Coins from Shiqmona
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, numismatics, trade
The Shiqmona excavations yielded 122 bronze coins, 76 of them were identified. The coins range in date between the Roman and the Ayyubid periods, the majority dating to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.
A Mamluk-Period Site at Khirbat Burin in the Eastern Sharon
Raz Kletter and Edna J. Stern
Keywords: medieval period, sugar production, rural site, historical sources, Crusader period
Excavations at Khirbat Burin uncovered three strata: two (I, II) of the Mamluk period and one (III), of the Byzantine–Early Islamic periods. Sporadic remains of the Persian, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Ottoman periods were found, corroborating the evidence from earlier excavations at the site. The large, well-planned buildings uncovered in Mamluk-period Stratum II (late thirteenth–fourteenth centuries) survived to considerable height. The pottery related to the Mamluk strata represents the types that were in use during that period, including unglazed wares consisting of decorated and undecorated handmade wares, wheel-made wares and mold-made wares, as well as a large variety of wheel-made glazed types, including imported wares. The site was probably a Mamluk-period village that was abandoned in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, conforming to our knowledge of a process of decline, depopulation and nomadization in the region during the fifteenth century.
Note on a Glazed Bowl with a Medallion of a Feline from Khirbat Burin
Keywords: medieval period, pottery, art, iconography, numismatics, epigraphy
A fragment from a large, Mamluk-period glazed-ware bowl was found in the Khirbat Burin excavations, decorated with a molded relief. The decoration is divided into three registers: the upper register is occupied by a naskh inscription, interrupted by a medallion enclosing a figure of a large feline; the two lower registers are decorated with simple geometric motifs. This vessel type dates from the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE, and is reported from many sites in the Levant. It might have been produced in greater Syria.
An Inscribed Handle from Khirbat Burin
Keywords: medieval period, pottery, epigraphy
A jar handle with a stamp impression of an Arabic inscription was found on the surface at Khirbat Burin. Two words were incised within a circle, reading: “Blessing Ayyub”. Such vessels with stamp impressions were produced in the kilns at Nabi Samwil.
Coins from Khirbat Burin, Eastern Sharon
Keywords: medieval period, numismatics
Twelve bronze coins were found in the excavations at Khirbat Burin, all very poorly preserved. Eight coins were identified, three of them dating to the Mamluk period.
Archaeozoological Finds from Khirbat Burin
Keywords: medieval period, archaeozoology, fauna
Most of the faunal remains from the large, Mamluk-period building in Stratum II are of domestic animals, cattle being the most dominant species. In Stratum I, sheep/goats were the most dominant species. It could not be established whether these differences reflect a change in the economy of the site.
Remains of a Monastery at the Foot of Tel Ashdod
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–2*; English summary, p. 233)
Keywords: Christianity, art
A mosaic floor was uncovered, consisting of a square surrounding a medallion, in which a seven-line Greek inscription was preserved. It is suggested that the mosaic adorned the entrance to a monastery or a church that existed at the site during the Byzantine period.
A Greek Inscription from Tel Ashdod
(Hebrew, pp. 3*–6*; English summary, pp. 233–234)
Keywords: Christianity, epigraphy
The seven-line Greek inscription from Tel Ashdod is a typical dedicatory inscription, mentioning the construction of a winepress and monastery. It was dated to the Byzantine period.
Human Skeletal Remains from Horbat Ma’aravim
(Hebrew, pp. 7*–17*; English summary, pp. 234–235)
Keywords: anthropology, osteology, death curve, survivorship curve, demography
Human skeletal remains were found in 83 cist graves in the Byzantine-period cemetery of Horbat Ma’aravim. At least 121 individuals were identified, including infants, children and adults of both sexes, as is expected in a normal civilian population. The morphological characteristics of the skulls indicate a local desert population, perhaps Nabatean in origin.
(Hebrew, pp. 19*–31*; English summary, pp. 235–236)
Ofer Sion and Giora Parnos
Keywords: Shephelah, pottery, small finds, burial, tomb
At the site, located north of the Rehovot–Yavne road, fragments of poorly preserved domestic structures and various installations were observed. The architectural finds relate to three strata, dating from the Persian (Stratum III), Roman–Byzantine (Stratum II) and Byzantine–Early Islamic (Stratum I) periods. The extent of the settlement is unknown; however, based on finds from previous excavations at the site, it seems to have been a large settlement in the late Byzantine–Early Islamic periods.
The Glass Finds from Horbat Hermas
(Hebrew, pp. 33*–35*; English summary, p. 236)
Keywords: Shephelah, glass industry
The excavation at Horbat Hermas yielded 91 glass fragments, 50% of which were diagnostic. Remains of a glass industry were also noticed in rather large quantities, including fragments of furnace walls, raw glass chunks and wasters. It seems that a glass workshop operated at the site during the Byzantine and beginning of the Umayyad periods.
The coins from Horbat Hermas
(Hebrew, pp. 37*–38*; English summary, p. 237)
Keywords: Shephelah, numismatics
Ten coins were uncovered in the excavation at Horbat Hermas, six were identified. Their dates range between the second–third and the fourteenth centuries CE.
Building Fragments of the Early Islamic Period on Ha-Gedud Ha-‘Ivri Street in Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 39*–47*; English summary, pp. 237–238)
Keywords: ceramics, typology
Meager architectural remains were exposed: wall segments, without floors, belonging to two phases dating to the Early Islamic period, and the foundation channel of what appears to have been a massive Crusader building. The stones of the later building were robbed in the Late Ottoman period. The pottery finds (studied by Miriam Avissar) date to the Early Islamic (second half of eighth–tenth centuries CE) and Crusader periods. Fragments of vessels from the Late Ottoman period were documented as well.
The Northern City Wall of Jerusalem on the Eve of the First Crusade (Excavations at the ‘Jordanian Garden’)
(Hebrew, pp. 49*–53*; English summary, p. 238)
Keywords: Middle Ages, fortifications
An excavation conducted to the east of Damascus Gate exposed the remains of a rampart and a moat, which had been dug into earlier, Second-Temple period quarries. Remains of a rampart and a moat, documented elsewhere along the Ottoman city wall, were mentioned as being part of the northern extra muros fortification system in various medieval sources describing the Crusader siege of Jerusalem in 1099. Therefore, they must have been constructed some time earlier by the Seljuks (1073–1098).
(Hebrew, pp. 55*–67*; English summary, p. 239)
Miki Ein Gedy
Keywords: Late Islamic period
The site is located on the western side of the Ayyalon Valley. Four excavation areas were opened, exposing meager architectural remains, mainly comprising wall foundations dated to the Late Ottoman period. Some of the finds were dated between the Byzantine period and the Middle Ages. Most of the pottery finds (studied by Miriam Avissar) date from the Late Ottoman period (nineteenth century CE). Apparently, the site was occupied from the Byzantine period until 1948.
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