In February 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted on Abba Hillel Silver Street in Lod (Permit No. A-7036; map ref. 190683–719/652417–57; Fig. 1), following the discovery of antiquities. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Netivē Ayyalon Company, Ltd., was directed by V. Eshed, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), A. Dagot (GPS), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing) and A. Peretz (field photography).
Ancient Lod, estimated to be c. 6,000 years old, is located alongside the southern bank of Nahal Ayyalon, in a valley with no natural means of protection. The proximity to the stream aided in the settlement’s development; however, the absence of natural defenses made it easy to conquer Lod, and it was destroyed numerous times. Nevertheless, it is one of the few ancient cities where the settlement sequence was never interrupted. Lod is mentioned in written sources from the fifteenth century BCE, and it appears in the genealogical list of the tribe of Benjamin (I Chron. 8:12). In many sources from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Lod is referred to by its Greek name, Diospolis, as well as in sources of the Early Islamic period, when the name of the city reverts back to Lod. Today, the tell is covered with modern construction, save its northern end which has eroded. In excavations conducted on and around the tell, remains that date to the following periods were exposed: Pottery Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, Iron, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic, Middle Ages and Ottoman.
One square (4 × 4 m, depth 2 m) was opened on the northeastern fringes of the tell, near the Nah
al Ayyalon plain. Antiquities dating to the Pottery Neolithic period, the Chalcolithic period and the Early Bronze Age were discovered in previous excavations along Abba Hillel Silver Street (Golan 2000
; Haddad 2008
Golan S. 2000. Lod, Abba Hillel Silver Street (A). HA-ESI
Yannai E. and Marder O. 2000. Lod. HA-ESI 112:63*–65*.