During December 2001, an excavation was conducted in ‘Akko (Permit. No. A-3538; map ref. NIG 20997/75907; OIG 15997/25907; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the ‘Akko municipality, was directed by Y. Lerer, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying), A. Thatcher (pottery reading), H. Tahan (pottery drawing), G. Finkielsztejn (identification of seal impressions), D. Syon (numismatics) and E. Stern and N. Getzov.
A small probe (11 sq m; Fig. 2) was opened c. 20 m south of the bathhouse that is dated to the thirteenth century CE (HA-ESI 110:12*–13*).
After removing modern fill to a depth of 1.2 m, a stratum (thickness 0.7 m) that included numerous potsherds from the Hellenistic and Crusader periods, which were mixed in modern garden soil, was exposed. Ten amphora handles with seal impressions that dated to the end of the third–beginning of the second centuries BCE (below) and three coins were found.
A small section of a wall or pillar (W100, length 0.9 m), built of partly dressed stones (0.8–0.9 m) and preserved three courses high, was exposed c. 0.3 m below this stratum.
A section of another wall (W101, length 3.5 m), oriented north–south and built of partly dressed stones, was exposed 0.3 m below W100. The wall, founded on dark soil, was probably a foundation course.
Wall 102, built of large fieldstones and aligned north–south, was exposed 0.4 m below W101.
The ceramic artifacts recovered from beneath W100 dated to the Hellenistic period and included bowls (Fig. 3:1–4), kraters (Fig. 3:5–7, 10), mortaria (Fig. 3:8, 9), a flat bowl (Fig. 3:11), an amphora (Fig. 3:12), a flask (Fig. 3:13), spindle bottles (Fig. 3:14, 15), amphora bases (Fig. 3:16, 17), a skyphos base (Fig. 3:18) and a lamp fragment (Fig. 3:19).
Of the three coins that were found only two were identified and dated to the thirteenth century CE.
1. Reg. No. 1000, L100, IAA 102884 (surface).
In the name of Amaury, early 13th century CE, ‘Akko (?).
Obverse: AMALRICVS REX cross pattée, annulets in 2, 3, quarters.
Reverse: [DE IERVS]ALEM cross (incuse).
billon denier, 0.39 g, 16 mm.
Cf. Metcalf 1995, Pl. 11.
(Metcalf D.M. 1995. Coinage of the Crusades and the Latin East in the AshmoleanMuseum, Oxford [The Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publications 28]. Oxford).
2. Reg. No. 1017, L106, IAA 102883.
Abbey of St. Martin, 13th century CE, Tours (?).
Obverse: only the copper core remains, with no design.
Reverse: [TVRO]NVS CIVI the abbey.
Fourée denier, 0.85 g, 18 mm.
Cf. Metcalf 1995, Pl. 23, Nos. 608–613.
Ten Rhodian stamps were recovered from the excavation. They are dated from the end of the third to the first third of the second centuries BCE. The associations and chronology are based on Finkielsztejn 2001 (Chronologie detaillée et revisée des eponyms rhodiens de 270 à 108 av. J. –C. environ, premier bilan [BAR Int. S. 990]. Oxford), with references therein.
Rh 1. 103.1010 – Stamp in the shape of an ivy leaf.
The frabricant is Epigonoj 1st. Date: 219–213 BCE.
Rh 2. 102-103.1016.A – Rectangular stamp.
Symbol of Epi
Very eroded letters. The fabricant was most probably Qeudwroj (Finkielsztejn 2001:98–100, 105, 112, 191). Date: (235) 226–210 BCE.
Rh 3. 101.1003 – Rectangular stamp.
D a l i o u
Although this may not be ascertained, it is possible that the engraver played with the fact that the beginning of the month is the end of the name of the eponym and therefore, he did not repeat the syllable da. Date: 203–199 BCE.
Rh 4. 102.1009.A – Rectangular stamp.
The profile of the handle and the appearance of the die date this amphora to late Period II–early Period III. Date: end of the third–beginning of second centuries BCE.
Rh 5. 101.1007 – CS.
Fabricant Damokrathj 1st. Associations with eponyms from Pausaniaj 2nd to N…kasagoraj 1st (Finkielsztejn 2001:117, 191–192). Date: 199–172/170 BCE.
Rh 6. 102-103.1016.B –
There is no clear visible trace of a stamp on this quite eroded handle. It is possible that the handle was not stamped (by mistake rather than because the second handle may have born all the information, an unlikely possibility for the period) or that the stamp (which may have been circular) has completely disappeared. The profile of the handle dates this amphora to Period III. Date: first third of the second century BCE.
Rh 7. 103.1012 – CS.
Epi Swsikle[uj Art]amitiou
The fabricant is either Aristoklhj 2nd or Ippokrathj. Date: 159/158–155/154 BCE.
Rh 8. 102.1009.B – Rectangular stamp.
The profile of the handle and the appearance of the die date this amphora to Period IV–Period V. Date: second third of the second century BCE.
Rh 10. 101.1004.B – Rectangular stamp.
Associations with eponyms from Gorgwn to Alexiadaj , but with the wreath type only down to Autokrathj 1st (Finkielsztejn 2001:121–123, 130, 155, 193, 195). Date: 154/153–138/137 BCE at least (wreath type), down to 138/137 BCE at least for the fabricant’s career.
Rh 9. 101.1004.A – Rectangular stamp.
Pagcareu(j) or Pagcareu
Device (double-axe?) or letters? Device j
Association with eponyms: Timodikoj (The Hebrew University collection, No. 2434; thanks to Gila Horowitz) and Alexiadaj (Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria; thanks to Jean-Yves Empereur). There is one isolated example in Marissa without device (to be published by this author). See Finkielsztejn 2001:195; Date: 145–138/137 BCE at least.
The architectural finds and seal impressions are indicative of at least three settlement phases from the Hellenistic period. The Rhodian seal impression found in L103 on W100 (see Rh 1 in the above report) shows that the wall was constructed not earlier than the second half of the second century BC.
The thirteenth century CE coin in L106 is an exception, since it penetrated into the Hellenistic layer during a later period.