‘Atiqot 87 (2016)
Subterranean Complex 147 at Maresha: The Construction Phases of the Columbarium
Ian Stern, Bernie Alpert and Amos Kloner
Keywords: Judean Shephelah, Ptolemaic rule, historical sources, agriculture, industry
Excavations in Subterranean Complex 147 in Maresha revealed several building phases of the large columbarium. The fill within the installation consisted of pottery ranging in date from the Iron Age II through the Hellenistic period, mainly from the second century BCE. Columbaria had an important function in the lifestyle of the local population in the Judean Shephelah in general, and at Maresha in particular. This is connected with fact that pigeons were a source of food, a cultic offering, and their droppings were used as fertilizer.
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