‘Atiqot 50 (2005)
A Middle Bronze Age Burial Cave at Tur‘an
Lilly Gershuny and Emanuel Eisenberg
Keywords: Lower Galilee, cemetery, Intermediate Bronze Age, archaeozoology, physical anthropology, typology
The burial cave, carved into limestone, consists of a square, vertical shaft and an elliptical room. The cave’s contents, which included pottery vessels, carnelian beads, a bronze toggle pin and a stone pommel, were scattered on a fill on the floor. Six adult individuals and one child were identified. The bones of sheep and cattle, which served as food offerings, were found as well. The pottery included bowls, a storage jar, a large krater with loop feet, jugs, dipper and piriform juglets, and a unique Tell el-Yahudiyeh juglet with a zoomorphic protome. The cave is a typical Early Bronze Age IV–Middle Bronze Age I shaft tomb, reused in the Middle Bronze Age.
The Hebrew Ostraca from Site 94/21, Cave A-2, at Ramat Bet Shemesh
Ianir Milevski (with a contribution by Joseph Naveh)
Keywords: Shephelah, epigraphy, agriculture, Judahite monarchy, olive oil, wine production
An Iron Age C cave, probably a cellar, was excavated some 400 m southwest of Horbat Zanoah. The cave, which yielded pottery dating between the end of the seventh and the beginning of the sixth centuries BCE, included three ostraca. The letters on the inscribed sherds were poorly preserved. Most of the legible personal names are typical of Judah at the end of the First Temple period, which is corroborated by the script as well. The ostraca shed light on how issues relating to the measurement or produce of fields belonging to several persons were dealt with.
A Burial Cave with a Greek Inscription and Graffiti at Khirbat el-‘Ein, Judean Shephelah
Keywords: necropolis, cemetery, Roman period, epigraphy
The cave, arranged along an east–west axis, comprises a courtyard, a vestibule, a burial chamber and an additional room. This plan is characteristic of burial caves dating to the first century CE in Jerusalem and the Judean Shephelah. The entranceway to the burial chamber was blocked by a roll-stone. The doorjambs of the inner section of the entranceway were smoothed and incised with a long Greek inscription that could not be deciphered, but might have had a magical meaning; two
—tomb markers that often surmounted burial caves—are also incised on the doorjambs. Three loculi (
) were hewn in the burial chamber walls, typical of the late Second Temple period. The meager finds from the cave date its construction to the first century CE. It probably served a Jewish family from nearby Khirbat el-‘Ein, and remained in use during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. After the burial cave ceased to function, a deep bell-shaped cave was carved near the lowest part of the courtyard, possibly during the Byzantine–Early Islamic periods.
Danny Syon and Zvi Yavor (with a contribution by Nimrod Getzov)
Keywords: Golan, synagogue, Roman architecture, Second Temple period, numismatics, ethnicity
Several areas at Gamla were excavated prior to the commencement of visitor-oriented development works at the site. In Area B, “the Hasmonean Quarter”, the excavation provided a first clue as to the boundaries of this anomalous area. The earliest finds were discovered in Area G, and included band-slipped potsherds, diagnostic of Early Bronze Age IB. Area K yielded the remains of a private mansion, which appears to have been a three-level domestic residence dating from the first century CE. In Area S, the remains of a basilica partitioned into three aisles were unearthed, and identified as a Jewish public building.
Salvage Excavations in the Modi‘in Landscape
Keywords: Buchman Compound, agriculture, viticulture, cultivation, terraces, watchtower, road, stone vessel
Approximately 100 sites were investigated in the area by means of surveys and excavations. Thirteen winepresses were identified, surrounded by cupmarks and basins, alluding to the agricultural exploitation of the area. Thirty-two stone clearance piles were documented. In most piles, limited amounts of Late Hellenistic–Early Roman ceramics were recovered, suggesting they were constructed during that period. Some of these features were of a later date, the Byzantine–Umayyad periods. In the Medieval and Ottoman periods, the region was exploited for its natural resources. Nearly all the charcoal burners and limekilns seem to date to these times.
Textiles, Basketry, Cordage and Whorls from Mo’a (Moje Awad)
Keywords: spindle whorls, technology, weaving, imports, commerce
The artifacts were discovered in a way station along the Spice Route, which was exposed at Mo’a in the ‘Arava Valley. A total of 310 textile fragments were analyzed. They are made of wool, goat hair and linen, in plain weave and its variations. Dyed fabrics are also present. Some pieces were decorated with colored bands or tapestry. Most of the 88 basketry items were plaited. In addition, there are two braids, a sandal and a net. The cordage from Mo’a comprises 166 threads, strings and ropes, mostly made from date palm, goat hair, wool, and mixed goat hair and wool fibers. The finds were dated to the Early Roman period.
Hellenistic and Crusader Remains at Montmusard, Acre (‘Akko)
Keywords: coast, Acre bowls, Ottoman, tobacco pipe, metal, glass
The finds from the Hellenistic period comprise building remains that contained imported amphoras dating from the last third of the third century to the third quarter of the second century BCE, as well as pottery lamps, cooking vessels and bowls from the third–second centuries. The Crusader period yielded the remains of walls and pottery dating to the late twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE.
Stamped Amphora Handles and Unstamped Amphora Fragments from Acre (‘Akko)
Donald T. Ariel
Keywords: coast, imports, typology, script, epigraphy
Sixteen stamped amphora handles were retrieved from the excavations at ‘Akko, originating from two production centers: Rhodes and Chios. Their dates range from the last third of the third century to the third quarter of the second century BCE.
Khan Gesher (Jisr el-Majami‘)
Abdullah Mokary and Zvi Gal
Keywords: Jordan River, Islamic periods, medieval period
Khan Gesher is one of the earliest khans in Galilee. Three periods of occupation were documented at the site. The khan was first built during the Mamluk period as a square complex, with a central courtyard surrounded by rooms and halls. The halls served as stables, and the rooms and the central courtyard served non-residential functions, e.g., a gate, a water system, and a prayer room. Thus, the khan might have had a second story for housing travelers. During the Ottoman period, the building underwent changes and modifications. The khan was probably destroyed in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. In 1934, the members of Kibbutz Gesher settled within the ruins of the khan.
Khan Gesher: The Coins
Keywords: Jordan River, Islamic periods, medieval period, numismatics
The numismatic finds date to two main periods: the Mamluk and Late Ottoman. All the coins are of bronze. Two modern German coins, from 1924 and 1930, and one American coin, from 1914, can be associated with the first settlers of Kibbutz Gesher.
Khan Gesher: Epitaph of a Muslim
Keywords: Jordan River, Islamic periods, medieval period, Arabic, epigraphy
A limestone slab inscribed with five lines of elegant
script was found within the Mamluk-period water system at Khan Gesher. The inscription is professionally cut in relief, with no points or vowels.
Conservation of the Ancient Boat from the Sea of Galilee
Keywords: Galilee, sea, Kibbutz Ginnosar, technology, chemistry
The Galilee or Kinneret Boat, also dubbed “Jesus’ Boat”, was found and excavated in 1986. The various degrees of deterioration of the wood, the wood species and the size of the vessel were factors that reflected on the choice of the conservation method. Iron elements, such as nails, were also treated, and biological and bacterial problems were addressed. This report describes the chemical process of the conservation treatment of the wood and iron nails; the overcoming of biological and bacterial problems; and additional technical aspects of the conservation process. The report also describes the stages of preparation of the boat for exhibition and difficulties encountered regarding the boat’s transport.
Identification of the Wood in the Ancient Boat from the Sea of Galilee
Keywords: Galilee, sea, Kibbutz Ginnosar, technology, botanics
The ancient boat of Galilee is built of wooden parts that served different roles in its construction: strakes, frames, keel, tenons and pegs. The boat’s timbers were examined, and 12 plant genera were identified, the two main ones being cedar and oak. All the identified tree species grow in the area, at various distances from the Sea of Galilee, except for
, which was brought from further north. The choice of wood for the boat’s construction was based on factors such as hardness, durability, abundance, shape and length.
Survey of Ancient Agricultural Systems at the ‘En Gedi Oasis
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–20*; English summary, pp. 237–239)
Keywords: agriculture pools, water systems, economy, technology
Impressive remains of agricultural systems on the western shore of the Dead Sea attest to human efforts to prepare the land for cultivation, despite detrimental conditions. Surviving terraces and water installations of ancient farming systems attest that the economy of the ‘En Gedi inhabitants was based mainly on crops. These crops were grown for both local consumption and for market; the most notable plant was date palms. The earliest irrigation system dates to the Hasmonean period. During the Herodian dynasty, the ‘En Gedi Oasis was at its zenith, reaching its peak in the second third of the first century CE. These irrigation systems also served the Jewish population at ‘En Gedi during the Byzantine period.
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