‘Atiqot 75 (2013)
Gat-Govrin (Nahal Qomem): A Late Chalcolithic Site in the Northern Negev
Hamoudi Khalaily and Sorin Hermon
Keywords: chronology, Ghassulian culture
A salvage excavation at Gat-Govrin, located in the southern coastal plain, exposed an archaeological layer subdivided into two sedimentological levels. At the base of the archaeological layer were pits—some shallow and wide, others deep and bell-shaped. Ten pits were excavated; all contained potsherds, stone vessels and flint artifacts. The homogeneous pottery assemblage, manufactured from local material, is characteristic of the Chalcolithic repertoire. The flint artifacts include Canaanean blades, some retouched and with gloss. It appears that the Gat-Govrin site was a seasonal settlement, occupied by small groups toward the end of the Chalcolithic period (last quarter of the fourth millennium BCE). The finding of ‘Canaanean’ artifacts within a late Chalcolithic assemblage may indicate continuity from the Chalcolithic to the Early Bronze Age cultures in this area.
Rescue Excavations at the Early Bronze Age Site of Qiryat Ata—Area O
(with contributions by Raphael Greenberg, Hamoudi Khalaily and Henk K. Mienis)
Keywords: typology, economy, glyptics, art, malacology
The excavation at Qiryat Ata, Area O, was undertaken in the southern, peripheral zone of the site. Three primary settlement episodes were revealed: Phases 3 and 2 date to EB IB and consist of two buildings and associated surfaces, while Phase 1 dates to EB II and mainly consists of a large fortification wall. These three phases correlate with the three main occupation strata (III–I) that have been identified at the site. The finds in Area O include two large and homogenous pottery assemblages, dating to EB IB and EB II; four cylinder-seal impressions; flints, representing a relatively ‘clean’ EB IB–EB II assemblage, and a few Neolithic tools; and freshwater mussels that might have been brought to the site for food. These finds enlarge the database of the Early Bronze Age ceramic assemblage at Qiryat Ata, and help to better and more accurately define the nature of EB IB and EB II pottery assemblages in northern Israel.
Early Bronze Age Fauna from Qiryat Ata—Area O
Liora Kolska Horwitz
Keywords: archaeozoology, economy
Extensive salvage excavations at the site of Qiryat Ata exposed faunal remains dating to the three phases identified at the site: Phase 3, Early Bronze Age IB; Phase 2, Late Early Bronze Age IB; and Phase 1, Early Bronze Age II. The most common species in the Phase 3 assemblage is pig, followed by sheep/goat and cattle. For Phase 2, remains of cattle are the most numerous, followed by pig, with only scarce remains of sheep/goat. The largest proportion of identified bones from Area O was recovered from Phase 1: cattle predominate, with smaller numbers of pig and sheep/goat remains, and two bones tentatively attributed to wild boar. The animal economy of Qiryat Ata reflects the increasing social complexity, scale and specialization of Early Bronze Age society in the southern Levant from EB IA through EB II.
Two Roman–Byzantine Subsurface Features at Horbat Qastra (Castra), at the Foot of Mount Carmel
Edwin C.M. van den Brink, Orit Rutgaizer, Yael Gorin-Rosen, Liora K. Horwitz, Nili Liphschitz and Henk K. Mienis
Keywords: ceramic typology, glass workshop, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, malacology, economy
Two subterranean features were uncovered at Horbat Qastra, situated on the southern outskirts of Haifa: Cave 1070, probably a reservoir, including two adjoining chambers (possibly a ritual bath,
); and Cave 1071, consisting of two chambers, probably intended for dwelling. The caves yielded many restorable glass vessels, as well as pottery, dating from the fourth to seventh/eight centuries CE. The glass finds are characterized by their homogeneous fabric, workmanship and forms, indicating the existence of a local production center. Charred pieces of wood and a few carbonized seeds were found in Cave 1071, belonging to five species that still grow near the site. The late Byzantine faunal assemblage from Horbat Qastra is typical of this period, attesting that the animal economy of the site was based on herding, with little or no hunting. The molluscs encountered at the site originate from the Carmel Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile River. The composition of the floral, faunal and malacological remains reflect the inhabitants’ known adeptness in fully exploiting the natural resources located in the site’s environs.
An Early Islamic Settlement and a Possible Open-Air Mosque at Eilat
(with a contribution by Tamar Schick)
Keywords: Islam, architecture, pottery, typology
Salvage excavations were carried out in the southernmost sector of an Early Islamic settlement within the industrial zone of Eilat. Three separate, rectilinear building units were uncovered, situated in close proximity to one another, each comprising rooms and courtyards. This Early Islamic village was part of a wider phenomenon of settlements that flourished on the desert periphery, in the shadow of the ancient port city of Ayla. After its abandonment, in the later part of the eighth century, the site was briefly reused, evidently in the ninth century; this use is marked by pits, some of which contained burials.
A Site from the Roman and Byzantine Periods at Khirbat el-Burj
(with contributions by Robert Kool and Moshe Sade)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–30*; English summary, pp. 167–169)
Ilan Peretz and Pirhiya Nahshoni
Keywords: village, agriculture, archaeozoology, installations, numismatics
The site is located at the foot of the Hebron Hills, one kilometer south of Tell Beit Mirsim. Two areas were excavated (Areas A and B). In Area A, a row of three rooms, possibly associated with a Roman bathhouse, was exposed. The artifacts recovered from the fills and the floors included
, ceramic tiles and segments of mosaic panels, as well as fragments of pottery and glass vessels, and three coins. These finds date mostly to the Late Roman and early Byzantine periods (end of third–fifth centuries CE). In Area B, the remains of a plastered installation, partly built into a cave, were uncovered; they dated to the Chalcolithic period and Middle Bronze Age II. A large winepress was erected above the installation in the Early Roman period. A small structure, perhaps a watch-tower, was built atop the winepress, most likely in the Byzantine period. The entrance to a Byzantine-period pottery kiln (fifth–seventh centuries) was exposed south of the Early Roman winepress. East of the Early Roman winepress and the pottery kiln, some walls—possibly agricultural terraces—were exposed. Among the finds were pottery vessels, stone vessels—notably a fragment of a measuring cup, glass sherds and animal bones.
An Early Islamic-Period Roadbed(?) in Ramla
(with a contribution by Moshe Sade)
(Hebrew, pp. 31*–44*; English summary, p. 170)
Keywords: ancient roads, archaeozoology
A salvage excavation, conducted c. 250 m east of Ma‘asiyahu Junction in Ramla, uncovered the probable infrastructure of an ancient road, dating from the Early Islamic period. In most places, this foundation lies over a layer of dark, sandy
soil. Interspersed among the stones of the roadbed were potsherds, objects made of steatite, bone and bronze, and glass vessels. The faunal remains include a large number of horse bones. This roadbed was probably part of a secondary route, perhaps a branch of the Jaffa–Jerusalem highway.
Glass Finds from the Early Islamic and Mamluk Periods at Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 45*–50*; English summary, pp. 171–172)
Keywords: glass production, technology, economy
Excavations at Ma‘asiyahu Junction, Ramla yielded 68 glass fragments, 43 of which were identifiable. Most of the vessels are dated between the ninth and the eleventh centuries CE, and one fragment, to the Mamluk period. Four small lumps of raw glass were also found, probably testifying to the existence of a local glass industry. The glassware from the Early Islamic period includes a miniature ampulla, an alembic vessel and a fragment from a distinctive, horseshoe-shaped object. The superior quality of these vessels may indicate that they were imported, evidence of the wealth of Ramla’s residents during the Early Islamic period.
A Fountain and Other Remains from the Middle Ages in Ramla
(with contributions by Nitzan Amitai-Preiss and Robert Kool)
(Hebrew, pp. 51*–70*; English summary, pp. 173–174)
Lior Rauchberger and Aviva Bouchenino
Keywords: water supply, installations, numismatics
The excavation, conducted 500 m east of the White Mosque in Ramla, exposed architectural remains dated to the Abbasid and Mamluk periods. Pottery vessels from the Ottoman period were also found, but no contemporary architectural remains. Finds from the Abbasid period include pottery—among them a jug with an Arabic inscription—and stone and glass vessels. A fountain and a pool from the Mamluk period were uncovered. In the center of the fountain was a sunken basin in the form of an eight-pointed star. Eight vertical clay pipes embedded in debesh were revealed outside the eight points of the star, and another pipeline entered the base of the fountain and supplied it with water. Pottery and glass vessels from the Abbasid and Mamluk periods were recovered in the fill excavated north and south of the base of the fountain, indicating that it was probably built during the Mamluk period. The Mamluk-period finds included pottery vessels, coins and glass vessels.
Glass Finds from the Abbasid and Mamluk Periods at Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 71*–76*; English summary, p. 175)
Keywords: glass production, technology, economy
The glass finds from the excavations at Ramla are remarkable. Out of 30 fragments found, 20 have been identified and 5 of these are discussed: 2 from the Abbasid period and 3 from the Mamluk period. The Abbasid-period assemblage contains a fragment of a mold-blown bowl and a small rim fragment of a bowl decorated with luster painting. The Mamluk-period assemblage includes a bottle, an “omom” sprinkler and a bird-shaped object. These finds testify to the great wealth of Ramla during the Early Islamic period, when the city was founded and served as a major center, and in the Mamluk period. Based on the many glass objects found at excavations in different parts of Ramla, it appears that most of the vessels and objects found were manufactured in production centers operating inside the city.
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