‘Atiqot 76 (2013)
The Burial Ground at Horbat Za‘aq
Keywords: Shephelah, cemetery, architecture, burial traditions, ethnic groups
Thirty-two rock-cut burial tombs were documented in the burial ground excavated at Horbat Za‘aq, in the southern Judean Shephelah. The majority of the tombs date to Iron Age IIB–III; one tomb (Tomb 13) dates to MB IIB–C; another (Tomb 48), to the Roman or Byzantine period; and two tombs (Tombs 22 and 23) were reused in the Early Roman period. These tombs probably belonged to families who lived in villages or farms in the vicinity of the burial ground. The Iron Age IIB–III rock-cut tombs at H. Za‘aq were hewn according to local architectural traditions; however, they share certain features with the nearby burial grounds at Tel Halif and Tel ‘Etun in southern Judah.
The Finds from the Horbat Za‘aq Burial Ground
Irit Yezerski and Pirhiya Nahshoni
Keywords: Shephelah, cemetery, burial goods, typology
The bulk of the finds from the Horbat Za‘aq burial ground comprise Iron Age pottery, with MB IIB–C artifacts originating in a single tomb (Tomb 13) and Roman finds from a number of others. The MB IIB–C ceramic assemblage is domestic in nature, comprising bowls, storage jars and juglets. The Iron Age IIB–III grave goods include pottery, metal artifacts and beads that are comparable to assemblages from Judahite settlements and burial sites. The finds consist mainly of small vessels, such as lamps, bowls, jugs and juglets. This Iron IIB–III pottery assemblage is typical of the second quarter of the eighth and the seventh centuries BCE; most of the vessel types are Judahite in morphology, while a few show Edomite/Assyrian characteristics. Finds from the Early Roman period include pottery, a limestone ossuary and metal artifacts, such as a bronze bowl, iron nails, bronze ornaments and jewelry, a bronze mirror, and fragments of an iron knife. The pottery vessels belong to types common at Judean sites during the first century CE.
A Unique Hellenistic Pottery Assemblage from ‘Akko
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, pottery workshop, typology, commercial activity, population
Nearly all the Hellenistic-period material originated from a single, homogeneous locus (L336) located below the Crusader-period bathhouse, excavated c. 250–300 m north of the ‘Akko Ottoman-period city wall. More than 700 rim fragments were found, dominated by four vessel families: open table vessels; closed table vessels; cooking vessels; and storage vessels. This assemblage is domestic in nature, dating to the third century BCE, reflecting one of the earliest Hellenistic occurrences in the ‘Akko area outside the tell of ‘Akko. Egyptian, Aegean and Cypriot elements were observed upon the vessels, which may reflect the foreign origin of many of them, and possibly, of the inhabitants of the site. Locus 336 may have served as a rubbish pit for a workshop.
Stamped Amphorae Handles from ‘Akko
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, epigraphy, chronology, Greek names, devices
Thirty stamped amphora handles were found in the course of the excavation at ‘Akko, most of them Rhodian, one Cypriot, one Phoenician and two unidentified. Such a collection is quite common in the Southern Levant. Two of the Rhodian stamps date to the second third of the third century; eight, to the last quarter of the third century; four, to the end of the third–beginning of the second century; six, to the first third of the second century; and six, to the middle and the third quarter of the second century BCE. The top of the Cypriot amphora (Cy1) seems to bear the earliest stamp in the collection, probably dating to the beginning of the third century. The unstamped Phoenician handle (Ph1) dates to the end of the third–mid-second centuries BCE.
A Burial Cave and an Agricultural Terrace at Khirbat el-Mughram in the Shu‘afat Neighborhood, Jerusalem
(with contributions by Yossi Nagar and Natalia Katsnelson)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–9*; English summary, pp. 215–216)
Keywords: burial, grave goods, agriculture, hinterland, epigraphy, anthropology
Two excavation areas were exposed at the site of Khirbat el-Mughram: in the western area, a burial cave was partially excavated, and in the eastern area, a revetment wall for an agricultural terrace was unearthed. The burial cave consists of two arcosolia and two loculi (
), a phenomena characteristic of the Second Temple period. The finds in the cave include pottery dating to the period between the two revolts (70–135 CE), six limestone ossuaries and six ossuary lids. All the ossuaries are decorated in low relief; one ossuary is incised with a name in Greek, and another exhibits traces of paint. A candlestick-type glass bottle was retrieved from the cave, pointing to a date in the first–third centuries CE. The terrace wall was preserved to a height of one course. In the fills abutting the wall were ceramic finds dating from the Iron Age to the Late Roman period.
The Ceramic Finds from Khirbat el-Mughram in the Shu‘afat Neighborhood, Jerusalem
Keywords: typology, burial goods
The pottery recovered from the excavation at Kh. el-Mughram originated in two loci: the burial cave and the fills abutting the terrace wall (L102). The pottery from both loci represents homogeneous deposits dating to the period between the First and Second Jewish Revolts against the Romans (70–132 CE). The ceramic finds from this site amplify the pottery repertoire of the village of Shu‘afat, leading to the conclusion that the tomb belonged to inhabitants of that village.
A Burial Cave from the Roman and Byzantine Periods at ‘En Ya‘al, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, p. 11*–14*; English summary, p. 217)
Rafeh Abu Raya and Miguel Weissman
Keywords: burial, grave goods, anthropology
A rock-cut burial complex, comprising a courtyard and a cave, was excavated at ‘En Ya‘al, Jerusalem. The cave contains a burial chamber, a standing pit, loculi (
) and a repository. The excavation yielded many ceramic oil lamps and vessels dating to the fourth–seventh centuries CE, with a few dating to the Early Islamic period; glass vessels, beads and metal objects, dating to the Early Roman–Byzantine periods; and a Christian bronze pendant. The plan of the cave is characteristic of Second Temple-period burial caves. The next phase of use was during the mid-first–second centuries CE, and the final use of the cave was during the fourth–seventh centuries CE. The cave was probably in use until the late Byzantine period, and may have been plundered in the Abbasid period, as attested by an oil lamp of that period.
Ceramic Oil Lamps and Vessels from the Burial Cave at ‘En Ya‘al, Jerusalem
Anna de Vincenz
Keywords: burial, grave goods, typology, epigraphy
Most of the ceramic lamps and vessels from the burial cave at ‘En Ya‘al were retrieved from the cave courtyard; merely a few originated in the standing pit. A large number of lamps were found, comprising three main variants of the candlestick-type lamp; one of them bears a Greek inscription. The majority of the lamps were unused, with only a small number showing burning signs on the nozzle. The fragmentary pottery assemblage includes mainly small vessels, such as bowls and juglets, as well as some larger bowls and mortaria. This assemblage is dated to the Byzantine period, with a few Early Islamic fragments.
The Glass Vessels, Beads and Metal Artifacts from the Burial Cave at ‘En Ya‘al, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, pp. 15*–22*; English summary, p. 218)
Keywords: burial goods, typology
The burial cave at ‘En Ya‘al yielded about 480 glass fragments. All but one of the glass vessels was free-blown of translucent colorless, light blue or light green glass. Several vessels were adorned with applied wound glass trails, and one vessel was decorated with shallow, mold-blown ribbing. The glass vessels from the site are typical of two eras: the Early Roman period (second half of the first–second centuries CE) and the Late Roman–Byzantine periods (fourth–seventh centuries CE). The beads—made of glass, carnelian and amethyst—and the metal objects—a ring, bracelets, iron and bronze pendants, a bell, copper/bronze trappings and an iron cross—are characteristic of the Late Roman and Byzantine periods. The finds are therefore associated with the latest phase of use in the burial cave.
A Byzantine-Period Pendant from the Burial Cave at ‘En Ya‘al, Jerusalem
Keywords: burial goods, metal, Christianity, epigraphy, amulet
The pendant was found in the standing pit of the rock-hewn burial cave at ‘En Ya‘al. It is a cast-bronze, double-sided medallion, with two flat loops at opposite sides. A cruciform Greek monogram was incised or engraved on the flat surfaces of the medallion, possibly with the name of the pendant’s owner. Similar pendants were usually religious or amuletic in character. The inscription was engraved on the encircling edge of the medallion. It is a simple invocation, common on rings and bracelets from Byzantine Palestine, in which the owner invokes the name of a saint or holy person for help or good fortune.
The Fatimid, Crusader and Mamluk–Early Ottoman Ceramic Finds from the ‘Akko Marina: Some Insights into Medieval Maritime Activity
Edna J. Stern
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, Beirut Ware, Zeuxippus Ware, Zeuxippus Derivative Ware, incised monograms, maritime trade
Ceramic sherds, dating from the Fatimid, Crusader and Mamluk–early Ottoman periods (eleventh to c. sixteenth centuries CE), were found while deepening the ‘Akko Marina. Of the Fatimid period, only a cooking bowl and a glazed bowl are represented. The pottery dating to the Crusader period consists of different types of glazed bowls, cooking ware, amphorae, a lid and oil lamps. The few sherds from the Mamluk–early Ottoman period belong to glazed vessels. The pottery retrieved from the ‘Akko Marina might have originated in trade, served as ballast, or may have arrived with pilgrims, merchants or other individuals who came to ‘Akko by ship. The various geographical origins of the ceramic wares attest to the wide range and diverse character of ‘Akko’s maritime commercial ties in the Crusader period, and to the city’s cosmopolitan character. The great quantities of imported ceramics reflect the numerous ships that arrived at the port of ‘Akko in the twelfth, and mainly thirteenth century, sailing the Mediterranean.
Analysis of Glaze on Ceramics from the ‘Akko Marina
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, chemistry, mineralogy
Among the ceramic sherds dredged from the seabed of the ‘Akko Marina were some bowls with a glaze of unusual silvery-black appearance. This study was conducted to define the main factor leading to the changes in color under sea water. The sample included glazed vessels found on land and glazed vessels from the sea. Significant differences in sulfur content were observed between the two sets of glaze: the on-land vessels contained no sulfur, whereas the vessels from the sea contained sulfur, obviously originating in the sea water, thus creating sulfides of lead in the glaze.
A Unique Metal Object from Tiberias
Keywords: Islamic art, epigraphy, paleography
An uncommon metal artifact (a stand?) was uncovered in the course of public works in Tiberias. The object is an open cylinder, made of sheet-metal, perhaps bronze. Both the outer and inner surfaces are adorned with a band of painted decoration: the exterior surface depicts a scene of human figures, while the interior one is a beautiful inscription in
script. No parallels to Islamic painted metalwork have been yet discovered; however, our painted object should perhaps be seen within the wider context of the art of painting under the Fatimids.
Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk-Period Remains from Tiberias
Edna J. Stern
Keywords: domestic architecture, medieval pottery, typology, Franks, Muslims, petrography, ceramic quantitative analysis, history, population, ethnicity
The excavation exposed five primary phases of occupation, dating from the Roman to the Ottoman periods. In Phase 5, accumulations containing Roman- to Fatimid-period pottery were found. In Phase 4, a building was erected, a small part of which was excavated; twelfth-century pottery was found, as well as some residual sherds dating to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid periods. Phase 3 continued the use of the Phase 4 building, with the addition of walls and the raising of floors; finds on the floor included pottery vessels, glass vessels and a stone mortar, all dating to the thirteenth century. Phase 2 continued the occupation of the Phases 4 and 3 building with some modifications; the pottery from this phase dates to the fourteenth century. Phase 1 is represented by one late Ottoman-period wall. The finds from this excavation yielded much information regarding the material culture and architecture of a domestic quarter in Tiberias during the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Petrographic Examination of Medieval Pottery from Tiberias
Keywords: ceramics, petrography, mineralogy, geology, provenance
Thirteen samples of the pottery from Tiberias were selected for petrographic examination. All sampled vessels date to the Crusader-period occupation of the building (Phases 3 and 4). Three petrographic groups were identified: Beirut Ware, Acre Ware and Tiberias Ware.
Remains of a Public Building from the Byzantine Period and a Farmhouse from the Early Islamic Period North of Tel Lod
(with a contribution by Nitzan Amitai-Preiss)
(Hebrew, pp. 23*–39*; English summary, pp. 219–220)
Keywords: Second Temple period, agriculture, burial, numismatics, Arabic inscription
In a salvage excavation conducted north of Tel Lod, twelve squares were excavated, exposing finds from the Persian–Early Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. The finds from the Persian–Early Roman periods consisted merely of pottery and stone vessels. Two strata were identified from the Byzantine period: Stratum IIB yielded a segment of a flagstone floor belonging to a public building, and a few pottery vessels dated to the late third–seventh centuries CE; Stratum IIA comprised some architectural elements, a poorly-preserved lime pit and a plastered installation, as well as pottery vessels, a metal object and coins. The Early Islamic period is represented in three strata: in Stratum IC, a large building was uncovered, as well as pottery, small finds and coins; in Stratum IB, several walls were exposed, built in alignment with the Stratum IC walls; and in Stratum IA, graves were dug into earlier layers.
The Coins from the Excavation at Lod
(Hebrew, pp. 41*–43*; English summary, p. 221)
Twenty-two coins were unearthed in the excavation north of Tel Lod, of which 17 were identified: 5 coins date to the Byzantine period, 1 is a Byzanto-Arab coin, and 10 coins date to the Umayyad and Abassid periods.
Website, texts and photos © Israel Antiquities Authority