‘Atiqot 73 (2013)
Tel Hanan: A Site of the Wadi Rabah Culture East of Haifa
Hamoudi Khalaily and Alla Nagorsky
Keywords: Mount Carmel, prehistory, basalt bowls, charcoal, radiocarbon dating
A small-scale excavation was undertaken at the site, and two archaeological layers were discerned: Layer A, dating to the Iron Age, and Layer B, ascribed to the Late Neolithic period (Wadi Rabah culture). Within the Neolithic layer were two depositional phases, rich in archaeological finds; no architectural remains were identified. The material culture recovered in the Neolithic layer is distinctive and consists of typical Late Neolithic pottery and flint types, a few obsidian artifacts, several bone tools and some beads. The discovery of a thick occupation layer dating to the Late Pottery Neolithic period at Tel Hanan increases the number of sites of this period near Haifa, demonstrating that the region was densely populated during that time.
Horbat Duvshan: A ‘Golan’ Chalcolithic Site in Eastern Galilee
Keywords: Golan culture, architecture, pottery, petrography, mortar, flint
The site lies in the center of the Korazim Plateau, which extends from the Hula Valley southward to the Sea of Galilee. Three squares were excavated: two (Sqs 1, 3) revealed the remains of very poorly preserved structures dating to the Late Chalcolithic period, and the third (Sq 2), a portion of a structure or complex rich in ceramic finds. The small excavation at Horbat Duvshan is the first in the eastern Galilee to reveal definitive ‘Golan’ affinities: its ceramic repertoire is identical to that of the Golan in its distinctive dark, reddish brown basaltic ware and in its typology.
Petrographic Examination of Selected Pottery Vessels from Horbat Duvshan
Keywords: petrography, geology, mineralogy, ceramics
Eleven pottery vessels from the Late Chalcolithic site of Horbat Duvshan were sampled for petrographic examination. The results revealed that the raw materials, both the clay and the temper, which were used in the production of the ceramic vessels, originated nearby. These raw materials most likely derived from the erosion and weathering of the Pliocene-Pleistocene basalts of the Golan Heights and the Korazim Plateau.
The Flint Assemblage from Horbat Duvshan
Keywords: flints, typology, geology
A total of 184 flint artifacts were collected from the three excavated squares. The tool inventory from Horbat Duvshan includes most of the types typical of northern Chalcolithic assemblages.
An Iron Age II Burial Cave in the Southern Burial Ground at Tel ‘Etun
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–9*; English summary, p. 135)
Sa‘ar Ganor, Amir Ganor and Ron Kehati
Keywords: Judean Shephelah, Judah, cemetery, burial, funerary goods, repository, anthropology, Sennacherib
The burial cave, hewn into the local soft chalk (
), comprises a central opening flanked by two carved doorposts, from which steps descend into a central, rectangular entrance passage. From the sides of the passage, three openings lead into three burial chambers (Nos. 1–3); Chambers 2 and 3 were found looted. Along the sides of Chamber 1 are hewn stone burial-benches, on which human bones and pottery vessels, characteristic of the eighth century BCE, were revealed; a headrest for the deceased was found at the end of each bench. The arrangement of the burial chambers indicates the presence of a planned and organized family burial system.
A Lead Coffin from the Roman Period at Horbat Ohad, Kibbutz Bet Guvrin
(with a contribution by Natalya Katsnelson)
(Hebrew, pp. 11*–18*; English summary, p. 136)
Daniel Varga and Rina Talgam
Keywords: burial, funerary goods, pagan, mythology, art, cult, anthropology
In a tomb hewn into soft limestone (
) at Horbat Ohad, a lead coffin and its lid were uncovered. Within the coffin were the bones of a female, aged 17–20 years and an intact candlestick-type glass bottle. The coffin is decorated with mythological scenes—a winged Eros hunting a lion, and drunken Heracles holding a drinking vessel while riding a carriage driven by two centaurs—as well as geometric and floral motifs. Similar lead coffins are frequently found along the Israeli and Phoenician coast, and are known also from inland sites. The decorative motifs on the coffin, as well as the glass bottle, point to a date in the third century CE.
A Roman Tomb at ‘Ein el-Sha‘ara
Keywords: burial, grave goods, anthropology
The tomb, which was crudely hewn in the hard limestone bedrock, was poorly preserved. Only part of a square central chamber and four burial troughs survived. The troughs contained the remains of over 16 adults and children. The objects recovered from the tomb comprise glass, ceramics, a three-legged basalt bowl, bone and ivory pins and needles, assorted metal items and jewelry, and various small stone finds. Such items are well-known in Roman domestic and funerary contexts in Israel and throughout the Roman world, and probably represent the personal effects of the deceased. The burial complex of ‘Ein el-Sha‘ara may have been originally constructed in the second century CE, although its main period of use was during the third and fourth centuries.
The Glass and Small Stone Finds from a Roman Tomb at ‘Ein el-Sha‘ara
Ruth E. Jackson-Tal
Keywords: burial, funerary offerings, typology
Twenty-five glass vessels were recovered from the Roman tomb at ‘Ein el-Sha‘ara, 19 of which are presented. Forty beads were also retrieved from the tomb, 15 of glass, one of faience and one of carnelian. Three stone inlays are made of quartz, agate and an unidentified stone. A glass spindle whorl was also uncovered. All the glass vessels were free-blown, some decorated with applied trails or indentations. The majority of the vessels are of colorless or greenish blue glass, a few are pale green or blue. Most of this assemblage represents the contents of a family burial tomb that was in use for a long period during the third–fourth centuries CE, and includes personal and tableware vessels typical of similarly dated burial contexts throughout Israel.
Burial Caves from the Early Roman–Early Byzantine Periods at Ben Shemen
(with contributions by Uri Baruch and by Israel Carmi and Dror Segal)
(Hebrew, pp. 19*–44*; English summary, pp. 137–138)
Oren Shmueli, Eli Yannai, Yifat Peleg and Yossi Nagar
Keywords: Lod Shephelah, burial, secondary burial, funerary goods, oil lamps, anthropology, Second Temple, Jewish population, Christians, charcoal, olive, carob, wood
Four burial caves were discovered at Ben Shemen: Caves 1–3 are loculi (
) caves of the type characteristic of Jerusalem and the Judean Hills during the Early Roman period; Cave 4 is an arcosolium cave, attributed to the Late Roman and early Byzantine periods. The
caves yielded stone ossuaries—decorated with standard motifs characteristic of the period—and meager finds dating from the mid-first and second centuries CE. They were used as family burial place for the nearby Jewish settlement. Cave 4 consists of three arcosolia, each containing a burial shelf. The ceiling, the walls and the partitions of the burial shelves were covered with white plaster, on which were the remains of red paint. A Greek inscription in red was also found, indicating that the cave was used by Christians in the late third or the early fourth century CE.
Wall Paintings from the Late Roman or Early Byzantine Period in Cave 4 at Ben Shemen
(Hebrew, pp. 45*–50*; English summary, p. 139)
Keywords: Lod Shephelah, burial, art, Christianity
Traces of simple wall paintings, painted in fresco technique with reddish brown paint, were found in Arcosolium Cave 4 at Ben Shemen. The depiction of a wreath might be connected with Christian funerary art, symbolizing the victory of Christ and his believers; however, the wreath may have framed an inscription with the name of the deceased or his portrait. The dating is difficult, since reddish brown monochrome paintings appear in Israel in tombs dating from the mid-third to the fifth centuries CE. Therefore, only a general date can be attributed to the paintings: the final phase of the Roman or the early Byzantine period.
A Greek Inscription from the Late Roman Period in Burial Cave 4 at Ben Shemen
Leah Di Segni
Keywords: Lod Shephelah, burial, palaeography, Jewish population, Christians, Bar Kokhba Revolt
A Greek inscription, consisting of four lines, including the term “servants of Christ”, was found in a rock-hewn arcosolium burial cave (Cave 4) in Ben Shemen. The inscription was painted in red on a plastered section of the cave wall that had collapsed from above the eastern arcosolium. Based on palaeography, as well as the type of abbreviations used in the script, the tomb was used in the late third or early fourth centuries CE.
Remains of a Byzantine and Early Islamic Rural Settlement at the Be’er Sheva‘ North Train Station
(with contributions by Natalya Katsnelson and Moshe Sade)
(Hebrew, pp. 51*–76*; English summary, pp. 140–142)
Yigal Israel, Gregory Seriy and Oded Feder
Keywords: Negev, settlement, agriculture, hinterland, numismatics, archaezoology, incised pottery
Two areas were excavated, uncovering the remains of four buildings (Buildings 100, 200, 300 and 400). Building 100, a watchtower, was probably erected during the Byzantine period. Building 300, a farmhouse, included a kitchen, in which two ovens were constructed; numerous pottery vessels date the building to the late Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. The building also yielded fragments of glass vessels, a fragment of a small iron pruning-knife and archaezoological finds. Building 400, the corner of a farmhouse, included pottery from the end of the Byzantine period. Building 200, probably from the beginning of the Early Islamic period, included Umayyad coins, as well as an iron tang. The buildings are the remains of a rural settlement characteristic of southern Israel and the Be’er Sheva‘ Valley during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
A Crusader-Period Bathhouse in ‘Akko (Acre)
(with a contribution by Danny Syon)
Howard Smithline, Edna J. Stern and Eliezer Stern
Keywords: Galilee, Crusader Kingdom, water installation, technology, pottery typology, history, numismatics
A Crusader-period bathhouse, which was exposed in the Montmusard suburb north of the Crusader city wall, is the first large verifiable Crusader-period structure to be found in this area. It was constructed directly upon remains of the Hellenistic city, with no intervening occupation levels. The bathhouse, only partially preserved in its western part, is of the hypocaust type, comprising a furnace, a storage and stoking room, a northern hot room and a larger eastern hot room. Its eastern part was very poorly preserved due to extensive stone robbing during the Ottoman period. The finds include fragmentary ceramic vessels, water pipes and glazed tiles, as well as a variety of marble floor- and wall-tiles and glass windowpanes dating from the Crusader period; fourteen coins were also retrieved, ranging in date from the second to the sixteenth centuries CE. The Crusader-period ceramic wares date to the thirteenth century, thereby dating the bathhouse to the thirteenth century.
Glass Finds from the Crusader-Period Bathhouse in ‘Akko (Acre)
Keywords: Galilee, glass production, technology, bull’s-eye, manufacturing technique
More than 700 glass fragments were discovered in the Crusader bathhouse in ‘Akko, the vast majority dating to the Crusader period. Four very small cast-bowl fragments and a glass inlay or gaming piece from the late Hellenistic and Early Roman periods were also found, as well as a fragment of a Byzantine wineglass. Windowpane fragments form the largest part of the Crusader-period glass finds. They were all blown, with a circular or oval outline. Most of the panes were of poor-quality light greenish glass, some were colorless with grayish green, yellowish green, or other undertones, and 30 fragments were in shades of purple and blue. Almost no joins were found between the many fragments, and only a few center fragments were identified. Based on a comparison with the shape of traditional Ottoman bathhouse roofing, the glass windowpanes may have been part of a dome, their centers protruding outward to collect and concentrate the light. Several chunks of glass-production debris were found with the windowpane fragments, and the two are probably contemporary; however, considering the quality of the glass, its fabric, weathering, and other characteristics, the glass debris may also be earlier.
A Settlement from the Roman–Mamluk Periods at Horbat Yagur
(Hebrew, pp. 77*–90*; English summary, p. 143)
Keywords: settlement, Middle Ages, medieval period, numismatics
The excavation at Horbat Yagur uncovered a settlement inhabited continuously from the Roman to the Mamluk periods, with a gap from the eighth to the first half of the ninth centuries CE. In Area A, two strata were discerned: Stratum II, comprising the remains of buildings, dated by ceramic finds to the Roman period; and Stratum I, comprising a wall dating to the Byzantine period. One-hundred twenty-nine coins from the fourth–fifth centuries CE were found. In Area B, four strata were discerned: part of a building in Stratum IV; fills of burnt earth in Stratum III; part of a building in Stratum II; and a pit with a white plaster floor in Stratum I. Based on the ceramic finds, Stratum IV has been dated to the Byzantine period, and Strata III–I, to the second half of the ninth–fourteenth centuries CE. Three coins were retrieved: two from the second–third centuries CE and one from the fourth–fifth centuries CE.
The Medieval Pottery from Horbat Yagur
Yael D. Arnon
Keywords: Middle Ages, ceramics, typology
The medieval assemblage from the excavations at Horbat Yagur dates from the ninth (Early Islamic period) until the fourteenth (Mamluk period) centuries CE. The pottery was divided into two categories based on function: tableware and cooking ware, each further divided into unglazed and glazed wares. The pottery demonstrates that the excavated area was probably a dwelling.
Coins from Horbat Yagur
During excavations at the site of Horbat Yagur, 132 coins were discovered, 49 of which were identified. All the coins, except for two isolated Roman Provincial types of the second–third centuries CE, are small bronze nummi, dating to the fourth and fifth centuries CE.
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